Population density (people per sq. km of land area) - Country Ranking - Europe

Definition: Population density is midyear population divided by land area in square kilometers. Population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country of asylum, who are generally considered part of the population of their country of origin. Land area is a country's total area, excluding area under inland water bodies, national claims to continental shelf, and exclusive economic zones. In most cases the definition of inland water bodies includes major rivers and lakes.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization and World Bank population estimates.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Monaco 19,196.00 2017
2 Malta 1,511.03 2018
3 San Marino 563.08 2018
4 Netherlands 511.46 2018
5 Belgium 377.21 2018
6 United Kingdom 274.83 2018
7 Luxembourg 250.09 2018
8 Germany 237.37 2018
9 Liechtenstein 236.94 2018
10 Switzerland 215.52 2018
11 Italy 205.45 2018
12 Andorra 163.84 2018
13 Denmark 138.07 2018
14 Czech Republic 137.60 2018
15 Cyprus 128.71 2018
16 Poland 124.04 2018
17 Moldova 123.52 2018
18 France 122.34 2018
19 Slovak Republic 113.29 2018
20 Portugal 112.24 2018
21 Hungary 107.91 2018
22 Austria 107.21 2018
23 Turkey 106.96 2018
24 Albania 104.61 2018
25 Slovenia 102.64 2018
26 Spain 93.53 2018
27 Romania 84.64 2018
28 Greece 83.22 2018
29 North Macedonia 82.59 2018
30 Serbia 79.83 2018
31 Ukraine 77.03 2018
32 Croatia 73.08 2018
33 Ireland 70.45 2018
34 Bosnia and Herzegovina 64.92 2018
35 Bulgaria 64.70 2018
36 Belarus 46.73 2018
37 Montenegro 46.27 2018
38 Lithuania 44.53 2018
39 Latvia 30.98 2018
40 Estonia 30.39 2018
41 Sweden 25.00 2018
42 Finland 18.16 2018
43 Norway 14.55 2018
44 Iceland 3.53 2018

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Development Relevance: Population estimates are usually based on national population censuses. Estimates for the years before and after the census are interpolations or extrapolations based on demographic models. Errors and undercounting occur even in high-income countries; in developing countries errors may be substantial because of limits in the transport, communications, and other resources required conducting and analyzing a full census. Population density is a measure of the intensity of land-use, and can be calculated for a block, city, county, state, country, continent or the entire world. Considering that over half of the Earth's land mass consists of areas inhospitable to human inhabitation, such as deserts and high mountains, and that population tends to cluster around seaports and fresh water sources, a simple number of population density by itself does not give any meaningful measurement of human population density. Several of the most densely populated territories in the world are city-states, microstates, or dependencies.[6][7] These territories share a relatively small area and a high urbanization level, with an economically specialized city population drawing also on rural resources outside the area, illustrating the difference between high population density and overpopulation.

Limitations and Exceptions: Current population estimates for developing countries that lack recent census data and pre- and post-census estimates for countries with census data are provided by the United Nations Population Division and other agencies. The cohort component method - a standard method for estimating and projecting population - requires fertility, mortality, and net migration data, often collected from sample surveys, which can be small or limited in coverage. Population estimates are from demographic modeling and so are susceptible to biases and errors from shortcomings in the model and in the data. Because the five-year age group is the cohort unit and five-year period data are used, interpolations to obtain annual data or single age structure may not reflect actual events or age composition. The quality and reliability of official demographic data are also affected by public trust in the government, government commitment to full and accurate enumeration, confidentiality and protection against misuse of census data, and census agencies' independence from political influence. Moreover, comparability of population indicators is limited by differences in the concepts, definitions, collection procedures, and estimation methods used by national statistical agencies and other organizations that collect the data.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Population density is midyear population divided by land area in square kilometers. This ratio can be calculated for any territorial unit for any point in time, depending on the source of the population data. Populationestimates are prepared by World Bank staff from variety of sources. They are based on the de facto definition of population and include all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship, within the physical boundaries of a country and under the jurisdiction of that country's political control. Refugees not permanently settled in the country of asylum are considered part of the population of their country of origin. Population numbers are either current census data or historical census data extrapolated through demographic methods. The count also excludes visitors from overseas. Population density is calculated by dividing midyear population by land area in a country. Population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship - except for refugees not permanently settled in the country of asylum, who are generally considered part of the population of their country of origin. Land area is a country's total area, excluding area under inland water bodies, national claims to continental shelf, and exclusive economic zones. In most cases the definition of inland water bodies includes major rivers and lakes.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual