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Population Density


As the term implies, "population density" refers to the number of people in a defined jurisdiction, in relation to the size of the area that they occupy. Obviously, the population density is higher in urban areas than in rural communities. In the world as a whole, the population density is very high in some nations, such as Singapore and the Netherlands, and very low in others, such as Greenland and Australia (though in Australia the density is quite high in several large cities, while the rest of the continent is sparsely settled). Tables showing the population density of the nations of the world are published by the United Nations Statistical Office. While population density is a useful measure, the proportion of people living in urban areas in relation to the area available to produce food for them might be a more meaningful statistic.

John M. Last

(see also: Demography; Population Growth; Rural Public Health; Urban Health )

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