Population. You might not think it’s interesting, but “population density” ?That’s a different story. Why? Because whether it be culture, geography, or even a gimmick, there is usually some specific reason why people cram themselves into certain locations. Below we’ve listed just a few of the most densely populated cities on earth outside of the United States. Some are obvious, yet some may be a surprise. Enjoy!
The most densely populated city on earth, Manila, the capital of the Philippines. That’s right. The Philippines. With all of the stink made these days over how crammed India is, in the end, it’s the Philippines that still holds the title. The city of Manila boasts an average population density of 111,576 people per square mile. For those who enjoy the rural, open, outdoors, I think we’ve just found your veritable hell. You think that’s bad? Keep in mind, that number is an average. The most densely populated area within the city itself is District 6. The density there … 176,811 people per square mile.
If the world’s most densely populated city is in the Philippines, then the second most densely populated city must be in India… Right? Nope. The city laying claim to that title is Bogor, and it’s located in Indonesia. Bogor was the capital of Indonesia throughout parts of its history. Today though, Bogor is a major agricultural center, a role that ties back to the cities colonial history when it was primarily comprised of plantations. So just how dense is Bogor? 104,037 people per square mile.
And so here we are, finally, at number three. The third most densely populated city in the world it Titagarh, in India. And what is Titagarh? Is it the crowded slums of Mumbai, as seen in “Slumdog Millionaire” Nope. Not even close. Titagarh is a city of migrant workers… lots of them. Up to 90% of the population, at times, is comprised of migrant workers brought in to serve as the labor force for Titagarh’s jute mills. And what is jute? A type of cloth made from the jute plant. The population density of Titagarh is 99,293 people per square mile.
Going down the list at this point, six out of eight of the next most densely populated cities are located in India (so this is where it gets its fame). The other two, are in the Philippines. Finally, at number 12, we find a new county. And to give this list some variety, we’re going to jump straight to it. France. Levallois-Perret is a suburb of Paris, and as we’ve already suggested, the most densely populated municipality in all of Europe. 67,984 people can be found per square mile in this area. As it stands, there are no obvious gimmicks as to why this area contains so many people. At last count, 82.5% of the population here were born in Metropolitan France. For whatever reason, this commune is certainly popular.
Number thirteen on the list is Neapoli, Greece. While this location features a population density of 67,027 per square mile, it also has a gimmick. And what is that? Simple… the town is less than half of a square mile in size. Neapoli is the most populated section of Thessaloniki, the second most populated city in Greece. Since this section is its own municipality, it makes the list.
To find a new country that hasn’t been mentioned before on the list, we need to jump down all the way to number 17, where we find Belgium. Saint-Josse-ten-Noode is a municipality within the region of Brussels, Belgium’s capital. As with Neapoli, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode has a gimmick, and it is the same gimmick as Neapoli. Saint-Josse-ten-Noode is less than half of a square mile in size, and is comprised of the most populated area in a very urban region. Suffice to say, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode is not only the most densely populated region of Belgium, it is also the smallest.
Dropping down to number 27 on the list, we find Spain. And once again we find the same gimmick for the third time. Mislata is a suburb of Valencia only 0.8 square miles in size. With its population of 43,756 this gives it a population density of 54,695 per square mile. Despite Mislata’s diminutive size, however, it does feature some open space… but not for long. Recent construction within this open area only promises to increase Mislata’s population density even further.
Number 30 on the list finally gives us another true city that is not on the list for its diminutive size. Paris, France, the city of love. The capital city of France can boast a population density of 54,415 people per square mile. This, of course, also makes it the most densely populated full metropolis, let alone capital, in all of Europe. The city’s highest density areas are in the northern and eastern areas.
The capital of Bangladesh finds itself at number 34 on our list. The city features a population density of 50,368 people per square mile. Not only that, it is currently one of the fastest growing cities in Asia. There are currently just under 13 million people living in and around Dhaka. By 2025 it is estimated this number will double. So, why is that? Immigration. Dhaka is extremely popular with members of the rural population who want to move to the big cities.
There’s definitely a less to be learned here. If you want to be one of the most densely populated places on Earth, take a well populated urban area, then simply declare the most densely populated portion of it as an independent municipality. Presto! You’re in the record books. That said, there is a plus side to this. With so many entries requiring a gimmick to make this list, it only makes the legitimate cities, like Manila, that much more impressive.