These Are The World’s Most-Populated Islands?

April 3, 2024   |   Tags:
These Are The World's Most-Populated Islands?

The word “island” tends to bring up images of remote paradise - a brisk sea breeze, waving palms, and inviting beaches, all ingredients for an idyllic life.

However, they can also be hubs for human activity, home to 730 million people, or about 9% of the world’s population.

This chart, by creator Perrin Remonté, via Visual Capitalist, ranks the 25 most populated islands in the world, colored by their population density patterns, along with an overview of their size relative to each other.

Data for this graphic comes from a variety of sources listed at the end of this article.

Ranked: Top 25 Islands by Population

At the top of the list sits Java, Indonesia’s most populous island and the most populous island on Earth. Over 150 million residents inhabit the 130,000 km² landmass, resulting in a density of nearly 1,200 people/km².

Its capital, Jakarta—also the capital of Indonesia—is a vibrant metropolis teeming with skyscrapers, bustling streets, and a rich tapestry of traditions.

Even historically, the island has been the political and economic center of the region: the seat of empires and also the heart of the Indonesian independence movement.

Note: Numbers are rounded. Area source: Encyclopaedia Britannica. Population source: See bottom of the article.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Honshu Island ranks second, home to approximately 103 million people. Honshu is the largest and most populous island in Japan, housing iconic cities like Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo—the country’s capital, the world’s largest urban area, and one of the three biggest financial centers in Asia.

At third place, Great Britain, the largest of the British Isles, boasts of around 67 million residents, of which England alone accounts for 83% of the population.

Back in Southeast Asia, the island of Luzon, with 64 million people, is home to more than half of the Philippines’ total population.

Coming back to Indonesia, parts of Sumatra, population 59 million, are more along the lines of a postcard picture, from the lush rainforests of Bukit Lawang to the pristine shores of Lake Toba.

In total, Indonesia has six islands on this graphic, with tourist favorite Bali—consistently one of the most popular places to visit—coming in at the 25th spot.

Missing from this list is Australia, home to nearly 30 million people, which would make the top five on this list, were it not for the continent-island debate.

Most Densely Populated Islands

For Salsette Island (ranked 9th by population)—administratively known as Greater Mumbai —magnification is required as it appears as a dot on the scale for the other most populated islands in the world.

Consequently it’s one of the most densely populated islands in the world; at more than 30,000 people/km².

Singapore (ranked 20th), is similarly dense, though not quite at the scale as Mumbai: 8,500 people/km².

Other extremely populated and dense islands in the world include: Manhattan, Haizhu, Guangzhou, and Lagos Island, but none with the total population close to Singapore or Mumbai.

*  *  *

Population sources:

Creator Note: For Great Britain and the Indonesian islands, the population figures are reverse engineered from the total population of the country and the percentage share of each island, available on Statista.

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/03/2024 - 19:20


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x