Top 10: Countries With The Largest Population

The following is a list of the top 10 countries in the world by population. The United Nations has been the source for all data mentioned, unless otherwise stated and the figures were correct at the time of writing.

10. Japan (127,156,000)

At just over 127 million Japan is the country with the tenth biggest total population.  It is an island nation off of the east coast of Asia, and is one of the most developed nations on the planet.  As a result the population growth rate is now negative, meaning that the Japanese population is now shrinking in size due to low births and a relatively high death rate due to an elderly population.

A torii is a gate found at the entrance to a Japanese shrine, and this one is at the entrance to the Itsukushima shrine.  Photo by Lightmatter under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
A torii is a gate found at the entrance to a Japanese shrine, and this one is at the entrance to the Itsukushima shrine. Photo by Lightmatter under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

9. Russia (140,874,000)

Russia is a relatively new nation, having been formed in 1991 after the break up of the Soviet Union (USSR).  It is a vast country, spreading across much of northern Europe and Asia.  It is the biggest country in the world in terms of landmass.  Like Japan, the population of Russia is falling.  However this does not prevent the United Nations estimating it had a population of almost 141 million in 2009.  This level leads to Russia being the country with the 9th largest population in the world.

Photo of the snow falling on St. Basil's Cathedral and Red Square in Moscow.  Photo by lonesome:cycler and distributed under Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike 2.0 License.
Photo of the snow falling on St. Basil's Cathedral and Red Square in Moscow. Photo by lonesome:cycler and distributed under Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike 2.0 License.

8. Nigeria (154,729,000)

Nigeria is the 8th most populous nation in the world, and the only African nation to make it into the top 10. The country is one of extremes. In the north of Nigeria the Sahel can be found, wehereas in the south there are rainforests and the Niger delta. The population is also split into two, with the northern half being predominantly Muslim and the southern half being predominantly Christian and civil disturbances along religious lines can sometimes happen. However, Nigeria is also considered to be a country with great economic prospects. At present the population growth rate is still relatively high at 1.999%, and so the population of Nigeria will be even larger in the future.

Zuma rock near Nigeria's capital Abuja.  Photo by markhillary and shown using Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
Zuma rock near Nigeria's capital Abuja. Photo by markhillary and shown using Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

7. Bangladesh (162,221,000)

With a population of over 162 million Bangladesh has the 7th highest population of any country on the planet.  Bangladesh is in southern Asia, and has land borders with India and Burma.  The country is one of the most densely populated in the world.  This is possible due to the majority of the country being located on extremely fertile floodplains.  However this does lead to periodic devastating floods.  The population of Bangladesh continues to grow at well over 1% per year.  

The parliament building of Bangladesh in Dhaka at night.  Photo by Silver Surfer -{ Ariful H Bhuiyan }- and distributed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.
The parliament building of Bangladesh in Dhaka at night. Photo by Silver Surfer -{ Ariful H Bhuiyan }- and distributed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.

6. Pakistan (180,808,000)

Pakistan is another south Asian country, which has a large population.  In the north and west there are mountains, whereas in the east there are fertile plains.  A country which has had many problems since independence and yet has continued to develop despite a relatively high population growth rate of almost 2%, although once again this is falling.  Another land of many extremes, Paskistan is the country with the sixth largest population at over 180 million.

The Faisal mosque located in Islamabad is the largest mosque in Pakistan, and also the national mosque.  It can accomodate up to 300,000 worshippers at a time.  Photo by geoaxis and disturbuted under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0.
The Faisal mosque located in Islamabad is the largest mosque in Pakistan, and also the national mosque. It can accommodate up to 300,000 worshippers at a time. Photo by geoaxis and disturbuted under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0.

5. Brazil (193,734,000)

Brazil is the country with the largest landmass in South America, and also the only South American country to make it onto this list of the top 10 countries with the largest population.  The country is dominated by the Amazon rainforest and the associated rivers which are located in the north, west and central areas of the country.  However, the majority of the population is situated in the southeast of the country, around cities such as Rio de Janiero and Sao Paulo.  With a population of in excess of 190 million, Brazil is the country with the fifth largest population.

View of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.  The statue Christ teh Redeemr can just be seen in the top left of this picture on top of the hill.  Distributed under Creative Commons Attricution-No Derivative works license, the photo is by Chang'r.
View of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The statue Christ the Redeemr can just be seen in the top left of this picture on top of the hill. Distributed under Creative Commons Attricution-No Derivative works license, the photo is by Chang'r.

4. Indonesia (229,965,00)

Indonesia is a nation of thousands of islands in south-east Asia.  It has the highest population of any predominantly Muslim state.  However, there are sizable minorities of non-Islamic groups.  Over half of the population lives on the island of Java, despite it accounting for less than 10% of the total land area of Indonesia.  This makes Java the most populous island in the world, and in fact with it's population of 130 million were it to be an independent nation it would be the tenth most populous in the world.  Most islands of Indonesia are volcanic and are covered in rainforest.  With a population of almost 230 million Indonesia is fourth on the list of countries with the largest population.  

Photo of sunset over the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.  Photo by flydime and distributed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.
Photo of sunset over the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Photo by flydime and distributed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.

3. United States of America (314,659,000)

The United States of America is the country with the 3rd largest population in the world.  The United States is a vast country, with the 3rd largest land area of all the world's countries.  The United States of America, also known as United States, US or USA is at present the only true superpower in the world, both economically, culturally and militarily.  However, the country is not without it's critics and whilst 'the land of the free' as America is known is considered a beacon of hope, for others the United States of America stand for everything bad in the world.  However, at present the United States is 3rd on the list of top 10 countries with the largest population, and it is likely to stay that way for a while due to a growing indigenous population and large levels of immigration.

The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island in New York.  Given to America as a gift by France, it was one of the first parts of America to be seen by many immigrants from Europe.  Photo by wwarby and distributed under Attribution 2.0 license.
The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island in New York. Given to America as a gift by France, it was one of the first parts of America to be seen by many immigrants from Europe. Photo by wwarby and distributed under Attribution 2.0 license.

2. India (1,198,003,000)

India is one of only two countries in the world with a population in excess of 1 billion.  Located in south Asia, it has borders with six other countries - Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and Bangladesh.  The Indian population is diverse, with a large variety of religions, living styles and ethnicities.  For example, whilst Hinduism is the predominant religion with over 80% of the population adherents, significant numbers of people follow other religions due to the large total population of the country.  This has sometimes led to inter-community strife.  India's population continues to grow, along with the economy and many people perceive it to be a future superpower.  With a population of almost 1.2 billion, India is the largest democracy in the world and the country with the second biggest population.   

The Taj Mahal is probably the most recognisable of all Indian landmarks.  It was constructed as a mausoleum by Shah Jahan for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.  Photo by diametrik and distributed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.
The Taj Mahal is probably the most recognisable of all Indian landmarks. It was constructed as a mausoleum by Shah Jahan for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Photo by diametrik and distributed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.

1. China (1,345,751,000)

China, or People's Republic of China to give it it's formal name, is the country with the largest population in the world.  If the population of the special autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau are also taken into account, the population of China is even higher.  It would also have been higher were it not for the famous one child policy which China has undertaken since 1979, with the specific aim of curtailing the population.  This has had a considerable effect, and it has been estimated by the Chinese government that the policy prevented over 250 million extra births in the period 1980-2000 and so by the present day it can be assumed that the policy has had an even greater effect and China's population would be well in excess of 1.5 billion.  However, as it is China has a population of almost 1.35 billion, which results in it being the country with the largest population.  

The Great Wall of China is actually a series of walls which stretch for over 5500 miles across Northen China.  They were built to defend China from attack from the north.  This photo is included under a Creative Commons Attricution-Share Alike 2.0 Li
The Great Wall of China is actually a series of walls which stretch for over 5500 miles across Northen China. They were built to defend China from attack from the north. This photo is included under a Creative Commons Attricution-Share Alike 2.0 Li

Quick poll!

Which of these countries do you live in?

  • China
  • India
  • United States
  • Indonesia
  • Brazil
  • Pakistan
  • Nigeria
  • Bangladesh
  • Russia
  • Japan
  • Other
See results without voting

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Comments 74 comments

R Burow profile image

R Burow 7 years ago from Florida, United States

Informative hub, and the choice of photos was great !

Thanks


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Wow, really enjoyed this. Thanks for this informative hub. Two thumbs up!


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for the comments of support. I hoped this hub would be as informative for people as my hubs on the top 10 cheapest cities and top 10 most expensive cities which seemed to be extremely well received by the majority of people.


kiwi91 profile image

kiwi91 7 years ago from USA

Excellent hub. No shocker that India and China are on the top of the list. Their population just blows everyone out of the water. Do they still mandate the "one child per couple" rule?

I was actually surprised to see the USA at #3. I thought that we were much lower on the totem pole in terms of population.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for commenting Kiwi91. In China they do still have the one child policy. However there are exceptions to the rule which include rural and ethnic minority families being allowed more than one child and those who have a girl for a first child or are both only childs are allowed a second child. However, it still means that a large proportion of the Chinese population is subject to the one child policy and as a result there is a low birth rate (per head of population) which should help the Chinese population level off.


iasmina26 7 years ago

Good, but you should say the source(s) for the population counters!


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for commenting iasmina26. As I clearly said in the top of the document

"The following is a list of the top 10 countries in the world by population. The United Nations has been the source for all data mentioned, unless otherwise stated."

And then in the links section:

The United Nations PDFThis is the source document for all populations.


iasmina26 7 years ago

Let me help you a bit and give you a fresh list updated for 2009, source:www.world-gazetteer.com

1.China 1.321.359.000

2.India 1.169.733.000

3.USA 307.201.700

4.Indonesia 229.566.800

5.Brazil 194.747.300

6.Pakistan 155.360.000

7.Nigeria 151.030.400

8.Bangladesh 145.386.000

9.Russia 141.292.300

10.Japan 128.082.000

I hope this (new) top helps you and the readers!


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thansk for commenting Iasmina26. There are many different levels of estimates for the population of the world and individual countries,none of which are ever 100% accurate. I chose the UN data above since it is for mid 2009, as well being probably the most respected potential source of data, and certainly better than most websites.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for taking the time to comment Sunesra! I am glad you found it to be useful information!


02SmithA profile image

02SmithA 7 years ago from Ohio

Very surprised to see Indonesia so high on the list... learned something new... thanks for the post!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Great info - love the pics you've chosen. India is fast catching up with China and it's really sad that we've let our population get out of control!


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for the comments!

It is quite sad that the Indian population is growing so fast as it means that there is the potential for environmental problems. Also due to the growth in the country's population it makes it harder for the government to correctly care for their civilians, particularly in terms of education etc.


JonTutor profile image

JonTutor 7 years ago from USA

Cool snaps... I might visit India next year... I work in a motel owned by Indians....they have offered me to travel with them...One has to be mentally prepared for the challenge... India with its spiritual richness alongside extreme poverty... land of contrasts.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for commenting JonTutor. India is a land of great contrasts I will agree. Still it is always good to broaden the mind and learn about new cultures.


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

Hi, this is fantastic. I never know that the sunset sky over Jakarta is so beautiful..thank's. You're right that most of the islands in Indonesia are volcanic, we call it the ring of fire.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for taking the time to comment febriedethan. I agree that the picture of Jakarta looks very impressive, and possibly the most impressive of all of teh pictures on the page of the top 10 countries with the largest population.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

fantastic hub, I'm loving this series of world geography articles.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for the compliment LondonGirl. I am planning on doing some more top ten geographic hubs in the near future.


davesie 7 years ago

learn something about it!


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for taking the time to comment davesie! I am glad you found it useful!


Sani 7 years ago

nice hub.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for taking the time to commengt Sani!


moona hayat 7 years ago

thanks for taking me noledge thank you v.v.v. much(").......


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for taking the time to comment Moona Hayat!


V.C 7 years ago

So ridiculous.

Look, China and India are over 1 billion when the 3rd place is USA which have just 300 mil.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for commenting V.C. I agree it is quite amazing that the populations of India and China are so high, especially when compared with the other countries.


santoion profile image

santoion 7 years ago

very good info !


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for taking the time to comment Santoion!


Yangtze profile image

Yangtze 7 years ago

Large countries!Ours has been the first!


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

I'm guessing by your name and comment that you come from China, Yangtze. It is interesting to note that at present growth rates China will not be the most populous country in a few years time and will be overtaken by India.


Lili 7 years ago

Great info love the pix also


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for the kind words Lili. I am glad you found this article on the top 10 countries with the largest population interesting!


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

It is an informative article. Thanks for sharing


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for taking the time to comment H P Roychoudhury! I am glad you found the article to be interesting!


upal19 profile image

upal19 7 years ago from Dhaka

The population of Bangladesh is growing at an alarming rate. it is having the largest density now in the world.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

I agree that the population of Bangladesh is growing at a high rate upal19. I agree that the level of growth could be called alarming, but it is nothing compared with some countries (such as Pakistan) which have growth rates double that of Bangladesh. I also agree that Bangladesh has the highest population density for such a large country (those countries which have a higher population density than Bangladesh are small eg Singapore, Malta etc) and with the growing population and decrease in land due to global warming this density is only going to increase further.


Mdmumtazmehdi profile image

Mdmumtazmehdi 7 years ago from patna

Great work.thanks.knowledge full hub.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

I am glad you found it to be of use Mdmumtazmehdi.


tksensei profile image

tksensei 7 years ago

The economic growth of China and India are why things like the Kyoto protocol are all but meaningless.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for commenting tksensei. Not sure why global agreements on a range of issues, such as the Kyoto Protocol (and the Copenhagen follow up) are meaningless because of the economic growth of India and China. Whilst this makes it harder, it is possible to include both (look at the global agreements on CFCs to help stop the hole in the ozone layer).


JHOLLO74 profile image

JHOLLO74 7 years ago from USA

Good job my friend.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for the compliment JHOLLO74, I am glad you found it to be of use!


honey 6 years ago

good information


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 6 years ago from Bristol Author

I am glad you found this page to be of some use honey!


HARRY FROM INDIA 6 years ago

GREAT INFORMATON TRUSTME.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 6 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for taking the time to comment Harry!


jesse 25 6 years ago

well, i find it helpful to ny assignments in class and also in my quizzes! thanks for making this page. it helps everyone . thanks!


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 6 years ago from Bristol Author

Hi Jesse 25. Hopefully other people find it as useful as you!


Ms. Funnyblue 6 years ago

oh!! our world having a big populations!!!!

I wish that our president Noynoy Aquino have a good

idea to stop the growing of population in the philippines..

:)


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 6 years ago from Bristol Author

Ms Funnyblue the population of the world is very large. I also hope that the leaders of the countries above find ways to stop the population growing further or at least reduce it's growth.


Mezie 6 years ago

I just hope my Country Nigeria can take advantage of HER population and make a positive impact in wealth creation for the citizenry.


shanmugam 6 years ago

INDIA is world first and best counrty on future because indian economic crow going more then 9% and indian airforce world 4 th one,

indian navy world no 3,

indian millitary power and population world no 2 place,

its has no 1 best country of world so union is strength


Prabhu7 5 years ago

Fentastic Hub I really enjoyed it


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 5 years ago from Bristol Author

Mezie, I believe Nigeria does have great strengths, including it's wide educated work force and if it could utilise them properly it could become one of the world's most powerful countries. Shanmugan, I think India has a chance to be the world's main superpower, but it will take many years to overtake the US and China, despite it's obvious population advantages.


Kamran100 profile image

Kamran100 5 years ago

such a great informative hub..i vote up this hub, well done!


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 5 years ago from Bristol Author

Hi Kamran100. I am glad you found it useful!


yuri partol 5 years ago

Isn't philippines populated?


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 5 years ago from Bristol Author

yuri partol the Philippines is highly populated however the population is currently under 100 million and so it doesn't appear on the top 1 most populated countries in the world.


j.o. 5 years ago

best info ive seen in weeks


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 5 years ago from Bristol Author

Hi j.o.. Thanks for commenting - I am glad you found this info on the most populous countries in the world to be so good!


Roxychic 5 years ago

Wow that was soo useful thanks for the hub, now I dont need to worry about the country with the most population! thanks I found it amazing and very use now I can just go here and i will know the population. well done BristoBoy! PS thanks for the info!


Akash ramdin 5 years ago

Why are people shocked India has the highest population? Are you forgetting its the oldest living civilisation. They outlasted the mayans and egyptions. Study the history of India and you will be shocked how far back the culture, tradition and history goes.


unknown 5 years ago

thanks


latavia 5 years ago

coolllllllllllllllll


amna 4 years ago

it is interesting


ritik 4 years ago

very!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


cecilia hong 4 years ago

helps me a lot!!! thanks!!!


Clasdo 4 years ago

Very informative, the population growth is overwhelming.


Khalil 4 years ago

It is really usefull, because I got to know about the top ten countries in population


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 3 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for all your comments everyone!


anonymus 3 years ago

thanks


sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

sunilkunnoth2012 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

Fantastic! You have taught us some General knowledge. Thank you for sharing. On India, I may add that The largest population of Hindus are here and it has also the second largest Muslim population in the world.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 3 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for your comment sunilkunnoth2012!

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