Top 10 countries that are least densely populated, have you known?

Categories: Travel

Have you ever wondered which countries have the lowest population density? Here are the top 10 countries that are least densely populated and the information about their geographical, historical, cultural and economic features.

Once lockdown is lifted, flights resumed, and people feel ready to start exploring the world again, we’d wager that many will be longing for somewhere remote, unspoilt and uncrowded. 

So the world’s 10 least densely populated places would be a good place to start. Here they are!

  1. Greenland (Population density: 0.138/km²)
  2. Falkland Islands (Population density: 0.286/km²)
  3. Mongolia (Population density: 2.110/km²)
  4. Western Sahara (Population density: 2.246/km²)
  5. Namibia (Population density: 3.086/km²)
  6. Australia (Population density: 3.319/km²)
  7. Iceland (Population density: 3.404/km²)
  8. French Guiana (Population density: 3.634/km²)
  9. Suriname (Population density: 3.760/km²)
  10. Libya (Population density: 3.905/km²)

Greenland is the least densely populated territory in the world with 0.14 people per sq. km. With 2.1 people per square km, Mongolia is the least densely populated country followed by Namibia and Australia.

1. Greenland (Population density: 0.138/km²)

Greenland is the world’s largest island and almost eighty percent of this self-governed area is covered by an ice cap and many glaciers. The ice-free area is still almost as large as the whole of Sweden but only a very small part of this is arable land.

Greenland has fewer than 56,000 inhabitants of whom about 18,000 live in the capital Nuuk.

Greenland is part of the kingdom of Denmark but has a great degree of self-government, which will be further expanded in 2009. This does, however, not include affairs of state which include foreign and security policy and foreign exchange policy.

Greenland is not a member of the EU, but has a special fisheries agreement and was accepted as one of the overseas countries and territories with a special association with the EU.

Sealing and whaling, fishing and hunting are the predominant sources of income in Greenland. The country also has a growing income from tourism as well as some mining.

2. Falkland Islands (Population density: 0.286/km²)

Falkland Islands, also called Malvinas Islands or Spanish Islas Malvinas, internally self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom in the South Atlantic Ocean. It lies about 300 miles (480 km) northeast of the southern tip of South America and a similar distance east of the Strait of Magellan. The capital and major town is Stanley, on East Falkland; there are also several scattered small settlements as well as a Royal Air Force base that is located at Mount Pleasant, some 35 miles (56 km) southwest of Stanley. In South America, the islands are generally known as Islas Malvinas, because early French settlers had named them Malouines, or Malovines, in 1764, after their homeport of Saint-Malo, France. Area 4,700 square miles (12,200 square km). Pop. (2012, excluding British military personnel stationed on the islands) 2,563.

3. Mongolia (Population density: 2.110/km²)

Mongolia, with a land area of about 1.6 million sq. km. and a population of about 3.0 million is the world’s most sparsely populated country. The land ranges from desert to semi-desert to grassy steppe, with mountains in the west and south-west. Arable land is estimated to constitute only 0.8 percent of this vast country. Landlocked between Russia and China, Mongolia has shown steady growth in recent years.

Modern humans reached Mongolia approximately 40,000 years ago. In 1206 Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire which became the largest land empire in world history. Mongolia later came under Chinese rule and won its independence from China in 1921. The Mongolian People's Republic was then established with Soviet influence. Mongolia became a UN member state in 1961. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Mongolia saw its own relatively peaceful democratic revolution in the early 1990s which led to a multi-party system, a new constitution of 1992, and a transition to a market economy. This transition resulted in an upheaval of structures that had been in place for 70 years and saw Mongolia's trade with Russia decline by 80% and had a strong impact on peoples’ lives.

Throughout history, livestock raising by nomadic herders has been the major economic activity. In the early 20th century industrialization began, spurred by the Soviet Union and largely based on wool processing and extraction of minerals, mainly coal, copper, gold and fluorspar.

4. Western Sahara (Population density: 2.246/km²)

Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa that borders Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the Atlantic Ocean. It has a total area of 266,000 sq. km. It consists of mostly desert and is one of the most sparsely populated areas in the world. Half of its population live in the largest city, El Asiun.

The area has been on the U.N. list of non-self-governing territories since a Moroccan demand in 1963 while it was still Spanish territory. The U.N. directed Spain to decolonize the territory in 1966. The Sahrawi national liberation movement, the Polisario Front, and the Kingdom of Morocco dispute control of the territory.

Morocco has controlled the territory with French backing since a ceasefire in 1991. A small portion is controlled by the SADR backed by Algeria. The major powers such as Russia and the U.S. have remained mostly neutral. Both sides have attempted to gain recognition for their claims internationally. The Polisario Front has received recognition from 81 nations and was extended African Union membership. Several African governments and the Arab League have recognized Morocco’s claims.

5. Namibia (Population density: 3.086/km²)

The Republic of Namibia is located in the south-western part of Africa. Namibia has a population of about 2.5 million inhabitants and an area of 824292 km². Namibia belongs to the most sparsely populated countries in the world.

Namibia is one of the most fascinating and diverse countries in the world and a number 1 travel destination. Namibia is world-famous for the highest dunes in the world at Sossusvlei and for the Etosha National Park, one of the world’s greatest conservation areas.

The official name of Namibia is "Republic of Namibia". Namibia is an independent country since 1990, a presidential republic with a democratic constitution following democratic principles including freedom of speech, press and religion. The motto of Namibia is "Unity, Liberty, Justice".

The capital of Namibia is Windhoek with about 350.000 inhabitants, many of them living in Katutura, a township in the north of the city.

6. Australia (Population density: 3.319/km²)

Australia is the only country in the world that covers an entire continent. It is one of the largest countries on Earth. Although it is rich in natural resources and has a lot of fertile lands, more than one-third of Australia is desert.

Most Australian cities and farms are located in the southwest and southeast, where the climate is more comfortable. There are dense rain forests in the northeast. The famous outback (remote rural areas) contains the country's largest deserts, where there are scorching temperatures, little water, and almost no vegetation.

Running around the eastern and southeastern edge of Australia is the Great Dividing Range. This 2,300-mile (3,700-kilometer) stretch of mountain sends water down into Australia's most important rivers and the Great Artesian Basin, the largest groundwater source in the world.

7. Iceland (Population density: 3.404/km²)

Iceland is a land of diversity and contrast. Geologically speaking, Iceland is relatively young, and the landscape is still being forged by frequent volcanic eruptions. Iceland is located on a volcanic hot spot resulting in many geothermal areas around the country with steaming vents, geysers, mud pools, and sometimes warm natural pools to bathe in.

Iceland is just over 100,000 square kilometres (40,000 square miles) with 11% covered with glaciers including the largest one in Europe, Vatnajökull Glacier. This land of fire and ice offers a variety of stunning landscapes and breathtaking scenery.

Over 340,000 people live in Iceland with over half of them living in and around the capital, Reykjavík. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe with an average of just over three persons per square kilometre.

8. French Guiana (Population density: 3.634/km²)

French Guiana is an overseas department and region of France on the northern Atlantic coast of South America in the Guianas. It borders Brazil to the east and south and Suriname to the west. French Guiana is the only territory of the mainland Americas to have full integration in a European country.

With a land area of 83,534 km2 (32,253 sq mi), French Guiana is the second-largest region of France (it is more than one-seventh the size of Metropolitan France) and the largest outermost region within the European Union. It has a very low population density, with only 3.6 inhabitants per square kilometre. (Its population is less than ​1⁄200 that of Metropolitan France.) Half of its 290,691 inhabitants in 2020 lived in the metropolitan area of Cayenne, it's capital. 98.9% of the land territory of French Guiana is covered by forests, a large part of which is primeval rainforest. The Guiana Amazonian Park, which is the largest national park in the European Union, covers 41% of French Guiana's territory.

Since December 2015 both the region and the department have been ruled by a single assembly within the framework of a new territorial collectivity, the French Guiana Territorial Collectivity. This assembly, the French Guiana Assembly, has replaced the former regional council and departmental council, which were both disbanded. The French Guiana Assembly is in charge of the regional and departmental government. Its president is Rodolphe Alexandre. French Guiana is an overseas department and region of France on the northern Atlantic coast of South America in the Guianas. It borders Brazil to the east and south and Suriname to the west. French Guiana is the only territory of the mainland Americas to have full integration in a European country.

9. Suriname (Population density: 3.760/km²)

Suriname, a country located on the northern coast of South America. Suriname is one of the smallest countries in South America, yet its population is one of the most ethnically diverse in the region. Its economy is dependent on its extensive supply of natural resources, most notably bauxite, of which it is one of the top producers in the world. The southern four-fifths of the country is almost entirely covered with pristine tropical rainforest.

Formerly known as Dutch Guiana, Suriname was a plantation colony of the Netherlands that gained its independence on November 25, 1975. From 1980 to 1987 the country was governed by a succession of military regimes. A new civilian constitution was approved in 1987. Another military coup took place in 1990, but the country returned to civilian rule the following year. The capital, Paramaribo, lies 9 miles (15 km) from the Atlantic Ocean on the Suriname River.

10. Libya (Population density: 3.905/km²)

Libya, a country located in North Africa. Most of the country lies in the Sahara desert, and much of its population is concentrated along the coast and its immediate hinterland, where Tripoli (Ṭarābulus), the de facto capital, and Banghāzī (Benghazi), another major city, are located.

Libya comprises three historical regions—Tripolitania in the northwest, Cyrenaica in the east, and Fezzan in the southwest. The Ottoman authorities recognized them as separate provinces. Under Italian rule, they were unified to form a single colony, which gave way to independent Libya. For much of Libya’s early history, both Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were more closely linked with neighbouring territories than with one other.

 

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