17 Most Densely Populated Places on the Planet

Published on Jan 15, 2017

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#9 – Dhaka in Bangladesh Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and one of the world’s most densely populated cities. It is also the largest city in the Bengal region, and the current population is a staggering 17 million people. With the size of the city, it hosts 112,000 people for each square mile. The city is home to thousands of businesses, and the Dhaka Stock Exchange is the largest stock in South Asia in terms of market capitalization and trading volume. The city also hosts many festivals and city-wide events throughout the year that focuses on topics such as literature, art, and culture.

#8 – The City of Manila in the Philippines Founded in 1571, the city of Manila is of the oldest cities in the Philippines and was the seat of power for most of the country’s rulers. In 2015, a record 1,780,148 people call Manila home. The city is composed of 16 separate districts, but even then there are about 120,000 people living in every square mile of the city.

#7 – Migingo Island in Lake Victoria The territory was once claimed by both Kenya and Uganda, but after consideration in 2009 the military forces of Uganda left and surrendered the island to Kenya. The island found in the eastern part of Lake Victoria isn’t very big, but that hasn’t stopped the 130 residents from living on a piece of land the size of half a football field. While there isn’t much as far as services found on the island, there are four pubs, a number of brothels, and one pharmacy.

6 – Tin Shui Wai in the Yuen Long District, Hong Kong What was once fish ponds created and used by local fishermen, became a thriving town in the 1980’s. The new town was created by filling in swampy areas with material and building thousands and thousands of apartments in tall buildings. The government has since been criticized due to lack of services and facilities required to meet the demand of the rapid population growth. Tin Shui Wai is now home to 300,000 people who all share the less than two-mile spot of land.

#5 – St. James Town Neighborhood, Toronto, Canada The residential towers that are called home to most were built in the 1960’s for the city’s middle class. Over the next 50 years, immigrants from all over the world flooded in to establish a new beginning. By 2013, there were a recorded 17,000 people living in the 0.09 square mile radius. While all of the residential building were built sky-high to accommodate as many people as possible, there isn’t enough room, and many of the building are falling into disrepair.

#4 – Male Island, the Republic of Maldives Male is the capital and most populous city in the Republic of Maldives. The island was first established as a residence for the King until the abolition of the monarchy in 1968. The name “Maldives” comes from its capital, Male. The word “Maldives” means “the islands of Male.” Male Island is less than one square mile, but there have been talks about expanding the borders through landfills. With a recorded 133,400 people living on the island, it is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

#3 – The Rocinha Favela in Rio de Janeiro “Favela” is the Portuguese word for slum used in Brazil. The largest of these being the Rocinha favela which is located in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro between the Sao Conrado and the Gavea districts. Most of the slum is located on a steep hill, surrounded by numerous trees. The area of the neighborhood is about a third of a square mile and houses almost 70,000 people according to a 2010 census. Though it is a densely populated slum, the neighborhood has a better-developed infrastructure than many of the others around the world. The tiny area has banks, bus lines, cable tv, and at one time, even a McDonald’s franchise.

#2 – The Marine Lines Neighborhood in Mumbai, India The area was named after the military establishment built by the British in the early 1900’s. The neighborhood area measures to be a fraction less than a square mile at 0.7 square miles. With a recorded population of 202,920, it is one of the most populated neighborhoods around.

#1 – Mong Kok in Hong Kong In less than half a square mile, Mong Kok houses almost 150,000 residents and is home to one of the biggest shopping areas in Hong Kong. The area is a mix of old and new building types with most of the restaurants and shops being at the ground level, and the residential units built above. Due to its extremely high population density, the Guinness Book of World Records called it the busiest district in the entire world.

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