Talk:List of countries and dependencies by population

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British Indian Ocean territory[edit]

Why there is not included the British Indian Ocean territory in the list?

Because it has no population. (talk) 21:50, 19 September 2018 (UTC)

UN's Estimate merge[edit]

This article must be merge with the UN's Estimate article, as it basically the same. (talk) 07:06, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

Merged with which article? Can you be a bit more specific, and provide us with a link? Batternut (talk) 09:23, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
The IP means List of countries by population (United Nations). Cobblet (talk) 19:12, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Of course, these articles are not the same. This article is an attempt to list the latest population estimates from any reliable source of "countries" as recognized by Wikipedia; while the other is an attempt to list the UN Statistical Division's latest population estimates of "countries" that the UNSD itself recognizes, as of one normalized date. Cobblet (talk) 19:05, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Functionally they are the same, aren't they? We could easily merge in an extra column or two. Batternut (talk) 23:32, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
No, you couldn't, at least not easily: the two lists do not contain the same entities, and some cases they define the entities differently. For example, this list does not separate France's overseas departments from metropolitan France, but it does contain many of the entities indicated in the notes to the UN list. Cobblet (talk) 03:55, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
Dealing with France, both lists link the same entity (ie France), they just use different criteria for their figures. This list has a footnote explaining the figure - in a combined list that footnote would attach to the figure rather than the country name. Batternut (talk) 10:36, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
For entities that appear on one list only, eg Transnistria, the UN cell can just be left empty. Batternut (talk) 10:36, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
If I am reading you correctly, you are suggesting that we list the UN figure for metropolitan France alongside the INSEE figure for what France considers its integral territory. That is misleading and WP:ORSYNTH even if it is explained with footnotes. Ditto with every other instance where the UN's view political situation is different from Wikipedia's view of the de facto situation. The population change and proportion columns are also going to have to specify whether they refer to the "self-reported" data or the UN data, adding an additional layer of opaqueness and potential confusion. Cobblet (talk) 15:05, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@Cobblet: Both figures are already linked to France, in this article or the other. Noting your synth complaint (below) re this article, how does merging create any extra ORSYNTH? Batternut (talk) 01:09, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
The synthesis has nothing to do with the wikilink – that's a different issue, and feel free to change the link on the UN page to Metropolitan France if it suits you (I've added a footnote). The improper synthesis is in the juxtaposition of figures that refer to two different entities with the implication that they refer to the same entity and are comparable, when they are in fact not. When you put an INSEE population figure for "France" next to a UNSD population figure for "France" you are inviting the reader to make a false comparison. Just because you can explain the difference between France entière and metropolitan France in a footnote does not make it right to juxtapose those figures. Explaining that we're comparing apples to oranges does not make it right to compare apples and oranges. Cobblet (talk) 02:39, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Furthermore, given the pain of integrating the UN table and its templates with this one, I will definitely no longer be updating the UN data (which had not been updated in three years before I decided to take on the task) if this merge is carried out. Are you prepared to do that yourself? Cobblet (talk) 15:05, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
The UN table is linked far less than this one. Merging would raise its visibility and with over double the traffic the interest in keeping it up-to-date would be greater. Batternut (talk) 00:39, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
So would the rate of vandalism. In my experience there is no correlation between data quality and article traffic. But likelihood of data maintenance does correlate with user-friendliness. The difference in data quality between the two current articles is proof enough of that. Merging them makes it inordinately difficult for me to refresh the UN data every year. Cobblet (talk) 02:39, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
More vandalism, you'd be right there. More monitors and cleaners too I'd reckon. Could you explain why maintaining the UN data would be more difficult with other columns in the table? Batternut (talk) 12:02, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Because I generate the UN table by converting an Excel table to wikitext. It becomes a pain to do that if I have to then insert all the other stuff from this table as well, including extra entities not on the UN table, explanatory notes, etc. Cobblet (talk) 17:13, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Oooh, neat! I have toyed with similar ideas myself. Thinks... Batternut (talk) 18:54, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Fundamentally I do not agree that the two lists are "functionally" the same. This one attempts to present each country's own view as to its political definition and demographic trajectory (although its data mixes census results, estimates and projections, and happens to be blatantly made up in some cases). The other is free from issues of poor sourcing, ORSYNTH and lack of date normalization but is limited to giving only the projections of one international organization. I do not see how it helps anyone to mash the two lists together, present different data points with reference dates that differ by as much as six years side by side, and pretend that they are somehow comparable. Cobblet (talk) 15:05, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree that articles like this are problematic, with variable dates and methods. The benefit of having the two side-by-side would be to show the contrast. Currently United Kingdom article says its population is the world's 22nd highest, but the UN reckons 21st. If merged I think the default order should be according to the UN's latest figures. Batternut (talk) 00:39, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Even if your only motivation was to "show the contrast", I'd still ask, "What's the point?" But in fact you want to go further: after showing them the contrast, you want to impose a default on the reader. How is that reconcilable with NPOV? Why do we need to make them accept your interpretation of the data, especially when it is connected to numerous politically sensitive issues? Why not just keep the articles apart, refrain from comparing apples to oranges, and let our readers use their intelligence? Cobblet (talk) 02:39, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
This list is "missing" rank numbers because it is only trying to rank what Wikipedia considers sovereign states. The UNSD does not distinguish between sovereign and non-sovereign entities: to it they are all just statistical entities. Again, there is a reason why the two lists do things differently. Cobblet (talk) 15:05, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Lists are not really commensurable. For one thing, this list contains areas that UN does not recognise and thus give no estimate for. --T*U (talk) 13:13, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
    • In such cases the UN column would be blank. Batternut (talk) 21:25, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. This move will reduce the clutter of the change log and so that we don't have to read the different population numbers in two pages. The Good Guy (talk) 16:53, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
    • I think these two pages constitute a content fork, which the guideline WP:CONTENTFORK recommends avoiding. Batternut (talk) 12:51, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
      • WP:SUBPOV explicitly allows such forks. Cobblet (talk) 03:05, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
        • I think is stretches WP:SUBPOV to apply it to these two articles. We are hardly talking about Evolution versus Creationism. The lead to that guideline, "All POV forks are undesirable on Wikipedia", is more pertinent in this case.
          The statements "The population of France is 67.2 million (INSEE estimate)" and "The population of France is 64,7 million (UN estimate, excludes overseas territories etc)" can coexist in the same article. Batternut (talk) 11:18, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
          • Did I say we were talking about evolution vs. creationism?
Your selective reading of that one sentence of the lead ignores the structure of the entire WP:CFORK guideline, which distinguishes between unacceptable and acceptable types of forking. Yes, WP:POVFORK says POV forks are unacceptable when they are attempts to avoid consensus building between article contributors. However, WP:SUBPOV says that "Different articles can be legitimately created on subjects which themselves represent points of view, as long as the title clearly indicates what its subject is, the point-of-view subject is presented neutrally, and each article cross-references articles on other appropriate points of view." The latter is exactly what the article on UN estimates is. It is not an attempt to subvert a consensus-building process between contributors (e.g. on the one true value of the population of France) but a neutrally presented point of view on a subject which, as you recognized, experts may legitimately have different points of view. Cobblet (talk) 16:22, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I wonder from where comes the datas of the UN? the UN maybe have an official calculation in every country in the world? But how? I never seen that the UN came to Italy to do a poll Door to door as "always" the National Institute of Statistics (Italy) did . there a strong error and confusion here, the UN is making a lot of confusion with its "own" List and will also be confronted with the ufficial statistics of each country (which seems to me more true of those of the UN).LuigiPortaro29 (talk) 14:39, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose, as per Cobblet above. The UN article is a list you can actually use when you need reliable and comparable data. I created it because this article was becoming the mess that it now is, and to avoid an edit-war. Pristino (talk) 03:31, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong support The UN list provides no further information beyond the countries and dependencies list, which is more comprehensive. It is redundant and unnecessary. Reywas92Talk 07:37, 5 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Cobblet and Pristino. VibeScepter (talk) (contributions) 07:02, 11 July 2018 (UTC)
  • BA candidate.svg Weak oppose Yes, they are similar. Yes, they should ideally be in one article. No, they are not the same. And I'm concerned that this article would become too long if merged. — Mr. Guye (talk) (contribs)  21:36, 26 July 2018 (UTC)

  • Support They are not precisely the same, but the differences can be managed. Having two articles on the same topic is unhelpful.----Ehrenkater (talk) 14:00, 31 August 2018 (UTC)


Ultimately it is up to us editors to decide which is best, a single article covering both views, or a forked articles. Examples of articles combining views are List of countries by proven oil reserves and List of countries by military expenditures. I think, when dealing with varying opinions, there is an added value in combining articles - "experts disagree". That added value is the ease with which the reader can compare the views of the experts. Batternut (talk) 11:18, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

I can't reconcile your assertion of "added value" with your earlier comments about merging "an extra column or two". Both lists contain more columns than that. Can you explain precisely what column headings you would include in the merged table? Cobblet (talk) 16:22, 25 February 2018 (UTC)

Pakistan official clock population.[edit]

Editors, please just check the official population clock of Pakistan on the bottom of offical page above:

As you can see the estime of population is 201MI, no 212MI as this article of Wikipedia shows. It’s not acceptable use Wikipedia for political purposes and/or propaganda. I already tried edit the article and fix this error, but always one editor undo. Can you help me? — Preceding unsigned comment added by B777-300ER (talkcontribs) 21:56, 24 July 2018 (UTC)

  • @Mr. Guye: he is right, the population of Pakistan in Wikipedia is wrong - according to offices data it is about 207 million, therefore still less than Brazil and still 6th, not 5th, most populous country. Can you help by editing it? It says we cannot edit this article but must edit the “Pakistan population template”, but I have no idea what it is and how to do it... (talk) 23:57, 28 July 2018 (UTC)

Removal of non-countries[edit]

Per discussion it was "apparently" decided not to include the European Union on the list, even though several people have stated its usefulness in statistics.

If the EU is not to be included on the list because "it is not recognized as a soverign nation" then logically neither shall Hong Kong nor Macau. They are not sovereign nations, but are semi-autonomous regions and part of People's Republic of China. Attempted statements otherwise can be seen as attempted separatist movements, which does not belong on this page. - Foorack (talk) 08:38, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

The EU is a supernational entity which is a conglomerate of sovereign states, while Hong Kong and Macau are semi-autonomous dependencies of a sovereign country, as you mentioned. Therefore they are listed but not numbered. - Eric Car (talk) 21:21, 1 September 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
Why is Taiwan ranked? Kenwick (talk) 13:09, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
Good question. IMHO it shouldn't. --T*U (talk) 13:20, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
Why not? It has been a sovereign country since the end of WWII, even if it is not a member of the UN. OTOH, why is Palestine ranked? This entity was never a sovereign state and is not a member of the UN (its status is "non-member observer"). Eric car (talk) 15:42, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Palestine should be ranked while Taiwan shouldn't. Only the universally recognised UN member states and observers should be ranked. I noticed that Kosovo is not ranked, which is a correct move. We should have some standard criteria for inclusion, otherwise people is going to put in all sorts of controversial entries such as Scotland, Tibet and Sikkim etc. This article needs some serious moderation. Xindeho (talk) 02:04, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Moderation-wise it would be easiest to restrict this list to UN-members only, to prevent addition of controversial and non-sovereign entries. Or make it more useful and include areas which people would find statistical interest in having included. If Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Kosovo are on the list but unranked then EU should also be included unranked. This is not a debate whether EU is sovereign or not (it is not) but for the sake of statistical and informational usefulness. It is not a political statement, it is about the content being useful to the reader. Foorack (talk) 09:31, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
Actually, it would probably be easiest to use the standard stated in the article, which is to say to use ISO 3166-1 and other entities in the List of sovereign states (which have to be included for neutrality).
If we're including entities for "areas which people would find statistical interest in having included", we should also add all the states of the US, the provinces of China, the states of India, the states and territories of Australia, the provinces and territories of Canada, the regions of France, the states of Germany, the autonomous communities of Spain, the countries and (shoot, why not?) counties of the UK. And so on. And on. And on. And then we should also add the historical population of the Soviet Union, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Aztec and Incan civilisations, Aboriginal Australia. And so on.
All stand-alone lists have to have WP:LSC that determine clearly and unambiguously on which entities belong and which do not. This one already has a set of criteria and it should follow them. Kahastok talk 17:30, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
If we use ISO 3166-1 as the standard criteria for inclusion, then Taiwan definitely shouldn't be ranked. According to their list of current codes, Taiwan has been classified as a province of China and not independent. 2001:8003:8608:2200:D515:65A6:1535:44F6 (talk) 08:17, 26 September 2018 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Noramiao: Your edits are problematic and have been reverted:

  • Putting Hong Kong, Puerto Rico etc. into the numbered order, but leaving all the other dependent territories without number, is inconsistent. If you want to change the current numbering system, you should start a discussion in the talk page in order to gain consensus.
  • As described in the introduction to the article, this list uses official population data from each country. Sources like CIA World Factbook (for Slovakia) and BBC (for Abkhazia) should not be used.
  • Your changes of numbers for several countries in the lower part of the list are unexplained and unsourced.
  • Please also use edit summaries to explain your edits, see WP:EDITSUMMARY.

If you want to continue working for your suggested changes, you should use the talk page before trying to re-add them. Please read WP:CONSENSUS, WP:EDITWAR and WP:BRD about how Wikipedia works. Regards! --T*U (talk) 08:39, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

I note that you only reverted to my earlier version.[1] Preoblematic edits occurred before that,[2] so you could feel comfortable reverting much further. --AussieLegend () 10:57, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanx, AussieLegend! Now done. --T*U (talk) 11:38, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

1. T*U, you interrupted the process not just Hong Kong and Puerto Rico, but the rest to be numbered too, if you are not helping at least do not interrupt.

2. You said that CIA and BBC "should not be used". Why not? Why ignore two of the most updated sources ?

3. If you use critical thinking, you would realize the importance to work with the latest data.

4. If you have any decency, while I'm updating the population change, then you would jump and help with the numbering and the sources.

5. You should contribute to update, not to waste time lecturing, when it's beyond obvious that you are wrong.

6. With all due respect, look at the "contribution/consensus rules" first.

Noramiao (talk) 20:08, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

Noramiao: Thank you for coming to the talk page, which is the proper venue for discussing changes and possible improvements to the article. I will try to answer in detail, so this post will be rather long, but I hope you will read it carefully and accept it as written in good faith. After all, I have been around in Wikipedia for a while and have both general experience and specific experience for this article.
  1. You seem to take for granted that you have the right unilaterally to change the numbering system from the current one to a system where all entries are numbered. Actually that was how the list was some years ago, but in November 2015, this was changed (not by me) to the current system, with only sovereign states numbered. No-one objected then, and no-one has challenged it since, so that is the current consensus. This has since also been implemented in the text just above the table: "Note: All dependent territories or constituent countries that are parts of sovereign states are shown in italics and not assigned a numbered rank" (my bolding). Please also note that there are not two, but three different categories of entities presented here: Sovereign states, dependent territories and disputed areas/"states with limited recognition".
    Consensus can change, but no editor has the right to override a consensus singlehanded. A consensus can only be overridden by a new consensus, and that consensus will normally have to be created through a discussion in the article talk page. What you could do, is to make a new section below, where you present your suggestion. That will hopefully bring other editors into the discussion, and eventually, it may (or may not) end up with a new consensus. Then it is time to change the numbering – or not, depending on the result.
    One problem with a discussion like that is that it often takes time, even long time, and it may be difficult to know when the discussion has come to an end. I have experienced this myself, and it is a bit frustrating that nothing seems to happen. I often think it is better to use a "Request for comments", which you can read about at WP:RfC. This is a more formalised discussion, and the good thing is that is usually has a time limit of one month. Then the discussion is concluded, and we know the result.
  2. It has been established from this article was started that its scope is to present the newest official numbers from each separate entity. In the few cases where national census authorities do not provide us with data, we use UN estimates. This has been stated explicitly in the article since 2007, and as far as I have found out, it has never been challenged, so there is no doubt about the consensus here. If you want to try to create a new consensus, you have the same choices as above.
  3. Latest data, yes, but latest official data (until the scope of the article is changed). Please also not that the CIA numbers you have presented, are not from 30 August 2018 (as you claim), but are estimates for July 2017. Most of the official national data for at least the larger countries are newer.
  4. About decency, I pass.
  5. Again pass.
  6. Yes, you should definitely look at the "contribution/consensus rules", which you will find at WP:CONSENSUS.
Regards! --T*U (talk) 19:47, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
I'll add, Noramiao please read WP:Assume good faith. Don't be a condescending arse to someone simply because they reverted your well intentioned contributions. If you're going to be WP:BOLD and make major changes to an article without consulting other editors, that's on you. You are not at all justified in being uncivil to another editor, and it wont help you in the slightest to gain consensus for your proposed change. Rob984 (talk) 19:59, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

1. Common sense and critical thinking are dictating over consensus. The confirmation is that the CIA website as well as the Spanish, French, Russian, etc. versions of the article are the way I said it that it should be here too.

2. I have the right to change it, because the 5th pillar says there are no firm rules, yes someone can change it after me, but I have the right to do exactly what I think it's proper.

3. CIA data might say that it is from July, but the CIA is updated TWICE a month, and it's shown on the top of the the website ( not where you are looking on the side). Which means that that when I changed the date to August, this is because I want everyone to know when was the lastest update for the information, not the latest date for the census.

4. I will repeat myself about two things again. First it's crucial to work with the latest data and second if you are not helping to update at least do not interrupt. Updating is a longer process. You can not update everything with one edit. You should look what hasn't been updated and simply update what's not updated instead being rude and instead of interrupting.

5. I was never uncivil, anyone implying the opposite is not a clever person.

6. Worldometers is using data directly from the UN. Projections are not relevant. Its crucial to work with the latest data, not just for this article but in general.

7. You said you'll pass. Then pass and don't interefere for no reason by interrupting. If I completed what I was doing, everything would look more simplyfied, pleasant, reliable and making more sense. Everything is numbered and you said it was numbered by 2015, it should be numbered even now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Noramiao (talkcontribs) 15:54, 3 September 2018 (UTC)

Noramiao: It may not be much point asking you again to learn how to use indentation in talk page discussions, but I will make a last try: Please read the help page section WP:THREAD. In the guideline WP:TPG it is stated in the section "Ignoring comments": "Persistently formatting your comments on a talk page in a non-compliant manner, after friendly notification by other editors, is a mild form of disruption. After you have been alerted to specific aspects of these guidelines (such as indentation, sectioning, and signatures), you are expected to make a reasonable effort to follow those conventions. Other editors may simply ignore additional posts that flagrantly disregard the talk page formatting standards."
Regarding your last posting here above, your comment Common sense and critical thinking are dictating over consensus indicates that you do not understand how Wikipedia works. The Wikipedia policy WP:CONSENSUS states that "Decisions on Wikipedia are primarily made by consensus, which is accepted as the best method to achieve Wikipedia's goals—i.e., to achieve the five pillars. Consensus on Wikipedia does not mean unanimity (which is ideal but not always achievable) nor is the result of a vote. Decision-making and reaching consensus involve an effort to incorporate all editors' legitimate concerns, while respecting Wikipedia's policies and guidelines." Your personal interpretation of "common sense" and "critical thinking" can never "dictate" a presentation unless there is a consensus with other editors.
Your other comment I have the right to change it, because the 5th pillar says there are no firm rules also shows that you have not understood what the 5th pillar is about. When it says "Wikipedia has policies and guidelines, but they are not carved in stone; their content and interpretation can evolve over time", it means that policies and guidelines may change over time. It does not give anyone carte blanche for breaking the policies and guidelines. In a certain sense you "have the right to change it", since in principle everyone has the "right" to edit Wikipedia. But if you consistently and repeatedly ignore the rules of Wikipedia with your edits, this "right" may be taken away from you for a shorter or longer period.
Your best chance of having a future in Wikipedia is to learn how Wikipedia works by studying relevant policies and guidelines, especially those you are pointed to by experienced editors. If you continue to make your own rules, you will end up being blocked again. Your choice! --T*U (talk) 09:13, 6 September 2018 (UTC)


The link for India goes to worldpopulationclock, which is a source that should not be used in this article per section "Method". Taking a closer look, the data in the table do not conform to that site, so that is OK if we remove the link. But where do the numbers from? The description in the template {{Data India}} confirms that the popclock numbers in the template are not based on any official population clock. According to the methodology of this article, we should probably not use the Data India numbers at all, and it should certainly not be sourced as an "Official population clock". I have not even been able to find any official national estimates or projections, but they may of course exist – somewhere. If not, we should probably use UN numbers for India. Pinging regular contributors Eric car, AussieLegend, Sokndal, MIHAIL for input. --T*U (talk) 10:14, 10 September 2018 (UTC)


Wikiperuvian: Your change of the entry for Peru does superficially look like giving a newer estimate, but it is not. The census from October 2017 is (obviously) from 2017. The estimate for 2018 is from the publication Perú: Estimaciones y Proyecciones de Población Total, por Años Calendario y Edades Simples, 1950-2050, dated "Lima, setiembre 2009". Even if it is an estimate for the year 2018, the estimate itself is nine years old and is based on the census of 2007. I am not certain that this fills the criterium "the most up to date estimate or projections". The census number 31,237,385 is significantly lower than the Estimaciones number for 2017 (31,826,018) and even lower than the 2016 number (31,488,625). Also, the INEI website presents the projection numbers from the Estimaciones in a graphic presentation called "Población Proyectada", but they only give the numbers up to 2017. My suggestion is that we use the 2017 census result (which, after all, is fairly new) until the INEI comes up with new projections/estimates based on this newest census.

Just a small detail: The graphic presentation in the INEI website states that the numbers are "Estimación oficial de la población, al 30 de junio de cada año", so they are midyear projections, which is the most common way of giving yearly estimates. For now, I will correct the date, but am hoping you will agree to changing back to the census. --T*U (talk) 07:19, 20 September 2018 (UTC)