The World's Most Populous Countries
Humanity's common homes
This table provides figures about the 50 most populous countries in the world as of May 2020. China is the country with the highest population, with nearly 1.4 billion residents. Since India's population is less than 50 million behind, it is likely that India will surpass its neighbor in the near future. The estimated world population, per the United Nations, is 7.8 billion as of 2020. To see which countries have the most people per square mile, check out our list of most densely populated countries.
The majority of the population is located in the eastern half of the country. Its dependency Hong Kong would, by itself, rank around 100 in a list of countries.
A very high population density exists throughout the country, apart from the deserts in the northwest and the mountains in the north.
Very densely populated urban areas are clustered along the east and the west coasts. California and Texas, the two most populous states, account for about one quarter of the population.
Java is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
The Punjab province is the most densely populated area in Pakistan.
Most residents live along the Atlantic coast in the eastern part of the nation.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. It recently became the continent's largest economy as well.
Bangladesh is not just one of the most populous countries but is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
Siberia has a population density of approximately three people per kilometer. Siberia has one-twelfth of the world's land mass.
Approximately a quarter of the population lives in and around Mexico City.
The population is most dense along the coasts, due in part to the islands' mountains and the distribution of arable land.
The Philippines population finally surpassed 100 million in 2014.
Approximately 95 percent of the population lives within 20 kilometers of the Nile River and its delta.
The median age in Ethiopia is just under 18 years, making it one of the youngest countries (despite the country itself being very old).
Kinh people, or "ethnic vietnamese" account for about 85% of Vietnam's population, but are concentrated in only half of the country. There are 53 other recognized ethnic groups in Vietnam.
The country is the world's largest francophone country. French might be the most common, as it's taught in schools, but it shares the stage with more than 200 other local languages.
Azerbaijanis constitute almost a quarter of the population. The nation's population is concentrated in the north, northwest, and west.
The population is densest around Istanbul, but the largest share of the population actually lives on the south coast.
Germany is the most populous country in Europe, with especially high concentration along the Rhine.
The largest concentrations of population in France are located in the north and the southeast, clustered around a few major historic cities.
The United Kingdom's population density is one of the highest in the world, centered in the capital city of London.
Thailand has actually lost ranking on the list due to a highly successful government effort to reduce the growth rate.
Unlike a lot of other countries, the population of Italy is pretty evenly distributed throughout the country.
South Africa has received a steady rate of immigration for the past two decades, mainly from other African countries.
The population of Tanzania is highly concentrated at the edges of the country, on the northern border or the coast. Dar es Salaam houses over 10% of the population.
The population of Myanmar is actually a bit difficult to pin down, due to various problems with the census-taking. Official estimates in the early 2010s placed the population much higher.
More than 70 percent of the country is mountainous so most of the populated is located in lowland areas.
Most Colombians live in the mountainous western region of the country or on the northern coastline.
Kenya did not reach the top 50 of the of most populated countries until the 1970s.
The largest urban populations are found near the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts--aside from the populous areas of Madrid, Sevilla and Zaragoza.
Roughly one third of the Argentinian population lives in Buenos Aires.
Most of the population is located along the Mediterranean Coast in the north, with very sparse population in the desert south.
Northern Sudan is sparsely populated aside from an area near the banks of the Nile.
Ukraine actually used to rank higher on the list, prior to Russia's annexation of Crimea.
Uganda hosts over 1 million refugees, making up ~2.5% of the population.
If one were to include Iraqis who were displaced or moved since the 2003 invasion, Iraq would rank up to ten spots higher.
Nearly two thirds of Poland lives in urban areas, making it one of the most urbanized countries on the list.
The most populated province in Canada is Ontario, followed by Quebec and British Columbia.
Roughly half a million people live in the disputed area of Western Sahara.
The population in Saudi Arabia has changed incredibly rapidly; in the past 60 years, the country went from being a majority nomadic to having 80% of the population live in just ten cities.
Uzbekistan, aside from having a large Uzbek population, has a major historic Korean community. Many Koreans were relocated by the Soviets in the 1930s, and have lived in Uzbekistan ever since.
Eighty percent of the population resides on the Malay Peninsula.
Afghanistan has the highest fertility rate of any country outside of Africa.
The official figure here has actually been revised in some reports to a much lower figure as a result of recent troubles in Venezuela.
Over a quarter of the Peruvian population is identified as Amerindian, mainly Quechua.
The capital Luanda houses about 10% of the country's population, and is ten times larger than the next largest city.
The coastal areas, the Ashanti region, and the two principal cities, Accra and Kumasi are among the most densely populated parts of the country.
Less than half of Mozambique speaks their official language, Portuguese, as a first or second language.
Nepal's overall population density is low. The two areas of concentrated population include the southern plains of the Tarai region and hilly central part of the country.
The majority of the population is found in the Asir Mountains in the west.
Source: CIA World Factbook and United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Perhaps the most substantial change on the list is the rise of Pakistan up to fifth place, having long held sixth. The top ranks of countries rarely shift around, being based on very long-standing prevailing patterns. Also significant are the slowing (or declining) populations of Japan and Europe, countries who are transitioning into a fairly unique stage of negative population growth.
Also significant is the lost ranks of Poland, due to the annexation of Crimea. Very rarely does a country lose such a sizable chunk of its population due to a political action in peacetime.
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You can learn about these countries and more on our Countries of the World page.
A Collection of U.S. Population Stats.