This Is The Most Densely-Populated Country In The World

If you've ever driven from a sprawling city into the wide-open countryside, you've certainly noticed how unevenly distributed the human species is. This might have made you wonder: Where is the most densely-packed region in the world?

According to ThoughtCo, the population density of Earth's entire land area averages out at a mere 57 people per square kilometer, or 38 per square mile. Of course, that density varies greatly by region; Asia is the most densely-packed continent, while Oceania is the sparsest. Per Worldometers, the United States' population density is slightly below the international average, at 36 people per square kilometer. That's not surprising, given how much empty land the United States has — from the Rocky Mountains to Alaska.

But what country has the highest population density — the most number of people packed into the smallest area? Per Our World in Data, that honor belongs to the European nation of Monaco, which has a whopping 19,348 people per square kilometer. Monaco's massively high density is due to its tiny size; the country is only two square kilometers in area, meaning the whole nation is basically one small town. Actually, the same is true for most of the countries topping the list of the world's highest population density. From Singapore to Bahrain to the Maldives to Vatican City, the world's densest countries are generally either city-states or small islands.

But let's set aside the tiny countries for now. Among larger nations, what country can claim to have the highest population density?

Bangladesh fits 162 million people into an area the size of Iowa

Of the countries that can be spotted on a map without a magnifying glass, the Asian nation of Bangladesh is the most densely populated by far. Per Our World in Data, Bangladesh has a population density of 1,265 people per square kilometer — much higher than the global average of 57 per square kilometer. Even when we include the tiny nations like Monaco and Singapore, Bangladesh is still the sixth-densest country in the world.

Let's put Bangladesh's density into context. Per the CIA World Factbook, Bangladesh has a population of over 162 million — about half of the United States' 332 million. Thus, for Bangladesh to have the same population density as the United States, it would have to take up an area half the size of the USA. But it doesn't come anywhere close. At 148,000 square kilometers, Bangladesh is only about 1.5 percent the size of the United States. Density-wise, that's as if half of the American population decided to all start living in Iowa.

The country of Bangladesh sits below the Himalayan mountains, to the east of India. Per the Encyclopedia Britannica, its capital city is Dhaka (pictured at top), and the national language is Bengali. Unlike its Hindu-majority neighbor, Bangladesh is 89 percent Muslim, and gained independence from Pakistan in 1971. Bangladesh's population continues to rise steadily, and the Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition suggests that long-term planning regarding land use is essential for Bangladesh to support its population growth.