Geo-Joint: The Least Dense

Least Dense

Original image by: Michael Eisenriegler

Which country has the least population density?

The answer to this question turned into a muddy mess of questionable statistics and bad math, as far as I could tell.  There are many top (or bottom, really) ten country lists and none agree entirely. Some include places that aren’t independent countries like Greenland, Svalbard, the Falkland Islands and Western Sahara.  As with figuring out the world’s most crowded country, to guess the most sparse one you can’t just pick one that has the fewest residents.  It also has to be a country of some size, in order to give each citizen their maximum elbow room.  Turns out though, that there are a couple of pretty small small nations that don’t have a lot of people, either.  Of the top 10 least dense countries,  Suriname, Iceland, and Guyana,  fairly small places, rank as contenders. Of course really big places with fairly small populations are in the race, like Australia and Canada.  But the winners are the countries smaller in size, but with very small populations, and there is some agreement that Namibia comes in close, but Mongolia is the winner.  At about 2 people per square kilometer (once again, stats vary), if you’re looking for solitude, the land of Genghis Khan is your best bet.

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