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.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 India 885,393,900.00 2016
2 China 595,886,600.00 2016
3 Indonesia 118,896,300.00 2016
4 Pakistan 117,421,300.00 2016
5 Bangladesh 105,861,500.00 2016
6 Nigeria 95,604,260.00 2016
7 Ethiopia 82,002,430.00 2016
8 Vietnam 60,963,950.00 2016
9 United States 58,847,980.00 2016
10 Philippines 57,560,730.00 2016
11 Egypt 54,330,120.00 2016
12 Dem. Rep. Congo 44,867,800.00 2016
13 Tanzania 37,613,490.00 2016
14 Russia 37,383,240.00 2016
15 Kenya 35,834,900.00 2016
16 Uganda 34,665,680.00 2016
17 Myanmar 34,560,490.00 2016
18 Thailand 33,371,260.00 2016
19 Brazil 29,210,530.00 2016
20 Mexico 26,124,100.00 2016
21 Sudan 26,119,260.00 2016
22 Afghanistan 25,253,160.00 2016
23 Nepal 23,477,490.00 2016
24 Iran 20,969,270.00 2016
25 Turkey 20,763,080.00 2016
26 Germany 20,245,320.00 2016
27 Uzbekistan 20,230,300.00 2016
28 Mozambique 19,457,590.00 2016
29 South Africa 19,403,170.00 2016
30 Italy 18,715,890.00 2016
31 Yemen 17,878,160.00 2016
32 Sri Lanka 17,300,160.00 2016
33 Niger 16,743,050.00 2016
34 Madagascar 15,996,990.00 2016
35 Angola 15,899,560.00 2016
36 Malawi 15,114,790.00 2016
37 Poland 14,977,700.00 2016
38 Morocco 13,869,070.00 2016
39 France 13,546,460.00 2016
40 Ukraine 13,539,650.00 2016
41 Burkina Faso 12,924,220.00 2016
42 Ghana 12,782,730.00 2016
43 Cambodia 12,460,940.00 2016
44 Algeria 11,652,310.00 2016
45 Colombia 11,332,350.00 2016
46 Iraq 11,312,560.00 2016
47 United Kingdom 11,266,630.00 2016
48 Chad 11,183,670.00 2016
49 Zimbabwe 10,937,510.00 2016
50 Côte d'Ivoire 10,694,210.00 2016
51 Mali 10,674,000.00 2016
52 Cameroon 10,562,170.00 2016
53 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 9,881,585.00 2016
54 Zambia 9,726,039.00 2016
55 Spain 9,380,751.00 2016
56 Burundi 9,223,441.00 2016
57 Korea 8,920,853.00 2016
58 Romania 8,916,846.00 2016
59 Senegal 8,620,486.00 2016
60 Somalia 8,586,502.00 2016
61 Rwanda 8,369,070.00 2016
62 Kazakhstan 8,323,850.00 2016
63 Guatemala 7,954,610.00 2016
64 Syrian Arab Republic 7,729,548.00 2016
65 Guinea 7,728,735.00 2016
66 Japan 7,711,107.00 2016
67 Malaysia 7,681,423.00 2016
68 Papua New Guinea 7,030,789.00 2016
69 Peru 6,696,654.00 2016
70 Canada 6,529,379.00 2016
71 Tajikistan 6,386,035.00 2016
72 Benin 6,045,541.00 2016
73 Ecuador 5,902,557.00 2016
74 Saudi Arabia 5,380,034.00 2016
75 Togo 4,528,607.00 2016
76 Sierra Leone 4,414,194.00 2016
77 Azerbaijan 4,403,274.00 2016
78 Haiti 4,361,279.00 2016
79 Lao PDR 4,078,396.00 2016
80 Honduras 4,072,085.00 2016
81 Kyrgyz Republic 3,902,052.00 2016
82 Tunisia 3,757,712.00 2016
83 Portugal 3,715,105.00 2016
84 Argentina 3,554,711.00 2016
85 Eritrea 3,537,063.00 2011
86 Venezuela 3,458,925.00 2016
87 Bolivia 3,384,934.00 2016
88 Serbia 3,128,692.00 2016
89 Austria 2,971,303.00 2016
90 Czech Republic 2,853,753.00 2016
91 Turkmenistan 2,808,848.00 2016
92 Hungary 2,781,231.00 2016
93 Central African Republic 2,741,518.00 2016
94 Paraguay 2,695,234.00 2016
95 Cuba 2,618,360.00 2016
96 Slovak Republic 2,526,085.00 2016
97 Australia 2,520,323.00 2016
98 Nicaragua 2,514,890.00 2016
99 Greece 2,328,926.00 2016
100 Liberia 2,302,298.00 2016
101 Belarus 2,182,264.00 2016
102 Switzerland 2,177,583.00 2016
103 Dominican Republic 2,146,690.00 2016
104 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2,112,200.00 2016
105 El Salvador 2,081,767.00 2016
106 Moldova 1,950,439.00 2016
107 Chile 1,845,242.00 2016
108 Bulgaria 1,834,274.00 2016
109 Congo 1,753,133.00 2016
110 Ireland 1,740,509.00 2016
111 Georgia 1,717,350.00 2016
112 Mauritania 1,701,225.00 2016
113 Croatia 1,698,101.00 2016
114 Lesotho 1,590,277.00 2016
115 Netherlands 1,526,211.00 2016
116 Jordan 1,521,911.00 2016
117 Sweden 1,390,002.00 2016
118 Libya 1,337,065.00 2016
119 Panama 1,335,495.00 2016
120 United Arab Emirates 1,315,914.00 2016
121 Namibia 1,298,750.00 2016
122 Jamaica 1,295,745.00 2016
123 Trinidad and Tobago 1,250,960.00 2016
124 Albania 1,197,148.00 2016
125 Armenia 1,095,110.00 2016
126 Costa Rica 1,084,386.00 2016
127 Swaziland 1,056,817.00 2016
128 Slovenia 1,040,124.00 2016
129 Norway 1,008,176.00 2016
130 Oman 969,554.00 2016
131 Lithuania 961,875.00 2016
132 Botswana 951,635.00 2016
133 Guinea-Bissau 906,142.00 2016
134 Macedonia 890,673.00 2016
135 Finland 859,543.00 2016
136 Timor-Leste 844,922.00 2016
137 Mongolia 822,756.00 2016
138 The Gambia 810,834.00 2016
139 Mauritius 763,795.00 2016
140 Equatorial Guinea 731,636.00 2016
141 Lebanon 725,966.00 2016
142 Denmark 696,503.00 2016
143 Israel 666,246.00 2016
144 New Zealand 641,868.00 2016
145 Latvia 639,863.00 2016
146 Comoros 569,555.00 2016
147 Guyana 551,667.00 2016
148 Bhutan 483,629.00 2016
149 Solomon Islands 462,877.00 2016
150 Estonia 428,278.00 2016
151 Fiji 412,540.00 2016
152 Cyprus 388,013.00 2016
153 Gabon 250,126.00 2016
154 Belgium 238,652.00 2016
155 Montenegro 222,812.00 2016
156 Puerto Rico 219,381.00 2016
157 Djibouti 212,685.00 2016
158 Belize 206,063.00 2016
159 Vanuatu 198,905.00 2016
160 Barbados 195,465.00 2016
161 Suriname 189,761.00 2016
162 Cabo Verde 182,441.00 2016
163 Bahrain 159,120.00 2016
164 Samoa 158,139.00 2016
165 Uruguay 156,358.00 2016
166 St. Lucia 145,011.00 2016
167 Brunei 95,198.00 2016
168 Tonga 81,626.00 2016
169 New Caledonia 81,348.00 2016
170 Antigua and Barbuda 77,345.00 2016
171 Grenada 69,095.00 2016
172 São Tomé and Principe 68,675.00 2016
173 The Bahamas 66,701.00 2016
174 Kuwait 66,543.00 2016
175 Kiribati 63,550.00 2016
176 Luxembourg 55,779.00 2016
177 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 53,836.00 2016
178 Seychelles 43,349.00 2016
179 St. Kitts and Nevis 37,194.00 2016
180 Liechtenstein 32,286.00 2016
181 Dominica 22,195.00 2016
182 Malta 19,536.00 2016
183 Iceland 19,286.00 2016
184 Qatar 17,552.00 2016
185 Andorra 11,892.00 2016
186 Greenland 7,412.00 2016
187 Tuvalu 4,370.00 2016
188 Palau 2,659.00 2016
189 San Marino 1,920.00 2016
190 Macao SAR, China 0.00 2016
190 Cayman Islands 0.00 2016
190 Nauru 0.00 2016
190 Hong Kong SAR, China 0.00 2016
190 Singapore 0.00 2016
190 Monaco 0.00 2016

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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