Talk:List of countries and territories by population density

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The title is misleading[edit]

The first line of the article calls this "List of countries and dependencies by population density." Why doesn't the title reflect that? All it says currently is "List of countries by population density." Why should China be marked 75 if, for example, Macau and Hong Kong, both undisputed parts of the PRC, are listed before it? It is also misleading because a smaller dependent region is more likely to have a high population density simply because it is smaller. If you ask me, there should be a separate list with just proper countries. --Catch153 (talk) 02:04, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I moved the page and thereby changed its title. Finally people will not be confused about why so many non-country entities are listed here. --Catch153 (talk) 00:45, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

hong kong and macau are part of china but they have not been annexed.they are territorys. china said at the turn of the millenia 10 years ago that they would keep these as territories for 50 years before annexing and incorperating them into the surounding province there in. they are city states. there once were other places in china that had S.A.R. status and have been incorporated like russia's port aurthur which is now the cities Lushun and dalian also shandong penninsula was reincorperated into shandong province it was a colony of two countries the UK and germany. so if history is a guide i dont see why in the future say 40 years from now hongkong and macao wont cease to be territories anymore. but for now they are so lets leave it at that. these places have the smae status as say puerto rico to the usa or other places to other countries just territories as for propercountries that list is not for certain either theres small cities states that have independence and are not countries. my definition of a proper country is a place big enough to not just have a central city but also rural area's and forest preserves. (talk) 19:23, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

"my definition of a proper country is a place big enough to not just have a central city but also rural area's and forest preserves." Self-sufficiency or at least the prospect of self-sufficiency is probably the most important element of sovereignty. In my opinion, many of these city-states should be completely removed since they wouldn't last a month if hit with a proper embargo. Disney World is more sovereign than most of these places. Benjamindees (talk) 21:50, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Baffin Island?[edit]

Sure, its a PART of one of Canada's Territories.. What about the whole territory of Nunavut that it a part of? That might be legitimate but shouldn't that territory then be removed from Canada's totals? and then likely Canada's other territories, N.W.Territory, and Yukon should be separated from the national calc?.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:22, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

i agree if you can find a valid source or refernence on the web to say exact mileage of whats uninhabited then Canada can have another entry on this list. but only if exscluding the uninhabited area makes any big diffrence to the actual figure. from what i understand the most northern major settlement region on the earth is North west region of russia about 13 million people.. but as far as i know if even a small number of people live in the most thinly populatated place then it is populated to a exstent. for all intents and purposes the 3 northern territorys of canada are basically uninhabited. but if you can track down a source for that number in miles or kilometers then your on to something. but i just even bother with it but thats me. (talk) 04:20, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Baffin Island is clearly inhabited, 11,000 people live there according to the wikipedia entry, there are also settlements like Grise Fjord and research stations like Alert, that are very far north. I don't think we can cutout bit with no people - the point of population density is the spread of people over territory, assuming that with low population gaps the spaces between the people are bigger. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:08, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

I did reseacrh on the areas north of Baffin theres a large region called Ellesmere Land and only has 3 place names. its not inhibited its temporary habitation theres a diffrence. this is a reason ANTARTICA IS excluded in the world total. its not permanent pop. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:39, 25 December 2012 (UTC)


The intro states: "The list includes sovereign states and self-governing dependent territories that are recognized by the United Nations. The list also includes but does not rank unrecognized but de facto independent countries." Despite this, the list includes and ranks the unrecognized Republic of Abkhazia. Not sure that it should be included (or at least not ranked). To remedy ambiguities like this (e.g., Taiwan, below), I would support using only some sort of "official" list like ISO 3166-1 mentioned below. QVanillaQ (talk) 14:01, 22 February 2008 (UTC) See the discussion on "Country Clauses" below as inclusion Abkhazia leads to double counting in total area — Preceding unsigned comment added by DenysNizalov (talkcontribs) 12:41, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

ISO 3166-1 Code[edit]

It is said earlier in the talk article about St.Pierre and Miquelon that the basis for this list are the countries which have an ISO 3166 code. More correct would be: An ISO 3166-1 code. This is perhaps the most 'official' list of entities which should be called countries. This list today includes 244 countries. (Note: The list includes several non-independent entities as well as all independent states). If possible, I think this list (and others) should include these 244 countries and also rank them. Additional entities might be unranked. See: Antipoeten 22:09, 30 September 2007 (UTC)


Why is Taiwan listed as a country? (It is not that I am in favor or opposed to it being list I would just like to understand the criteria because it is my belief that under the criteria listed in the article it is not supposed to be listed.) Chico 00:16, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Taiwan has a government of its own which, although not recognized by the Chinese government, is largely left un-meddled with, and it sends its own set of athletes to the Olympic Games as "Chinese Taipei". Ergo, it is most likely listed as "de facto independent", although since (Republic of China) is next to it, the list also recognizes China's claims to sovereignty over it, in accordance with WP:NPOV. PsyMar (talk) 00:54, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

calling it republic of china is not reconizing mainland china sovereignity over it. in fact its simply reconizing that there once was a mainland of china government that was more demo-cratic and at one point the this government fled to taiwan and continues to exsit today. by calling it republic of china all that does is reconize that it once was part of china in recent history and i concider 1949 recent history that was only 2 generations back. most people would consider such a short time recent history. but keep in mind if we travel back to non recent history we can see a china in the 1700's that included the amur territory in russia which included the city of vladivostock. but the idea of china trying to claim territorys that it no longer posseses is what leads to conflicts like weather or not taiwan (republic of chin) is or actualy is not part of mainland china and also the 1969 border war with russia over the amur territory in which few lives were lost. had a facist government came to power in china then a full blown war with russia and taiwan would have come about but fortunatly mainland china has been relativly peaceful in its out cry to get back former territorys. (talk) 04:33, 27 December 2010 (UTC)


perhaps if someone would put in square miles and people/mi2 that would be nice for us non-metric americans Soyseñorsnibbles (talk) 02:24, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Preferrably, you should convert to the metrical system and thus join civilization.
Jens Persson ( 23:45, 30 November 2007 (UTC))

If you are a product of civilization, it is in dire need of repairs. Al Cook — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:15, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm a young British male, which means I'm comfortable with both systems, but prefer km as a matter of principle. But if you want miles, maybe you could add the extra column. To convert km to miles, multiply by 1.6. So to convert km2 to miles2, multiply by 1.62 = 2.56. Easy, if a little tedious. Briefplan (talk) 16:33, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Oops, that should be divide, not multiply. Briefplan (talk) 16:36, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
But population density in square miles is more than square kilometres, since 1 mi2 is larger than 1 km2. So it isn't wrong to multiply population density in km2 by 2.59 to convert into mi2. Adding another column for mi2 is quite redundant because converting between units is simple. I mean, it doesn't affect the ranking anyway. So why add it? Hytar (talk) 20:06, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
The "easy" way to do this would be to exploit {{convert}}, as it has conversions for both area and population density, but this list is a sortable table, so the existing disp=table will be insufficient. I'll see if I can knock together enough of an extension to {{convert}} to meet both requirements in one, possibly by adding a disp=nstable option to the template. That way we'll also get the chance to have right-adjusted columns (if that's what's wanted). —ClickRick (talk) 13:21, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
FWIW, List of countries and outlying territories by total area, which remains sortable with the |disp=table bit. I don't know if this will still work with density, but it did work with area. Pfainuk talk 17:05, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, well, I was sure there was something about sortable tables going "odd" and needing special work in numeric fields, but it seems fine. The numbers are all right-adjusted, too, which I personally think is a good thing. The only downside is that the world figures have lost their bold marking. If that's considered important I'm sure we can find a way around it.
ClickRick (talk) 18:56, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Why is the density in square kilometers smaller that in square miles? That can't be right! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

This is indeed obviously wrong and it's embarrassing that it must have been like this for years. The km^2 was multiplied by 2.59 instead of divided. I had a look at the table code but couldn't figure out where this is done. Please fix! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:43, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

Area per person[edit]

Can a column showing average area per person be added? That makes it easier to appreciate how crowded a country is. Monaco, e.g., has about 40 sq meters per person (or, on average they stand about 6m apart). (talk) 00:05, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

population density on field[edit]

It should be added the population on field not whole national Area, likewise we donot need desert or lake, mountains where people donot live. In which list we may know which counties are busy and therefore people can estimate the speed of epidemic disease and economy —Preceding unsigned comment added by Neoper (talkcontribs) 14:46, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

i completely Agree we should try exsclude uninhabeted places or regions for instance when calculating Greenland density i noticed there was a hugh sub national region with zero permanent inhabitants called Green land national park and it has a area of 972,000 km2 (375,000 sq mi). if this region is exsclued from greenland then greenlands true population density is calculated at 0.122 people per mile. which means if you exsclude this region then greenlands population density doubbles. and if all uninhabetd places on the earth are exscluded from totals im certain that population density is much higher than we all think instead of the 132 people per mile qouted here. (talk) 15:11, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Monaco data[edit]

How come the data for Monaco are completely different from the Monaco article? Aside from the area difference, the Monaco article states that the population is 32,671 (2007 estimate), but in this article, the estimate for July 2005 is 35,253, which is even larger than the 2007 estimate. There must be something wrong here.-- (talk) 00:31, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

actually its not wrong the population of micro states usally does show declines in select periods. if the population declines then that means density of poulation would also decline. even urban places that are not independent staes can also decline if economic factors interfere with the economy of the city in general take for instance a large city in the us like cleveland or detroit. its strange to see places declining in population when the earths population continues to grow exsponetially over just a few decades. (talk) 15:20, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Unranking non-sovereign entities[edit]

Wikipedia lists of countries articles don't usually rank non-sovereign entities. Is it ok if I redo the rankings to only rank sovereign entities? If I get no reply I will be bold. ☆ CieloEstrellado 15:26, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

If the non-sovereign countries figures are already included as part of another (sovereign) country, then do not rank them. If they are not included, then they should be ranked and listed separately. For example, does the Denmark figure include Greenland? If it does, don't rank Greenland. If it doesn't, then Greenland should be ranked separately. --Polaron | Talk 01:06, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
But shouldn't we just follow the List of Countries? Also, it seems very strange to just throw together the Denmark and Greenland figures, as they are so different places, population density wise. sephia karta 13:41, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Isle fo Man[edit]

Its not in the UK. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:04, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

The Isle of Man is not in the UK, but it is administrated under the UK Crown. If it were in the UK, it would not be listed at all. PsyMar (talk) 00:59, 7 August 2008 (UTC)


Transnistria is oficially part of moldavia. So it should not be ranked. I don't know whether moldavian numbers include transnistria. But, as the density is compareable to moldova and it's territory is adjacent to the rest of moldova there is no difference like in the case of denmark/greenland. -- (talk) 08:51, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Transnistria is officially an autonomous and de facto independent territory of Moldova, and therefore shares the same status as Hong Kong and Macau. PsyMar (talk) 01:01, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm no expert, but it appears to me that Transnistria does not share the same status as Hong Kong and Macau. Transnistrian independence is self-proclaimed and is not recognized by the government of Moldova, which government considers the current Transnistria-based government to be illegitimate and not the rightful representative of the region's population (so says the Disputed status of Transnistria article). In contrast, the governments of the PRC, of Hong Kong, and of Macau all agree on the status of those SARs.
Also, I note that Transnistria is not listed in the document cited as the supporting source for information in the table, while Hong Kong and Macau are listed (though the information presented in the table for those entries does not agree with the information in the cited supporting source). -- Boracay Bill (talk) 02:27, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

n. 1[edit]

So... who's got the number 1 place? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:32, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Turns out it was Macau. I guess there was controversy here. Has this discussion taken place? Currently every page that references this table (eg. the country's pages) reports a possibly inaccurate rank. LightYear (talk) 15:52, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Regarding "who's got the number 1 place?", some other List of articles (e.g., List of countries and outlying territories by total area, List of countries by population, List of countries by military expenditures) don't rank entries which aggregate values. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 23:24, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

What is the population density of England?[edit]

I think it's somewhere around 322. Any other offers? Ch3apsid3 (talk) 13:09, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Census 2001 put the population at 49,138,831.
National population projections (PDF) from the Office for National Statistics (archived copy) estimated the 2006 figure as 50.714 million (table 1.2, page 2)
The WP England article puts the area at 130,395 km², but does not cite a supporting source for that.
Encara puts the area at 130,410 sq km
Looks like somewhere around 375-390 persons/km², depending on the year of the population figure used. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 01:31, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

The 2011 cencus is showing 402.1 p/sqkm. Puts us just below Rwanda. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:59, 31 December 2013 (UTC)


So does anyone have the technical know-how (& permission) to insert England, & the Cross of St George, between Martinique and the Netherlands? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:33, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

It's not about permission but the fact that, although England is a country, it is a constituent member of a larger - and more importantly - officially recognized state. As such, it doesn't make any sense adding England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland to this list. Dan Atkinson (talk) 18:01, 28 October 2015 (UTC)It may be logical not to include England and the other countries that make up the UK but the result is misleading. England is second in Europe to The Netherlands [1] It would seem that on the list here on Wikipediathe UK is 51 and that data could be used to support an argument that the UK has more room to accommodate migrants than other European countries. GGeoff (talk) 15:27, 11 April 2016 (UTC)


The current rank is based on a population of 74m which is a 1996 consensus. Current population estimate is over 81m. Estr4ng3d (talk) 12:43, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

I just edited this. Summary: Reverted figures to 2005 data from the supporting source, as cited in the table footnote. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 12:58, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Macau and Hong Kong[edit]

Macau and Hong Kong are part of China they were returned to China after 99 years from Portugal and the UK respectively. They therefore whould not be included as separated states. It is a bit like making Scotland out on its own when it is part of the UK. Therfore Monaco should be first and Singapore second and Gibraltar thrid. mspence835 thankyou for taking my point into perspective. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mspence835 (talkcontribs) 20:24, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

No they should not be listed with China's calculation. International organization, including the U.N. regard them as different political entities, though under the sovereignty, not governance, of PRC. For example the IMF publishes it's statistics as all sovereign nations plus HKSAR. You can't compare Scotland to Hong Kong, does Scotland have it's own passport and immigration jurisdiction? Does Scotland maintain its own currency? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:35, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

You are right. Hong Kong and Macau are special adminastrative regions of the People's Republic of China, meaning they have more independence from the Chinese government than the other provinces. They are considered dependent territories of China. Therefore, I think they should be included in the list. (talk) 21:45, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Hello. If Macau and Hong Kong are not listed, so shouldn't Gibraltar, Bermuda, etc. The article should either list Sovereign States only or either include dependent territories or SAR such as Hong Kong and Macau, etc. Luis wiki (talk) 18:47, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I am currently trying to figure out a way to add Macau and Hong Kong back to the list without having to modify the numbers of all the other countries by hand. Macau's article talks a lot about how Macau is the most densely populated place in the world. Macau is a dependency of China. It needs to be on the list and so does Hong Kong (which should be #3). But if I do them by hand, I have to edit the numbers of all the other countries and dependencies, which would be tedious. I have asked on help if there is an easier way. If not, and if I have time, I'll bite the bullet and do it. Or if someone is willing to do it, they should. Hong Kong links to this list in its opening paragraph; it will bewilder someone for them to click on the link and then discover that Hong Kong is not on the list. joye (talk) 17:40, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

I'll add this here (having also responded at my talk page). When I've made changes to the list, I've done them by hand. These two aren't sovereign states or dependent territories, so adding them will mean the inclusion criteria at the top need changing. That shouldn't be a big deal - we have previously come to a consensus whereby all permanently inhabited entries on ISO 3166-1 plus unrecognised states would be included (it just never got properly implemented). This standard would include Hong Kong and Macao on the list, and I would support the change. If you want to re-add HK and Macao, it would save some work if you also added:
and reworded the lead to reflect these new criteria. Thanks, Pfainuk talk 17:03, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
As far as I know the BIOT is not permanently inhabited by civilians. Umofomo 22:26, 3 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Umofomo (talkcontribs)
OK - but that doesn't mean that including HK and Macao doesn't mean we also need to include the rest and change the inclusion criteria. Pfainuk talk 17:13, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
That depends on how these territories are 'integral' to the sovereign states. And I'd doubt if there is a general rule of thumb. The tradition within the Commonwealth is to define all dependent territories as not part of the sovereign state itself. Americans have a similar yet not quite identical concept of incorporated and unincorporated territories. Yet this is not the case for other sovereign powers such as Denmark, Finland, France, and the Netherlands. Umofomo (talk) 23:51, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Hence the use of an independent standard, such as using those inhabited entities listed on ISO 3166-1, as I suggest. The inclusion criteria, as I note, would then be changed to reflect that standard. Pfainuk talk 16:42, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Right. But then minor islands on that list which are not permanently inhabited by civilians should be excluded. And I don't think French overseas régions and Jan Mayen should be listed. They are integral part of France and Norway, respectively. Umofomo (talk) 21:06, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
And Macao and Hong Kong are integral parts of China. Your point? Pfainuk talk 22:03, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Are they? (Btw, did you notice Talk:List_of_countries_by_population#China_2?) Umofomo (talk) 01:24, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Hong Kong is a local administrative region of the PRC. It has a high degree of autonomy, sure, but it's still an integral part of the PRC. Why, are you saying that Hong Kong isn't part of China? Pfainuk talk 09:19, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
And so? Different terminologies are used for different cases. You can't decide which is integral and which isn't merely by reading superficially, without looking at the real substance. Umofomo (talk) 06:29, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
You're arguing that Hong Kong and Macao are not part of the PRC? Pfainuk talk 08:54, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
They definitely are defined to be 'inalienable parts' of the People's Republic. But then Greenland and the Faroe Islands are part of Denmark too by definition. We therefore have to look beyond all these different terminologies across different sovereign powers, and look into the real substance to decide how 'integral' a territory is to its sovereign power. As a matter of fact Hong Kong and Macau are practically not that 'integral' (or perhaps 'integrated' is a better word) comparing with those that are defined not to be part of the sovereign powers behind them. Umofomo (talk) 22:55, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Umofomo, I disagree with your "Right. But then ..." assertion. If it were my choice, I would go with the standard. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 12:52, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
First, this is a list for population density. If we count only permanent settled people, all those islands would simply got a 0. Second, and more importantly, uninhabited dependent territories are not normally considered countries. Umofomo (talk) 17:45, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
The word "countries" is irrelevant. As I've said repeatedly on the other talk page, this is only a list of countries inasmuch as the word "country" means the same thing as the inclusion criteria listed at the top of the article. This is because there is no universally (or even widely) accepted definition as to what constitutes a "country". I have noted this in more detail here. It makes perfect sense for a list based on population density not to include uninhabited territories, and that's why it doesn't (and never has). The inclusion criteria could mention this explicitly, mind. Pfainuk talk 18:25, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

The population density calculations for these countries and other high-density countries are wrong. Someone correct it.

I don't see it.
  • Macau is calculated as: {{convert|{{#expr: 541200 / 29.2 round 3}}|/km2|3|disp=table}}
  • HK is calculated as {{convert|{{#expr: 4987600 / 710.2 round 3}}|/km2|3|disp=table}}
For some others, calculations may not be done because the note below the table re sourcing of density figures applies (that source does not cover either Macau nor HK). Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 01:02, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Ranking update?[edit]

Since this list came from a certain source, the ranking was frozen in time. It doesn't update according to user's change to the density values, since it is hard-coded into the table itself. Initially I was raring to change the rankings, because it is rather inaccurate for people to rely on. But then I thought, the ranking is for that point in time (2005). If others want the "updated" ranking, they can sort the density column and count until the country they want to find out. "Updated" isn't quite the right word, since the figures are not synchronised to the same point in time.

So, to update or not to update? Hytar (talk) 20:54, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Netherlands and Lebanon mixed up?[edit]

I think Lebanon and The Netherlans are mixed up. What is the correct number for both countries, and what place should they be at? --Robster1983 (talk) 12:12, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes on those figures on the list it is the wrong way around and i think there are a couple of other mix ups like that, and also the EU is ranked when all other lists dont rank such entities as mentioned above.

According to CIA world fact book...

Lebanon total: 10,400 sq km land: 10,230 sq km Population: 3,971,941 (July 2008)

Netherlands total: 41,526 sq km land: 33,883 sq km Populaton: 16,645,313 (July 2008)

If this list is meant to be population divided by total area (which i believe it is as the figures are the closest) then

Lebanon : 382 Netherlands : 400

If the list is meant to be just about land area (which would be far more informative and useful) then..

Lebanon : 388 Netherlands : 491

So either way the netherlands should be above lebanon in the list yes. I have switched them round with the original figures and fixed a few similiar problems. This list needs alot of updating and fixing :\ BritishWatcher (talk) 13:44, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

According to the source cited by the table footnote, the figures should be
  • Lebanon population: 4,011 thousand; density: 386/km2
  • Netherlands population: 16,328 thousand; density: 393/km2
The Netherlands data in the article does not come from the source cited in the table footnote. There is a link to an alternative source for the Netherlands figures (I have no idea why the case of the Netherlands requires an alternative source, making it impossible to compare with the other table entries on an apples-to-apples basis). The link given in the article for the source of alternative data for the Netherlands is broken. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:13, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
It seems strange that there are many different sources on this page for different countries on the list. I can understand population updates coming in at different times from different places but the land area should always be the same and by the same source really. Seems strange that the land area doesnt always match up with what is said on the CIA world fact book for some entries, like Lebanon BritishWatcher (talk) 01:17, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
It seems strange to me as well. Browsing the article history, I see that some early versions (e.g., [1])were based on CIA factbook data, some (e.g., [2])were based on other WP list articles. this edit changed the table footnote to cite the source currently cited. That source is a 2004 UN report which gives figures for population and for population density, but which does not give figures for area. Area figures for table entries which use this source are presumably calculated from the figures which are given for population and density. Such a calculation probably gives a result which differs from the area figure given by other available sources (e.g., the CIA world factbook). Population density figures given by (or calculated from area and population figures given by) such other sources probably differ from from figures given by the UN source cited in the table footnote.
This article is on my watchlist, but I don't watch it closely. Most of my edits have been to revert unsupported changes back to the figures from the source cited in the table footnote. I don't know whether the CIA factbook or the currently-cited source would be "better"—arguments could probably be made both ways. My opinion is that using a hodgepodge of sources is confusing, and may be WP:SYNTH. I don't have an opinion about which source should be used, but my experience as a WP editor tells me that there is a strong tendency for entropy to increase over time in WP list of ... articles. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 20:50, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

United Kingdom and constituent countries[edit]

I think it would be interesting to include England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in this list much as the European Union has been included. Particularly this is true because Scotland and England have such massively different population densities. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gavinayling (talkcontribs) 17:13, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

The EU shouldn't have been in the list, the UK countries shouldn't go in either. The problem is where it ends - we could easily end up with dozens of other entries and we'd end up with a list that's so long that it's unworkable. The list should stick to sovereign states and dependent territories. Pfainuk talk 17:28, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Hmm - not sure it's as simple as that. The definition of a dependent territory for the French is not what we would expect: French Guiana is legally a component of Metropolitan France - an overseas department that sends representatives to the National Assembly. As such it has a remarkably similar relationship to France as Northern Ireland does to the UK except the sea distance is greater; yet it's in the list. Given the size and significance of the countries of the UK, it would appear more logical to include them than exclude French Guiana - as you now should do! Ender's Shadow Snr (talk) 12:43, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Back in 2009 when I wrote that, French Guiana was not (or at least should not have been) on the list. The inclusion criterion has since been changed to include all entities on ISO 3166-1. Given as Northern Ireland is not listed on that standard, it should not be included on this list. Pfainuk talk 16:50, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Yup - makes sense to submit to an external authority on this one - though I think the point remains valid! Thanks for a very fair answer. Ender's Shadow Snr (talk) 10:27, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

New Discussion[edit]

A discussion has been started at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries/Lists of countries which could affect the inclusion criteria and title of this and other lists of countries. Editors are invited to participate. Pfainuk talk 11:10, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

European Union[edit]

I object to Lear's edit moving the EU to the top of this list, because I see no reason why readers should have to wade through an apparently limitless list of entities that fail the inclusion criteria for the list before being allowed to proceed to the list proper. I think the EU, if included, should be placed below the list. Pfainuk talk 12:28, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

It is also clear that the EU, Hong Kong and Macao do not meet the inclusion criteria for this list. I've asked repeatedly for a cite (from an EU treaty) that the EU is a sovereign state or dependent territory. Without such cite, the EU cannot go in this list. Hong Kong and Macao, also, are not sovereign states or dependent territories. There may be a few more states in the list that fail the inclusion criteria. If so, please remove them rather than adding more. Pfainuk talk 22:11, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Funny how people are still reverting this, yet none of them have actually felt the need to comment here on talk. They appear to be saying either that the EU belongs on the list, or that a disputed consensus position reached on another list automatically applies here. The first position is untenable because the EU fails the stated inclusion criteria. It is both potentially POV and inaccurate in that it implies that the EU is a sovereign state. The second position relies on a "compromise position" that has never existed on this article. There was a discussion that tried to get a common position, but - despite Lear's claims to the contrary - no consensus was reached.
As I have said in similar discussions elsewhere, if a cite can be given from a reliable source such as an EU treaty that states that the EU is a single sovereign state, of course it should go in (and the member states should be removed). But unless such a source is forthcoming, it cannot go on the list - any more than any of the other states that fail the inclusion criteria can. The fact that a user used the EU to argue for inclusion of UK countries above demonstrates the point that if we allow one entity that fails the inclusion criteria, people are likely to argue for others - be they supernational or subnational - on the same basis.
Now, I'm willing to discuss the issue, just as I am elsewhere. Those who disagree with me don't appear to be willing to do so. Pfainuk talk 18:48, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

There are several other disputed entries in the list like Northern Cyprus, Falklands Islands and many more. Because of consistency among other important lists and because of the high relevance the EU needs to kept as an unranked entry. @Pfainuk: It is not necessary to repeat the rationale as it has been done in List of countries and outlying territories by total area. Lear 21 (talk) 00:18, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

The EU is not an unranked entry on the other lists, and it fails the inclusion criteria. Note that just 9 days ago and two sections above this one, User:Gavinayling argued that the countries of the UK should be included on the basis that the EU was included. The countries of the UK fail the inclusion criteria, but if there is precedent - if there are other entities on the list that fail the inclusion criteria - then this argument is not very convincing unless we are willing to remove the other entities that fail the inclusion criteria. This is not a theoretical point: the list is a list of sovereign states and dependent territories. Not a list of sovereign states, dependent territories and other entities that people happen to like. I note that the EU does not have disputed status in the sense that Northern Cyprus and the Falklands do. No government on the planet - including the EU itself - considers the EU to be a sovereign state.
At Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries/Lists of countries (a page that I canvassed here in the discussion just above this one) we came to a rough consensus that, except in special circumstances (including lists that are based on a single external source, which is most of them), we should use ISO 3166-1 as the basis for inclusion criteria on ranked lists of countries, but we should also include states that claim independence but that have limited recognition - Abkhazia, Northern Cyprus, Kosovo and so on (this to avoid passing off UN-POV as NPOV). Once we're done with this discussion, I intend to go through this list to ensure that it meets this standard. You are, of course, quite welcome to question the inclusion of any entity. Pfainuk talk 01:05, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Agreed, this dispute has been going on for weeks and i have still yet to hear and explanation as to WHY the European Union is of "high relevance" and requires to be included on country lists, when its not a country, its not a sovereign state and its not a dependency / territory. If the EU gets included in the list then actual entities which are CALLED countries will be more justified to be included. BritishWatcher (talk) 09:33, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

@ All and specifically BW: The EU is represented at G8 summits at the UN, represents all its members at the WTO, has a single currency for 2 third of its population and is recognized by international statistical institutions like the CIA and the IMF. That is meant by RELEVANCE. I´m not expecting that BW or others understand that, because these arguments have been repeated by the factor of 100. What can be expected is that the logic of this relevance and its following inclusion of the EU as an entry in Wikipedia lists is justified and represents a compromise which is backed by several editors over the last 2 years. Lear 21 (talk) 20:03, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

This is not a list of entities represented at the G8, or at the UN, or in the WTO. It is not based on the CIA, nor on the IMF. This is not what is meant by RELEVANCE, or indeed relevance. In fact, these criteria are irrelevant to this list. In any case, I think the IMF and CIA will be quite surprised when they discover that they are statistical institutions, never mind what the CIA will think when they find out that they are not an arm of the US government but an international institution.
This is a list of sovereign states and dependent territories. Those criteria - the inclusion criteria - are the only criteria that are relevant. Inclusion within lists can only be justified by the inclusion criteria and, unless you can actually demonstrate that the EU is a sovereign state, the inclusion of the EU within this list is not justified by the inclusion criteria. Therefore, the EU cannot be included in the list. Simple. Pfainuk talk 20:29, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

The EU is a sovereign state in many respects. It can be considered more sovereign than probably half of the entries here. @Pfainuk: You start getting funny when arguing that this list (a web 2.0 encyclopedia) is more authoritive than the UN, the G8 and others. Here is my comment: HaHa! Lear 21 (talk) 21:51, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

You miss my point. The fact of representation at the UN is irrelevant unless that is an inclusion criterion for this list. The fact of representation at the G8 is irrelevant unless that is an inclusion criterion for this list. Neither is. This is not a list of entities represented at the G8 (if it was, it would be very short) and it is not a list of entities represented at the UN. It is not that this list is more authoriative, it is that this list has an entirely different purpose.
You might consider the EU to be more sovereign that many countries on this list, but that is irrelevant and POV. The fact remains that no authority including the EU itself considers the EU to be a sovereign state or dependent territory. That's a lower standard than our inclusion criteria is, and the EU fails even that. It cannot go on this list because it is not a sovereign state or depedent territory. Pfainuk talk 22:12, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Add a bit, you say in an edit summary: "several others on the list can be questioned as well". So question them then. If you object to entities being included - if you feel they fail the inclusion criteria - then object to them. Don't add more entities that fail the inclusion criteria - we're trying to make the list better here and adding whatever users happen to fancy makes it worse. Pfainuk talk 22:25, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

People appear to have given up discussing here and are just edit warring. I want to be clear - I am perfectly willing to discuss this. Nothing has changed in the last week that means that the EU has become a sovereign state or dependent territory. Because the EU does not meet the inclusion criteria for this list it cannot be included on the list. Pfainuk talk 10:05, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Western Sahara Case[edit]

There is no official flag associated to the Western sahara region. The flag put in front of Western Sahara is the one of the SADR and the Polisario Front.--Moroccansahraoui (talk) 17:28, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

It appears to be an attempt to be NPOV by being simulatanously accepting both POVs. It would be better off accepting neither. It uses the SADR flag for all of Western Sahara, which accepts the SADR POV, but then says that Western Sahara is Moroccan, which accepts the Moroccan POV. Since the entry seems to deal with the entire territory of Western Sahara - both Moroccan-held and SADR-held - I've removed both the flag and the country designation. Pfainuk talk 21:02, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
In my opinion it would be best to only consider de SADR-controlled part (with the flag), because the rest is effectively part of Marocco. The population density figure for the SADR would be the population density of the SADR-controlled part, the population density figure for Marocco would be the average density of canonical Marocco + Maroccan-controlled Western Sahara. sephia karta | di mi 18:06, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
It's an awkward situation. Drawing the border at the berm, while de facto accurate, is likely to draw strong objection from both sides. Statistics for population and area are likely to be hard to come by, and are likely to be fairly imprecise. Notably, we need to ensure that any SADR figure excludes the majority of SADR citizens, who do not live in the part of Western Sahara controlled by the SADR (most live in refugee camps under de facto SADR control in Algeria).

FWIW we have issues with other unrecognised states (which, for the benefit of those unaware, are sovereign states without general recognition). The figure for Serbia excludes Kosovo, while that for Georgia includes Abkhazia and South Ossetia, for example. We also rank them all while saying at the top that they should be left unranked. I must admit, I don't the solution we use here is entirely neutral.
FWIW Western Sahara - presumably the territory (which is recognised as a non-self governing territory with no administering power by the UN) - is listed on ISO 3166-1. Pfainuk talk 19:05, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I noticed that here ISO 3166-1 'interferes' with the situation on the ground. Note that we have referenced estimates for the population and size figures of the two parts of Western Sahara. The issue with Serbia/Kosovo, Georgia/Abkhazia/South Ossetia, is similar, and I think we have two options: leave things as they are, which is inconsistent but may prevent a lot of trouble, or strictly adhere to the de facto situation. I would like to try the second, though I can understand if you don't feel that way. There are more of these situations in the list, btw, e.g. India/Pakistan/China in Kashmir, China/Taiwan, Israel/Syria over the Golan Heights. And note that the figure for Israel does include the Golan Heights, even though that is not generally recognised. Very anomalously, Syria has two figures beneath each other.sephia karta | di mi 19:40, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Wait, sorry, that is the general population list, which shares these problems, here it isn't even indicated what is included where. sephia karta | di mi 19:52, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Personally, I am willing to accept the sort of change you propose, provided we make it clear this is what we're doing. Indeed, I think we need to do this more generally.
I would suggest that, on these lists, it may be a good idea to give two figures in separate columns. The first would be based on the state's territory as recognised by the UN (using the ISO list), the second based on areas of de facto control (which would exclude military occupations and suchlike). This would mean that we could allow for both POVs in almost all cases. UN POV is not NPOV, but the UN is a good way of giving the view of the international community generally in most cases, and I think there is value in that. Western Sahara would then be included in the first column but not the second. Pfainuk talk 20:23, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Permanent unranked inclusion of the EU entry[edit]

The permanent unranked inclusion of the EU in the List of countries and outlying territories by total area is justified and based on the following reasons:

1. For comparison reasons. The EU as an socio-political entity has a high degree of sovereignty, economic coherence, global relevance. It is a noteworthy entry with a relevant status to compared and listed here.

2. Although not a country in a fully political sense, it is treated as one by several international institutions like the WTO, the G8 summits, the UN.

3. The EU is recognized by many international statistical institutions like the CIA World Factbook , the IMF and is frequently treated as actor in global affairs by numerous credible sources and media like the BBC, NYT, FAZ and a multitude of academic publishers.

4. The EU entry is included in comparable sister Wikipedia language editions and its list. Most notably the French, the German, the Italian the Danish, the Hebrew.

5. The EU entry is already included in several of the most prominent list at the Engl. Wikipedia like the List of countries and federations by military expenditures, List of countries by GDP (nominal), by GDP (nominal) per capita and by GDP (PPP) per capita, List of countries by exports, List of countries by rail transport network size

Note The given reasons can not be cited for other territories or entities like Scotland, the African Union or NATO which underlines the advanced degree of integration and the sui generis status of the EU.

Note 2 The lack of full sovereignty will be reflected by its unranked inclusion to avoid future misconceptions about the nature of the EU as a state. Lear 21 (talk) 18:29, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

The exact same argument is on List of countries by population and List of countries by area. Let's keep the discussion in one place (here) as all the arguments will apply to all three lists. --Polaron | Talk 19:04, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

To improve NPOV[edit]

Shouldn't we reorganise the list into two lists, so that Sovereign recognised UN members are in one list and in another list we have disputed countries such as Abkhazia and TRNC and territories such as Puerto Rica and Hong Kong. Or we could have territories and Partially recognised countries rank replaced with " - " instead of the rank number. I believe this will a NPOV, because we are putting territories and disputed countries in the same league as undisputed recognised UN members. Your thoughts? Ijanderson (talk) 07:28, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't think UN membership is a viable measure of sovereignty (given that the UN is a fundamentally political organisation with a political POV), and would not support the removal of dependent territories from the list. As I noted above, there was (and I believe still is) consensus to widen the definition of "dependent territory" to include any entity on ISO 3166-1, but no-one seems to have got around to actually implementing it. I would support putting the sovereign states in bold so as to distinguish them from dependent territories more clearly.
I would support removing de facto sovereign states without general recognition from the ranking (that is, replacing the number with a dash), or noting their status in some other suitably obvious way. Pfainuk talk 19:17, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
So you would agree if we put the de facto independent states with their rank as a dash? Ijanderson (talk) 23:58, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Pfainuk talk 17:02, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Brazil number erroneous[edit]

The Brazil number is wrong. It should be 23.5. Not able to edit myself. --B7B (talk) 10:45, 13 May 2009 (UTC)


I think the article needs an update, mainly for the countries/dependencies that don't have an alternate source as most of the data is from the 2004 revision. The UN has released more recent data. I'm not sure, but I think the 2007 revision is the most current revision that I've seen in their site or the UN source being used in the list of countries by population page. Elockid (talk) 13:55, 5 June 2009 (UTC)


Why is it 'List of countries and dependencies' instead of simply 'List of countries'? Umofomo (talk) 21:09, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Greenland now independent?[edit]

Yet on the list here it has in brackets (Denmark) giving the assumption that it is still ruled by Denmark. Is it now fully independent? Does that make it its own sovereign country?--Senor Freebie (talk) 07:10, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Greenland is not a fully sovereign country. Per Greenlandic self-government referendum, 2008, several powers have been transferred to Greenland today, but these do not extend to full independence from Denmark. See also [3], where this transfer of power is "a plan for greater self-government" and "The vote is seen as a major step towards independence for Greenland." Not independence, but a step in that direction.
Compare, for example, the British Overseas Territories, in which defence and foreign affairs are reserved for the UK government but all other matters are given over to the territories. Pfainuk talk 09:06, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, you're right, sorry. I sorta skim read the front page article then went and read some of Greenlands page, seeing the comment about population density. Tho, what sort of legal arrangement is this self government under? Do they have sovereign policing powers etc? Because if so this may be closer to Australia's form of independence between 1901-41 before the ratification of the Westminster agreement, where Australia was technically independent but allowed Britain to command their armed forces and used British embassies.--Senor Freebie (talk) 13:45, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
These things are never particularly simple.
Greenland - as I understand it - is independent from Denmark in all matters except for foreign affairs, security, and financial policy. This relationship is (on the face of it) closer than that between the UK and its modern overseas territories - which are independent in all matters except foreign affairs and defence (and even then some BOTs raise some of their own defence forces). Today's reform moves policing to Nuuk, but Greenland's defence policy is still set in Copenhagen.
Now, that's the question in terms of raw facts. The comparison with Australia before the Statute of Westminster is difficult because the constitutional relationship between Australia and the UK at the time relied significantly on convention that evolved over time. Indeed, it would be quite plausible to argue that Australia wasn't independent until the Statute of Westminster (or even until the Australia Act 1986). "Technically independent" is awkward to define. I don't know whether Australia before the Statute of Westminster would have passed the criteria we use at List of sovereign states, for example.
Because Greenland has only just changed its status, we don't know what sorts of conventions will build up regarding its relationship with Denmark. It may be that any future move to full independence would be seen as merely a formal recognition of what already happens anyway (as was the Australia Act 1986). Alternatively, it might involve significant transfer of power. The best we can do is base what we do on what we know, based on sources. And right now, sources tell us that Greenland is not independent of Denmark. Pfainuk talk 16:44, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
All of which rates, at most, a footnote, in this article. The article accurately reports what the supporting source which it cites says about population and population density in both Denmark and Greenland. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:19, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Cook Islands[edit]

Entry for Cook Islands does not match data in the article Cook Islands:

116     Cook Islands Cook Islands (New Zealand)         179,000         236     91      81      210     (in this article)


 -      2006 census     19,569 
 -      Density         76/km2 (124th)
197/sq mi

(from [[Cook Islands]] article)

Nankai (talk) 06:45, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

That is probably true about a number of other entries in the table. Note the table footnote which says, "Source: Unless otherwise specified (or unless entered in error without specifying the data source) figures for Population and Population Density figures are sourced from year 2005 data in United Nations World Population Prospects (2004 revision). Area figures given here are taken from various (usually unspecified) sources." Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 23:45, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
In this case, though, the difference is an order of magnitude, suggesting error rather than an understandable difference in sources. I have corrected it based on the UN figure (which is 19,000). Pfainuk talk 07:50, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Sq. Mi.[edit]

Why is square miles listed? > 95.4% of the world uses the metric system. It severely reduces the effectiveness of the article by cluttering the list. Perhaps, using the current logic, we should include the Burmese units of measurement. It should be removed, this is not an CIA Factbook list, it is a wiki. (I understand that this is the English Wikipedia and that citizens of the US make up a portion of the users of this wiki, however as of August 2009 that number is below 50%, therefore they are a minority. Now they no longer are the majority, therefore Sq. Mi. should now be removed. Wiki's are most effective when they are adjusted for the majority (metric), not minority groups.) (talk) 19:03, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Conversions to imperial/US customary units are included as required by Wikipedia's Manual of Style for the benefit of the very large number of English speakers who use these measures in everyday life. Because it includes both metric and imperial measures, this article is useful both to the large number of potential readers who use metric units and to the large number of potential readers who use imperial units. If you don't like the imperial units, ignore them.
Burmese units are not an equivalent case because there is not such a large number of English-speakers who use Burmese units. They would be appropriate to the Burmese Wikipedia, but not here. Pfainuk talk 19:31, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
"International scope: Wikipedia is not country-specific; apart from some regional or historical topics, use the units in most widespread use worldwide for the type of measurement in question."
I read the guide and it seems to clearly indicate that Metric should be used. Putting imperial units of measurement is blatantly "country-specific", and as I already explained citizens of the US make up less then 50% of English Wikipedia users, therefore they are the minority. If it is aimed to the minority then it is country-specific. I repeat, it should be removed. (talk) 22:33, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
That refers to the units that come first. In this case, metric units do indeed come first, just as the MOS requires. But the bit that I pointed you at says, "[g]enerally, conversions to and from metric units and US or imperial units should be provided". It provides two exceptions, neither of which apply. Metric is used here, but so is imperial. This means that those who prefer metric units can understand the article, and that those that prefer imperial units can understand the article. And that's how it should be. If you don't like the imperial units, you are quite welcome to ignore them. Pfainuk talk 22:59, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I find this page quite disorienting actually. I do agree, however, that Imperial can't be removed since it would leave out a large number of users. Maybe we should do separate pages for each system. Slaja (talk) 20:07, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I am an American and currently in my junior year as a chemistry major, so i am very fluent in the metric system and i must say even i have problem with it sometimes. It is hard for us Americans who were raised on our system. So please, stop being a metric nazi, this is wikipedia for ALL english users. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:40, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
The lists are too cluttered. Makes it harder to read than it should be. It should just use one or the other, and in that case the choice is obviously metric. (talk) 04:07, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Article Update[edit]

Does anyone have a problem in me updating the article to the UN 2009 population estimates (similar to the ones in the article List of countries by population using this source? Elockid (Talk·Contribs) 00:24, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Never mind. It seems like someone already did it. Elockid (Talk·Contribs) 14:40, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Errors in Map colouring[edit]

This image is wrong, as India (as I just checked, again in Wikipedia) has a population density of 336. In fact I calculated the value in the list of countries and dependencies by population density, it's correct India is 336. There might be other flaws, I didn't check em all. I'm leavin it to anyone who cares. --Dimitrakopulos (talk) 16:36, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

exactly what i came to point out here! India is represented with the 1000+ colour code while it needs to be represented with the 300-1000 colour as per the data on the india page. I would edit the map myself, if i knew how to. Myaoon (talk) 20:34, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Somebody edit the world image.. India is in wrong color code.. satishynd —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:36, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

this section of discussion can be erased cause indian population density on map has been resolved the map no longer shows a density figure of 1000 people colour code (talk) 20:22, 1 September 2010 (UTC)


Should micronations like sealand be added to this list? Sorry about this short section, I am not very good at these Dermato1 —Preceding undated comment added 04:53, 29 December 2009 (UTC).

No. Most are widely unrecognized and are not even ranked by any other sources. Elockid (Talk·Contribs) 17:45, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

{ {currentday} } { {currentyear} } etc. templates[edit]

I don't want to criticize anything or anyone, but using templates that show every day as the day of the date of the most recent numbers for that country is just wrong in my opinion... mfg, OldDeath (talk) 22:02, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Especially if earthquakes make the area of some countries change. However, the reason is because the population figures are changed dynamically. See Template:worldpop HaŋaRoa (talk) 20:33, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I didn't realize the population counters are increased each day, too. My mistake...
mfg, OldDeath (talk) 21:04, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Tonga & China[edit]

According to this China has a greater population density than China but is listed after... Note 29 sort of explains it but it's mis-leading to deliberately put in an incorrect calculation and then qualify it in a small note. I don't have the know-how to change this but it should be.

Also, why is World without Antartica in there? No other list has felt the need. It states later on that it's inhabited but the world population with and without Antartica is identical, which according to the list it shouldn't be.

And one question. Why are we calculating people to 3 decimal places. I know it's a mathematical quirk but a person is an indivisable unit. You can't claim that it's to distinguish between very similar densities as Guatemala and Malawi have the same density to 3 decimal places. It's a known problem (4.6) with population modelling.

its a known fact in the study of Geo-politics that any population in Antartica is only temporary. once the researcher and scientist in antartica feels like returning home they go back to there home countriy no population in antartica is permanent. another thing to note is theres also a temporary population of people in orbit around the earth. world density exscluding Antartica is important. it shows the actual level of human density rather then a artifically low one casue extra territorial regions like oceans ,lakes or antartica is being shown. (talk) 20:19, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Merging into List of countries and dependencies by population density[edit]

  • Against. Looked up "population of European countries" on Google and this article came up first. Got the information that I wanted on the first hit. Merging this in to a global article would result in more effort searching for European statistics.  Nipsonanomhmata  (Talk) 00:23, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Against. I agree with Nipsonanomhmata there should be a septate page breaking down the statistics for Europe it is much more user friendly. this way you can choose whether you want data for the whole world or just Europe and select accordingly. In fact it would probably be best if there were pages for every continent.--ClungeLover69 (talk) 13:34, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Wrong claim in header[edit]

The list also includes but does not rank unrecognized but de facto independent countries.
I did not look if the countries were there, but there are no lines unranked in that list (except the whole World entries). So, at least part of that sentence is wrong. (talk) 05:05, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Merge from Area and population of European countries[edit]

I came across these articles while working through the "articles to be merged" backlog. The original merge merge proposal dates to December 2008. I'm not sure if there was much discussion at the time. To me, there seems some merit in a merger as the source article appears to synthesise population and area in a less satisfactory manner than does this one (i.e. merely listing area and population as opposed to listing population density). Otherwise, this is merely a procedural proposal to get some sort of consensus on the topic. I'm reluctant to either merge or remove the merge tag without consensus. Thank you. ClaretAsh 05:25, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

I would oppose a merger, having a region/continent/supranational "list" with populations is an easier read when trying to do "research" on that subject. An improvement of the European article would be welcomed.--UnQuébécois (talk) 23:54, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Netherlands missing from List of Territories with Population almost 10 Million or More[edit]

Netherlands with its population of 16 Million + seems to be missing from the table 'List of Territories with Population almost 10 Million or More' (talk) 14:05, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

I have now put it on there Eopsid (talk) 08:17, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress which affects this page. Please participate at Talk:Lists of countries and territories - Requested move and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RM bot 18:40, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Updating list?[edit]

I'd be willing to update the statistics according to this list (only counting the ones dating before 2011, of course). However, could one of you check this list, and see if it's a reliable source to use? I'm not sure what the guide lines for this are on the English (or any :-P) Wikipedia. FeyBart (talk) 15:56, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

As far as I know, nationmaster isn't seen as the most reliable of sources. It could be used for items with no source and perhaps really old items, but I definitely doubt it could replace, say, the UN source. CMD (talk) 16:55, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Okay. In that case, I won't use it. Thanks for the advise. FeyBart (talk) 18:07, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

  The population of Serbia without Kosovo is 7.120.666 according to the newest census that took place in Serbia in the year 2011.
  This is the official page of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia where the correct number can be found
  I have changed the information, however because it is my first time, I hope that I have done everything right.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 30 April 2012 (UTC) 

Country Clauses[edit]

The recent edits and reverts between myself and some IPs has raised a few relevant points with regards to disputed states, which probably should be looked at. Current clauses on both sides:

  • Taiwan (Claimed by China)
  • Transnistria (Moldova); claims independence
  • Serbia (excluding Kosovo)
  • Cyprus (Government-controlled area)
  • Northern Cyprus (status disputed)
  • Abkhazia (Georgia; claims independence)
  • Somaliland (Somalia; claims independence)
  • South Ossetia (Georgia; claims independence)
  • Western Sahara (status disputed)

Now while these all aren't the same situations, some standardisation could be made. I suggest firstly that countries which unilaterally declared independence and have not been received into the international community have the same note (these are Transnistria, Northern Cyprus, Abkhazia, Somaliland, and South Ossetis). The current format is mostly "(Country it is claimed by; claims independence)". This could have a slight neutrality issue as we're unequivocally stating they're part of the claimant country, but we need to be concise and I think it encapsulates what should be said to the reader. Serbia and Cyprus should similarly have the same notes. I suggest going with Cyprus' note "(Government-controlled area)", as it not only notes exclusion but also why it is excluded. Western Sahara should probably keep "(Status disputed)", as its de facto divided but is in a rather unique situation of the internationally recognised claimant not having an internationally recognised claim. This leaves Taiwan. I used "(Claimed by China)" as unlike the other states that remain widely unrecognised it was never under the jurisdiction of its claimant government. I think this justifies the unique note, but if there's opinions for using the same note as Transnistria et al. or another note completely It'd be useful to hear. CMD (talk) 20:56, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Shouldn't we simply follow the lead of List of sovereign states? Also, one comment: arguably, Transnistria, Nagorno Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia were in practice never part of the modern states of Moldova, Georgia and Azerbaijan, since they have been de facto independent since the end of the Soviet Union.sephia karta | dimmi 00:23, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Regarding Abkhazia and South Ossetia vs. Georgia, the current population statistics for Georgia does not include the population of Abkhazia and South Ossetia ( However, the area is included. Thus, the density for Georgia and its ranking contains an error. Also, if Abkhazia and South Ossetia are reported separately the total area is double counted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DenysNizalov (talkcontribs) 12:37, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

The United Kingdom + its separate countries[edit]

It would be interesting to add the separate constituent countries of the UK to the table; England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. (I'd do it myself but other editors have done such a good job on this that I don't want to mess it up!) BarbarellaTwo (talk) 12:37, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

If we added subdivisions of every country, this list would become unmanageable. CMD (talk) 10:19, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Besides England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland don't have separate country codes according to the three-letter ISO 3166-1 standard, which is used as a reference in articles like this to discriminate allowed countries (and dependent territories) from not allowed ones. MaxBech1975 (talk) 12:59, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps we should go beyond ISO 3166-1, then. In much international sports competition Scotland participates as a separate country. Also, its parliament is separate etc. These three countries are in no way like the subdivisions of a country. The UK is a kingdom that unites the countries with-in it. I support including these countries and other special cases such as Hong Kong, but with-out a numerical ranking.Kdammers (talk) 02:59, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
They are subdivisions of a country, despite what them themselves are called. Scotland's parliament is under Westminster, and is not independent (power devolved is power retained and all that). CMD (talk) 14:25, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Least populous[edit]

The introductory part of this article lists the most populous country; why doesn't it list the least populous one (Mongolia or, depending on how the argument has played out, Greenland)?Kdammers (talk) 02:59, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

G20 members Table[edit]

Hi, I don't do tables so don't know how to fix it, but I think the G20 members table should be sorted by Pos by default like the other tables. Hope someone can fix it. ˥ Ǝ Ʉ H Ɔ I Ɯ 22:56, 6 December 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mimarx (talkcontribs)

population density[edit]

Hi! It would be better to show the first decimal place of population density. Otherwise it's difficult to compare countries with low population densities. At w:de:Liste_der_Staaten_der_Erde you can see how it could look like. -- seth (talk) 09:03, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Is World Gazetteer a reliable source?[edit]

Someone updated stats of several states using data from a site called World Gazetteer. Is this a reliable resource? There are discrepencies between these values and the values used in List of countries by population which uses UN estimates. Although the UN data is not perfect, I consider it reliable for stats about countries that do not publish updated values often (if at all). BTW, the UN publishes estimates every two years.Eric car (talk) 22:57, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Hell no. Sloppy website, with poor citing of sources. The FAQ says basically "official" data sources (unspecified) plus "what my friends say", including a suggestion to consult the FAQ for more details! Anyway, the website will be closed July 2013,[4] after which any links to it will presumably die.Bromley86 (talk) 12:29, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Fixed. I have just automatically replaced all World Gazetteer's projections with 2013 UN estimates. I always have UN estimates at hand in tab-separated values (tsv) format, so it's very easy for me to automatically include them in both tables :-) MaxBech1975 (talk) 13:53, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Old census results and estimates[edit]

Some countries use census results and estimates that are several years old, in some cases 5 years. Although I respect these figures, they do not reflect updated information, which would serve the readers better. The article List of countries by population uses recent UN estimates for these countries. The UN estimates are published every 2 years and the last one was published on June 2013. I suggest aligning the population estimates used in this page with the ones in the article mentioned above for a more consistent list. I think it would be best if the two articles could be consolidated or at least draw from the same source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eric car (talkcontribs) 19:59, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

The information for Sudan is from 2008, which means that it's about a country that no longer exists in the same form. As Sudan has more of the Sahara than South Sudan, I imagine that that would make it less densely populated now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:00, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Secondary table explanation text[edit]

Why does the text preceding the secondary table mentioned that the listed countries are more populous than Hong Kong? It should just say these are the 100 most populous sovereign states. Period. The fact that HK is number 101 in the full list of countries by population has nothing to do with it. That's just coincidence. Even if it would surpass country #100 (Serbia as of writing these lines), HK would still not enter the secondary table as it is under Chinese sovereignity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eric car (talkcontribs) 20:21, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

That phrase is just included within my BASIC code, which I cut and paste from time to time when I update both tables (taking into account constructive contributions like yours), because I find it too tiresome and more prone to mistakes to do that by hand.
The second table consists of the approximate 100 countries that are more populous than the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). My idea is to exclude this “anomalous” case, because it is a densely populated sort of “city-state” like Singapore, although it’s not physically separated from continental China. However, you can change that paragraph it you like and in that case I’ll just update my code to make it match the new text.
Regards from Argentina.
MaxBech1975 (talk) 14:19, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
According to List of countries by population, Hong Kong is now more populous than Serbia and is ranked 100th. Assuming the purpose of the secondary table is to exclude very small countries/territories rather than to list exactly one hundred countries, should Serbia be removed from the table (and the text changed back)? SiBr4 ("CyberFour") (talk) 23:17, 24 December 2013 (UTC)


Why is Metropolitan France listed as "France" and why is France split up anyway? How can you compare France to other countries if it's not even listed? Rob (talk) 19:05, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

New Zealand Population Incorrect[edit]

New Zealand's population is shown as less than 500,000 people when it should be an order of magnitude higher - almost 5 million.

Checking the other numbers: area and population density shows that these numbers are correct - so there is an error in the calculation. I'd change this myself but I'm sure to muck up the calculation in another manner.

Dhi (talk) 05:31, 12 November 2013 (UTC) David

Kingdom of Denmark[edit]

Out of curiosity, I've calculated the population density of the Kingdom of Denmark, comprising European Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, seeing as these three places have such different population densities. Using the figures from this article, the Kingdom has a total area of 2.21 million km2 and a population of 5.71 million, meaning it has a population density of about 2.58 people per km2 and would be ranked 236th if considered one country.
Could this info be added to Denmark's entry as a note, like how the List of countries by area gives the area of the entire Kingdom? SiBr4 ("CyberFour") (talk) 23:01, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Just came in to point out that Denmark has the wrong size shown in the table!! If you check somebody has accidentally copied the land area from Indonesia into the Denmark form on the table, making Denmark many many times the size it should be!! This needs correcting by somebody more confident than me. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:36, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

Highest density for the area[edit]

Many small countries have a high population density. Here is a list of countries with higher population density than any country with a larger area. The displayed position is for the population density among all countries.

Pos. Country (or dependent territory) Area (km²) Area (mi²) Population Density
Date Population source
1  Macau (China)[2] 29 11 582,000 20,069 51,978 December 31, 2012 Official estimate
3  Singapore 716 276 5,399,200 7,669 19,863 July 1, 2013 Official estimate
4  Hong Kong (China)[3] 1,101 425 7,173,900 6,516 16,876 December 31, 2012 Official estimate
12  Bangladesh 147,570 56,977 152,518,015 1,034 2,678 July 16, 2012 Official estimate
31  India 3,166,285 1,222,509 1,236,120,000 390 1,010 November 7, 2013 India Population clock
83  China 9,572,900 3,696,117 1,354,040,000 141 365 December 31, 2012 Official estimate
224  Russia 17,075,400 6,592,849 143,600,000 8.41 21.8 November 1, 2013 Official estimate

Would the above be worth adding or do I just have an odd fascination with numbers and records? PrimeHunter (talk) 17:00, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^ Current Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Former Portuguese colony, it definitively reverted to Chinese sovereignty on December 20, 1999.
  3. ^ Current Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Former British colony, it definitively returned to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997.

The list is nice but i would rather the list begin with Bangladesh, then India, China, USA and all the rest of these what i call the "big population and state sized land for comparison's list" or what you called "Highest density for the Highest area list" (talk) 05:20, 4 May 2016 (UTC)


Iceland is missing from this page. Obviously this is an oversight as it is the only sovereign state not included. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pmada (talkcontribs) 04:29, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

In this old revision, Iceland was still listed. It must have been removed since then. SiBr4 (talk) 10:29, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
I think I understand what happened. Iceland was listed with the flag template {{ISL}}, which Wtmitchell thought stands for Israel and replaced with {{data Israel}} in this edit. This second Israel was later removed by IP SiBr4 (talk) 10:40, 1 February 2014 (UTC)


Pakistan's info needs to be corrected. The county's area is 796,096 sq km (307,374 sq mi), not 803,940 sq km (310,403 sq mi). (see here) I would do it myself but I don't have a clue how to alter the {popdens} template. Coinmanj (talk) 19:54, 21 May 2014 (UTC)


Palestine, known by its official name - the Palestinian Authority Contains According to scientific studies (not politically biased), 2.75 million people (as of 2011)

see -,%20RL.pdf

Surface areas in the first table seem to be corrupt[edit]

There are several problems with surface areas in the first table. I fixed the data on Thailand (was off by an order of magnitude), but then noticed that Denmark has exactly the same (wrong) area as Indonesia (slightly off from that given on Indonesia's page but looks good enough). Manual fixing would be a very bad option - does anyone have a bot for that? Szescstopni (talk) 19:08, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

The problem with Denmark and Thailand is from a bad edit [5] by a user with no other edits. The user changed positions of some countries but only changed some of the associated numbers. This could easily be fixed manually. Do you know other problems? PrimeHunter (talk) 20:09, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Map coloring[edit]

I think that it would be clearer to give states and territories with low population densities colors towards the green end of the spectrum and states and territories with higher populations colors towards the red end of the spectrum. This is due to the view of the ecological inefficiencies of regions with high population densities in that they are likely to require a higher rate in the import of commodities such as food, building materials, textiles and energy import. This results in a wasted energy cost due to the extra requirement in transportation. GregKaye 15:45, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Cyprus island (areas and percentages)[edit]

The table list Cyprus to have 5896 km2. But, 5896=(S)C + BZ + UKSBA. i.e., buffer zone and UK sovereign base area. 3355 km2=NC. Total: 9251 km2.
BZ: 346 km2
UK SBA: 254 km2
Now, (S)C=5896-346-254=5296 km2
So, areas and percentages: (S)C 5296 km2 and 57.24%; BZ: 346 km2 and 3.74%; UKSBA: 254 km2 and 2.74%; NC: 3355 km2 and 36.26%; Total: 9251 km2 and 100% Ayka3b (talk) 22:16, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Jordan update[edit]

2015 census just released. Can someone please update Makeandtoss (talk) 01:14, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

England population density[edit]

I note that England is not listed. Why is this? England has a much higher density of population than the UK. Because England's population density is not listed it is not realised that the British Isles is failing to support its population. (talk) 19:51, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

Sri Lankas Population Wrong[edit]

The population given here for Sri Lanka is clearly wrong. The referred official estimate gives it as 21.3 million. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:23, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

I corrected that, but now the ranking is wrong. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:32, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

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Rounding errors[edit]

This list does not order correctly, as it rounds the densities to the nearest whole number, which is not enough. For example, Australia is listed as less dense than Namibia when ordering, which is not correct. Greenman (talk) 06:57, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

100 most populous doesn't match linked page[edit]

The countries listed in the 100 most populous table don't match the first 100 countries in the list of countries by population.

Just as a simple example - the list in this page contains Israel, #98 by population, but does not contain Jordan - #91 by population. There may be more such errors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:25, 3 July 2017 (UTC)