Countries By Population

As of 2021, the world’s population is estimated to be 7.63 billion people. Asia is the most populous continent, accounting for about two-thirds of the total population. World’s five most populous countries are China, India, the US, Indonesia, and Pakistan, with a combined population of 3.6 billion. The UN predicts the global population will surpass the 10 billion mark by 2100.

Population growth rate varies by country and region. However, most countries and regions have positive population growth. But, the growth rate has declined significantly in some countries like China, due to government measures to reduce the ballooning population. The population growth rate is particularly high in Sub-Saharan Africa, with countries like Tanzania, Ethiopia, and the DRC expected to join Nigeria on the list of the top ten most populous countries by 2100.

Map of the 10 most populated countries in the world.

Top 10 Countries By Population

According to the recent UN estimates, about 47% of the global population, or 3.6 billion people live in five countries. Five of the ten most populous countries are in Asia, three in the Americas, and one each in Europe and Africa.

With 1.4 billion people, China is the world’s most populous country. It accounts for about 18.4% of the world’s population. The proportion of China’s population to the global population has been shrinking over the years. In 2000, it accounted for 21% of the global population. China’s population is approximately four times the US population, despite the US having a slightly larger total surface area.

India and China are the only two countries with a population of over one billion people. India’s population is 1.37 billion, making it the second-most populous country. It is the 19th most-densely populated country, with about 409 people per square kilometer. With a 1.2% population growth rate, India could be the first country to host more than 1.5 billion people.

The United States is the world’s third-most populous country, with 328.2 people or 4.3% of the global population. About 90 million people in the US are immigrants and their US-born children. It has one of the highest immigration rates, with researchers predicting immigrants will account for 36% of the population by 2065. The UN estimates that the US, alongside eight other countries, will account for half of the global population by 2050.

10 Most Populated Countries In The World

Indonesia and Pakistan complete the list of five of the world’s most populous countries. Indonesia has a population of 270.6 million people, while the Pakistani population is 216.6 million, or 3.6% and 2.83% of the global population respectively. Statistics show that the Indonesian population grew by about 1.1% annually between 2009 and 2019, while the Pakistani population grew by 1.45% annually during the same period. Indonesia is home to the world’s most populous island, Java. 

Brazil and Nigeria are the most populous countries in South America and Africa respectively. Brazil’s population is approximately 211 million (2.76%), while Nigeria has about 201 million people (2.63%). According to the UN, Brazil’s population will peak at 238 million in 2050. The main factor contributing to the country’s population growth is immigration from Africa, Europe, and other parts of the world. Nigeria is home to about 15.5% of the African population. There are over 85 million more people in the country than Africa’s second-most populous country (Ethiopia with 115 million people). The Nigerian population growth is driven by a high fertility rate and preference for large families. The UN predicts Nigeria will overtake the US as the third-most populous country by 2050.

Bangladesh is the world’s 8th most populous country, with a population of approximately 163 million people. The country’s population, representing 2.13% of the global population, is almost half the US population.

Russian Federation, the world’s largest country by area, is the 9th populous country with 144.4 million people, or 1.9% of the global population. It is one of the countries in Europe that have experienced a mix of population growth and decline in the last three decades. Russia had 148 million people in 1990, but the population dropped to 146.6 million in 2000 and 142 million in 2010.    However, between 2010 and 2019, the population grew by close to 2 million people.

Mexico completes the list of ten most populous countries, with 127.6 million people, or 1.7% of the global population. Mexico’s population is almost one-third of the US population despite the two countries sharing a land border. In fact, it is one of the largest sources of immigrants into the US.

Bottom 5 Countries By Population

The five least populous countries have a total of 77,000 people, almost half that of Guam, the US an unincorporated territory. These countries are also the world’s smallest countries by land size.

Vatican City, an enclave of Rome, Italy, is the world’s least populous country with approximately 825 people. The population is mainly composed of religious leaders and members such as priests and laypeople. All the city-state’s residents are Catholics.

With a population of 11,650, Tuvalu is the second-least populated country. The island country has a 0.86% population growth rate. Tuvalu’s population has been rising steadily in the last three decades due to the high birth rate and lower death rate.

Nauru is the 4th least populated country with a population of about 12,580 people. Between 1996 and 2006, the country experienced a significant population decline from 10,672 to 9,878. The repatriation of immigrant workers back to their countries contributed to the decline. Although the country experienced a period of population growth between 2006 and 2016, the population has been on a steady decline since then.

Palau and San Marino complete the list of five least populated countries, with 18,000 and 33,860 people respectively. Palau is an island country made up of 340 islands, with two-thirds of its population living on Koror Island.

5 Most Densely And 5 Most Sparsely Populated Countries

Rank

Country

Population Density (people per sq. km of land area)

1

Monaco

19,196

2

Singapore

7,953

3

Bahrain

2,017

4

Maldives

1,719

5

Malta

1,514

Table: 5 most densely populated countries in the world. Source: World Bank

The global population is 7.63 billion and the Earth’s total surface area is 510.1 million square kilometers. Therefore, the world’s population density is about 15 people per square kilometers. However, if the only land area (150 million square miles) is considered, the population density is 50.9 people per square kilometer. However, this number does not give a true reflection of the population density since some parts of the world like deserts and high mountains are uninhabitable. According to the World Bank, the Earth’s population density is 59.62 people per square kilometers (2018)

Monaco, a city-state bordered by France, is the world’s most densely populated sovereign state with 19,196 people per square kilometer. Monaco is the world’s second-smallest country by size, covering 2.1 square kilometers. It has a population of about 39,000 residents.

Singapore is the 176th largest country with a surface area of 728 square kilometers. With a population of 5.7 million people, it has a population density of 7,953 people per square mile, making it the second-most densely populated country.

Bahrain is the most densely populated country that is not a city-state, with 2,017 people per square kilometers. It covers an area of approximately 780 square kilometers (Asia’s 3rd smallest country) and has a population of about 1.6 million people. Maldives and Malta are the 4th and 5th most densely populated countries, with 1,719 and 1,514 people per square kilometer.

Rank

Country

Population Density (people per sq. km of land area)

1

Mongolia

2

2

Namibia

3

3

Australia

3

4

Iceland

4

5

Suriname

4

Table: 5 most least populated countries in the world. Source: World Bank

Mongolia is the world’s most sparsely populated country, with just 2 people per square kilometer. It covers 1.6 million square kilometers and has a population of about 3.3 million people. Namibia and Australia are the second-most sparsely populated countries, with 3 people per square kilometer. Namibia is Sub-Sahara Africa’s driest country. It covers 825,615 square kilometers and has a population of 2.75 million people. Although Australia is the world’s 6th largest country (7.7 million square kilometers), it has a population of 25.7 million people.

Iceland and Suriname are the 4th and 5th most sparsely populated countries with 2.1 and 2.9 people per square kilometer. Iceland covers an area of about 103,000 square kilometers and is home to 357,000 people. However, the majority of the people live in the southwest regions. Suriname is inhabited by about 542,000 people and covers 163,821 square kilometers, with forest accounting for 80% of the total land area.

Population Distribution Across The World

According to the latest United Nations report, the global population is 7.6 billion (2019). The global population has grown by approximately 6.8 billion from 1 billion in 1800. However, the population growth rate has declined from 2.2% to 1.1% in the last five decades. Despite positive population growth, world regions and continents have experienced mixed growth over the years.

Continents/Regions Where Population Is Increasing

Most continents and world regions, with a few exceptions, continue to experience robust population growth. Asia, the world’s largest continent by size and population, is one of the continents where the population is increasing. Asia-Pacific region had a population of about 4.3 billion or 60% of the world’s population in 2013. Currently, there are over 4.5 billion people in Asia, including 2.3 billion in East Asia and Pacific and 1.8 billion in South Asia. The continent hosts two of the world’s most populous countries; China and India. Although Asia is experiencing population growth, the growth rate has slowed down to 0.96%.

Besides Asia sub-regions, Sub-Sahara Africa is also experiencing positive population growth. Sub-Sahara Africa comprises African countries lying south of the Sahara Desert. This region has a population of approximately 1.1 billion people (2019), up from 845.7 million in 2009. With a population growth rate of 2.3% per annum, the UN predicts the region’s population will be 2-2.5 billion by 2050.

Europe and Central Europe region has a population of about 921.1 million people or 12.1% of the total world’s population. The region experienced steady population growth between 1960 and 1993, with a 1.2% annual growth rate. However, it experienced a less than 0.5% growth rate between 1994 and 2004. Although the region has a comparatively low population growth rate, most countries have a growing population due to increased life expectancy and immigration. 

Regions Where Population Is Decreasing

Central Europe and Baltic is probably the only region globally that has consistently recorded a decline in population over the last three decades. It has a population of approximately 102.3 million, down from 110.8 million in 1989, or -8.3% population growth.

Most Populous Countries By 2100

Rank

Country

Estimated Population (2100)

1

India

1,090,000,000

2

Nigeria

791,000,000 

3

China

732,000,000 

4

United States

336,000,000 

5

Pakistan

248,000,000

6

DR Congo

246,000,000

7

Indonesia

229,000,000

8

Ethiopia

223,000,000 

9

Egypt

199,000,000

10

Tanzania

186,000,000

Table: 10 Most Populous Countries In 2100. Source: Weforum.org

According to the UN projections, the global population will be over 11 billion by the end of the 21st century. Although the global population will rise steadily in the coming years, it may peak at 9.7 billion around 2064. It is projected that African countries will dominate the list of top ten largest countries by population. Only China, India, the US, Pakistan, and Indonesia will appear on the top ten list in 2100.

India will surpass China as the world’s most populous country, with 1.1 billion people, despite an overall decline in population growth. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, will be the second-most populous country with 791 people. Nigeria, over ten times smaller than the US, will continue to experience a steady population growth beyond 2100, mainly because of the high fertility rate and cultural factors such as the need for large families. China’s population will contract by almost half to about 730 million people, while the US population may grow by about 10 million to 336 million, making it the fourth most populous country. DRC, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Tanzania will also feature in the list of ten most populous countries by 2100.

Sub-Saharan Africa will continue to experience population growth by 2100 because of several factors. One of the reasons for population growth in Africa is the high fertility levels. In most African countries, the fertility rate is at least 3.5 births per woman. In the DRC, the fertility rate is 4.53 births per woman, while Nigeria’s fertility rate is 4.85 births per woman. Besides fertility levels, early motherhood will also contribute to the population rise. Most women become mothers at early ages, enabling them to carry multiple pregnancies. Other factors include a cultural preference for large families and falling mortality rates.

Countries By Population

The table below lists the countries of the world by total population (in thousands).

Rank Country Total Population
1

China

1,397,715,000

2

India

1,366,417,750

3

United States

328,239,520

4

Indonesia

270,625,570

5

Pakistan

216,565,320

6

Brazil

211,049,530

7

Nigeria

200,963,600

8

Bangladesh

163,046,160

9

Russian Federation

144,373,540

10

Mexico

127,575,530

11

Japan

126,264,930

12

Ethiopia

112,078,730

13

Philippines

108,116,620

14

Egypt, Arab Rep.

100,388,070

15

Vietnam

96,462,110

16

Congo, Dem. Rep.

86,790,570

17

Turkey

83,429,620

18

Germany

83,132,800

19

Iran, Islamic Rep.

82,913,910

20

Thailand

69,625,580

21

France

67,059,890

22

United Kingdom

66,834,400

23

Italy

60,297,400

24

South Africa

58,558,270

25

Tanzania

58,005,460

26

Myanmar

54,045,420

27

Kenya

52,573,970

28

Korea, Rep.

51,709,100

29

Colombia

50,339,440

30

Spain

47,076,780

31

Argentina

44,938,710

32

Ukraine

44,385,150

33

Uganda

44,269,590

34

Algeria

43,053,050

35

Sudan

42,813,240

36

Iraq

39,309,780

37

Afghanistan

38,041,750

38

Poland

37,970,870

39

Canada

37,589,260

40

Morocco

36,471,770

41

Saudi Arabia

34,268,530

42

Uzbekistan

33,580,650

43

Peru

32,510,450

44

Malaysia

31,949,780

45

Angola

31,825,290

46

Ghana

30,417,860

47

Mozambique

30,366,040

48

Yemen, Rep.

29,161,920

49

Nepal

28,608,710

50

Venezuela, RB

28,515,830

51

Madagascar

26,969,310

52

Cameroon

25,876,380

53

Cote d'Ivoire

25,716,540

54

Korea, Dem. People's Rep.

25,666,160

55

Australia

25,364,310

56

Niger

23,310,720

57

Sri Lanka

21,803,000

58

Burkina Faso

20,321,380

59

Mali

19,658,030

60

Romania

19,356,540

61

Chile

18,952,040

62

Malawi

18,628,750

63

Kazakhstan

18,513,930

64

Zambia

17,861,030

65

Ecuador

17,373,660

66

Netherlands

17,332,850

67

Syrian Arab Republic

17,070,130

68

Guatemala

16,604,030

69

Cambodia

16,486,540

70

Senegal

16,296,360

71

Chad

15,946,880

72

Somalia

15,442,910

73

Zimbabwe

14,645,470

74

Guinea

12,771,250

75

Rwanda

12,626,950

76

Benin

11,801,150

77

Tunisia

11,694,720

78

Burundi

11,530,580

79

Bolivia

11,513,100

80

Belgium

11,484,060

81

Cuba

11,333,480

82

Haiti

11,263,080

83

South Sudan

11,062,110

84

Dominican Republic

10,738,960

85

Greece

10,716,320

86

Czech Republic

10,669,710

87

Sweden

10,285,450

88

Portugal

10,269,420

89

Jordan

10,101,690

90

Azerbaijan

10,023,320

91

United Arab Emirates

9,770,530

92

Hungary

9,769,950

93

Honduras

9,746,120

94

Belarus

9,466,860

95

Tajikistan

9,321,020

96

Israel

9,053,300

97

Austria

8,877,070

98

Papua New Guinea

8,776,110

99

Switzerland

8,574,830

100

Togo

8,082,370

101

Sierra Leone

7,813,220

102

Lao PDR

7,169,450

103

Paraguay

7,044,640

104

Bulgaria

6,975,760

105

Serbia

6,944,980

106

Lebanon

6,855,710

107

Libya

6,777,450

108

Nicaragua

6,545,500

109

Kyrgyz Republic

6,456,900

110

El Salvador

6,453,550

111

Turkmenistan

5,942,090

112

Denmark

5,818,550

113

Singapore

5,703,570

114

Finland

5,520,310

115

Slovak Republic

5,454,070

116

Congo, Rep.

5,380,510

117

Norway

5,347,900

118

Costa Rica

5,047,560

119

Oman

4,974,990

120

Ireland

4,941,440

121

Liberia

4,937,370

122

New Zealand

4,917,000

123

Central African Republic

4,745,190

124

Palestine

4,685,310

125

Mauritania

4,525,700

126

Panama

4,246,440

127

Kuwait

4,207,080

128

Croatia

4,067,500

129

Georgia

3,720,380

130

Uruguay

3,461,730

131

Bosnia and Herzegovina

3,301,000

132

Mongolia

3,225,170

133

Eritrea

3,213,970

134

Armenia

2,957,730

135

Jamaica

2,948,280

136

Albania

2,854,190

137

Qatar

2,832,070

138

Lithuania

2,786,840

139

Moldova

2,657,640

140

Namibia

2,494,530

141

Gambia, The

2,347,710

142

Botswana

2,303,700

143

Gabon

2,172,580

144

Lesotho

2,125,270

145

Slovenia

2,087,950

146

North Macedonia

2,083,460

147

Guinea-Bissau

1,920,920

148

Latvia

1,912,790

149

Bahrain

1,641,170

150

Trinidad and Tobago

1,394,970

151

Equatorial Guinea

1,355,990

152

Estonia

1,326,590

153

Timor-Leste

1,293,120

154

Mauritius

1,265,710

155

Cyprus

1,198,580

156

Eswatini

1,148,130

157

Djibouti

973,560

158

Fiji

889,950

159

Comoros

850,890

160

Guyana

782,770

161

Bhutan

763,090

162

Solomon Islands

669,820

163

Montenegro

622,140

164

Luxembourg

619,900

165

Suriname

581,360

166

Cabo Verde

549,930

167

Maldives

530,950

168

Malta

502,650

169

Brunei Darussalam

433,290

170

Belize

390,350

171

Bahamas, The

389,480

172

Iceland

361,310

173

Vanuatu

299,880

174

Barbados

287,020

175

Sao Tome and Principe

215,060

176

Samoa

197,100

177

St. Lucia

182,790

178

Kiribati

117,610

179

Micronesia, Fed. Sts.

113,810

180

Grenada

112,000

181

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

110,590

182

Tonga

104,490

183

Seychelles

97,630

184

Antigua and Barbuda

97,120

185

Andorra

77,140

186

Dominica

71,810

187

Marshall Islands

58,790

188

St. Kitts and Nevis

52,830

189

Monaco

38,960

190

Liechtenstein

38,020

191

San Marino

33,860

192

Palau

18,010

193

Nauru

12,580

194

Tuvalu

11,650

195

Vatican City

825

Table: Countries by population. Source: World Bank

Territories/Dependencies By Population

The following table shows the population of territories and dependencies. These geographic entities are not strictly considered to be countries, but rather are related to other countries.

Rank Territory/Dependency Related Country Total Population

1

Taiwan

China

23,568,378

2

Hong Kong

China

7,500,700

3

Puerto Rico

United States

3,193,694

4

Kosovo

Disputed, claimed by Serbia

1,873,160

5

Macau

China

682,800

6

French Polynesia

France

275,918

7

New Caledonia

France

271,407

8

Guam

United States

168,485

9

Curacao

Netherlands

163,424

10

Aruba

Netherlands

116,576

11

Jersey

United Kingdom

107,800

12

Isle of Man

United Kingdom

83,314

13

Saint Martin

France

77,741

14

Bermuda

United Kingdom

71,176

15

Cayman Islands

United Kingdom

65,813

16

Guernsey

United Kingdom

62,792

17

Greenland

Denmark

56,225

18

American Samoa

United States

55,100

19

Northern Mariana Islands

United States

53,883

20

Faroe Islands

Denmark

52,110

21

Turks and Caicos Islands

United  Kingdom

42,953

22

Sint Maarten

Netherlands

41,486

23

Gibraltar

United Kingdom

34,003

24

British Virgin Islands

United Kingdom

30,030

25

Dhekelia and Akrotiri

United Kingdom

18,195

26

Cook Islands

New Zealand

17,459

27

Anguilla

United Kingdom

14,731

28

Wallis and Futuna

France

11,558

29

Saint Barthelemy

France

9,961

30

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

France

5,997

31

Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha

United Kingdom

5,633

32

Montserrat

United Kingdom

4,649

33

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

United Kingdom

3,398

34

Svalbard

Norway

2,939

35

Christmas Island

Australia

1,843

36

Norfolk Island

Australia

1,748

37

Niue

New Zealand

1,620

38

Tokelau

New Zealand

1,499

39

Paracel Islands

Disputed between China, Vietnam, and Taiwan

Over 1000

40

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Australia

544

41

Pitcairn Islands

United Kingdom

50

Table: Territories/Dependencies by population.

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