Rural population - Country Ranking

Definition: Rural population refers to people living in rural areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated as the difference between total population and urban population. Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverages.

Source: World Bank staff estimates based on the United Nations Population Division's World Urbanization Prospects: 2018 Revision.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 India 892,321,700.00 2018
2 China 568,902,300.00 2018
3 Pakistan 134,404,300.00 2018
4 Indonesia 119,578,600.00 2018
5 Bangladesh 102,248,100.00 2018
6 Nigeria 97,263,560.00 2018
7 Ethiopia 86,546,260.00 2018
8 Vietnam 61,223,240.00 2018
9 United States 58,052,590.00 2018
10 Philippines 56,624,700.00 2018
11 Egypt 56,392,780.00 2018
12 Dem. Rep. Congo 46,691,420.00 2018
13 Kenya 37,501,480.00 2018
14 Tanzania 37,296,260.00 2018
15 Myanmar 37,284,900.00 2018
16 Russia 36,938,700.00 2018
17 Thailand 34,749,670.00 2018
18 Uganda 32,566,140.00 2018
19 Brazil 28,133,830.00 2018
20 Afghanistan 27,695,290.00 2018
21 Sudan 27,320,650.00 2018
22 Mexico 25,041,300.00 2018
23 Nepal 22,543,320.00 2018
24 Iran 20,533,500.00 2018
25 Turkey 20,462,210.00 2018
26 South Africa 19,439,950.00 2018
27 Mozambique 18,880,960.00 2018
28 Germany 18,814,690.00 2018
29 Niger 18,756,690.00 2018
30 Yemen 18,056,200.00 2018
31 Italy 17,864,700.00 2018
32 Sri Lanka 17,666,250.00 2018
33 Madagascar 16,495,130.00 2018
34 Uzbekistan 16,320,170.00 2018
35 Poland 15,169,390.00 2018
36 Malawi 15,070,380.00 2018
37 Burkina Faso 13,952,880.00 2018
38 Ukraine 13,675,910.00 2018
39 Morocco 13,527,860.00 2018
40 France 13,100,030.00 2018
41 Ghana 13,079,670.00 2018
42 Cambodia 12,449,300.00 2018
43 Côte d'Ivoire 12,339,330.00 2018
44 Chad 11,908,740.00 2018
45 Algeria 11,558,340.00 2018
46 Iraq 11,348,290.00 2018
47 United Kingdom 11,038,500.00 2018
48 Cameroon 11,000,840.00 2018
49 Mali 10,997,140.00 2018
50 Angola 10,625,060.00 2018
51 Japan 10,608,200.00 2018
52 Rwanda 10,184,650.00 2018
53 Zambia 9,800,136.00 2018
54 Zimbabwe 9,788,355.00 2018
55 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 9,734,737.00 2018
56 Burundi 9,719,003.00 2018
57 Korea 9,573,693.00 2018
58 Colombia 9,543,470.00 2018
59 Spain 9,194,767.00 2018
60 Romania 8,958,400.00 2018
61 Guatemala 8,442,112.00 2018
62 Senegal 8,372,370.00 2018
63 Somalia 8,258,837.00 2018
64 Guinea 7,927,783.00 2018
65 Kazakhstan 7,780,671.00 2018
66 Syrian Arab Republic 7,749,502.00 2018
67 Malaysia 7,555,510.00 2018
68 Papua New Guinea 7,472,950.00 2018
69 Peru 7,067,386.00 2018
70 Canada 6,888,871.00 2018
71 Tajikistan 6,631,416.00 2018
72 Ecuador 6,180,950.00 2018
73 Benin 6,051,242.00 2018
74 Saudi Arabia 5,444,563.00 2018
75 Haiti 4,974,507.00 2018
76 Togo 4,599,184.00 2018
77 Lao PDR 4,589,697.00 2018
78 Sierra Leone 4,432,882.00 2018
79 Azerbaijan 4,406,442.00 2018
80 Honduras 4,113,430.00 2018
81 Kyrgyz Republic 4,019,944.00 2018
82 Austria 3,689,480.00 2018
83 Argentina 3,617,403.00 2018
84 Tunisia 3,591,574.00 2018
85 Portugal 3,576,922.00 2018
86 Australia 3,495,933.00 2018
87 Bolivia 3,471,223.00 2018
88 Venezuela 3,404,373.00 2018
89 Serbia 3,065,693.00 2018
90 Turkmenistan 2,832,249.00 2018
91 Hungary 2,798,659.00 2018
92 Czech Republic 2,784,782.00 2018
93 Central African Republic 2,736,177.00 2018
94 Nicaragua 2,681,765.00 2018
95 Paraguay 2,672,175.00 2018
96 Cuba 2,603,577.00 2018
97 Slovak Republic 2,520,550.00 2018
98 Liberia 2,354,022.00 2018
99 Chile 2,329,158.00 2018
100 Greece 2,246,588.00 2018
101 Switzerland 2,231,590.00 2018
102 Eritrea 2,064,302.00 2011
103 Mauritania 2,039,970.00 2018
104 Moldova 2,034,309.00 2018
105 Belarus 2,030,347.00 2018
106 Dominican Republic 2,011,297.00 2018
107 El Salvador 1,796,332.00 2018
108 Ireland 1,787,546.00 2018
109 Croatia 1,760,609.00 2018
110 Bulgaria 1,755,492.00 2018
111 Congo 1,735,045.00 2018
112 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1,720,299.00 2018
113 Georgia 1,543,440.00 2018
114 Lesotho 1,514,630.00 2018
115 Netherlands 1,466,360.00 2018
116 Panama 1,348,754.00 2018
117 Libya 1,328,901.00 2018
118 Jamaica 1,300,904.00 2018
119 United Arab Emirates 1,298,061.00 2018
120 Sweden 1,279,923.00 2018
121 Namibia 1,223,344.00 2018
122 Albania 1,137,407.00 2018
123 Armenia 1,087,759.00 2018
124 Guinea-Bissau 1,061,609.00 2018
125 Costa Rica 1,032,885.00 2018
126 Mongolia 1,000,359.00 2018
127 Norway 943,401.00 2018
128 Slovenia 939,807.00 2018
129 Lithuania 901,605.00 2018
130 Jordan 898,132.00 2018
131 The Gambia 883,084.00 2018
132 Timor-Leste 880,252.00 2018
133 North Macedonia 875,613.00 2018
134 Eswatini 865,789.00 2018
135 Finland 806,629.00 2018
136 Lebanon 781,257.00 2018
137 Mauritius 749,148.00 2018
138 Oman 746,686.00 2018
139 Denmark 702,998.00 2018
140 Botswana 688,726.00 2018
141 Israel 673,570.00 2018
142 New Zealand 657,686.00 2018
143 Trinidad and Tobago 650,676.00 2018
144 Latvia 613,758.00 2018
145 Comoros 591,240.00 2018
146 Guyana 571,742.00 2018
147 Solomon Islands 497,811.00 2018
148 Bhutan 445,885.00 2018
149 Estonia 411,059.00 2018
150 Cyprus 394,717.00 2018
151 Fiji 386,541.00 2018
152 Equatorial Guinea 364,641.00 2018
153 Belgium 228,327.00 2018
154 Gabon 225,279.00 2018
155 Vanuatu 218,708.00 2018
156 Djibouti 213,101.00 2018
157 Belize 207,916.00 2018
158 Montenegro 206,538.00 2018
159 Puerto Rico 205,193.00 2018
160 Barbados 197,361.00 2018
161 Suriname 195,491.00 2018
162 Cabo Verde 186,338.00 2018
163 Bahrain 168,134.00 2018
164 Uruguay 160,944.00 2018
165 Samoa 160,350.00 2018
166 St. Lucia 147,916.00 2018
167 Brunei 95,963.00 2018
168 New Caledonia 83,278.00 2018
169 Tonga 79,327.00 2018
170 Antigua and Barbuda 72,601.00 2018
171 Grenada 71,027.00 2018
172 The Bahamas 65,462.00 2018
173 São Tomé and Principe 57,393.00 2018
174 Luxembourg 54,811.00 2018
175 Kiribati 53,224.00 2018
176 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 52,683.00 2018
177 Seychelles 41,907.00 2018
178 St. Kitts and Nevis 36,302.00 2018
179 Liechtenstein 32,474.00 2018
180 Malta 26,053.00 2018
181 Qatar 24,062.00 2018
182 Iceland 21,876.00 2018
183 Dominica 21,142.00 2018
184 Andorra 9,193.00 2018
185 Greenland 7,386.00 2018
186 Tuvalu 4,329.00 2018
187 Palau 3,594.00 2018
188 San Marino 937.00 2018
189 Cayman Islands 0.00 2018
189 Nauru 0.00 2018
189 Kuwait 0.00 2018
189 Singapore 0.00 2018
189 Macao SAR, China 0.00 2018
189 Hong Kong SAR, China 0.00 2018
189 Monaco 0.00 2018

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Development Relevance: The rural population is calculated using the urban share reported by the United Nations Population Division. There is no universal standard for distinguishing rural from urban areas, and any urban-rural dichotomy is an oversimplification. The two distinct images - isolated farm, thriving metropolis - represent poles on a continuum. Life changes along a variety of dimensions, moving from the most remote forest outpost through fields and pastures, past tiny hamlets, through small towns with weekly farm markets, into intensively cultivated areas near large towns and small cities, eventually reaching the center of a megacity. Along the way access to infrastructure, social services, and nonfarm employment increase, and with them population density and income. A 2005 World Bank Policy Research Paper proposes an operational definition of rurality based on population density and distance to large cities (Chomitz, Buys, and Thomas 2005). The report argues that these criteria are important gradients along which economic behavior and appropriate development interventions vary substantially. Where population densities are low, markets of all kinds are thin, and the unit cost of delivering most social services and many types of infrastructure is high. Where large urban areas are distant, farm-gate or factory-gate prices of outputs will be low and input prices will be high, and it will be difficult to recruit skilled people to public service or private enterprises. Thus, low population density and remoteness together define a set of rural areas that face special development challenges. Countries differ in the way they classify population as "urban" or "rural." Most countries use an urban classification related to the size or characteristics of settlements. Some define urban areas based on the presence of certain infrastructure and services. And other countries designate urban areas based on administrative arrangements. Because of national differences in the characteristics that distinguish urban from rural areas, the distinction between urban and rural population is not amenable to a single definition that would be applicable to all countries. Rural population methodology is defined by various national statistical offices. In the United States, for example, the US Census Bureau's urban-rural classification is fundamentally a delineation of geographical areas, identifying both individual urban areas and the rural areas of the nation. "Rural" encompasses all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area.

Limitations and Exceptions: Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverage. There is no consistent and universally accepted standard for distinguishing urban from rural areas, in part because of the wide variety of situations across countries. Estimates of the world's urban population would change significantly if China, India, and a few other populous nations were to change their definition of urban centers. Because the estimates of city and metropolitan area are based on national definitions of what constitutes a city or metropolitan area, cross-country comparisons should be made with caution. To estimate urban populations, UN ratios of urban to total population were applied to the World Bank's estimates of total population.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Rural population is calculated as the difference between the total population and the urban population. Rural population is approximated as the midyear nonurban population. While a practical means of identifying the rural population, it is not a precise measure. The United Nations Population Division and other agencies provide current population estimates for developing countries that lack recent census data and pre- and post-census estimates for countries with census data.

Aggregation method: Sum

Periodicity: Annual