Understanding the Degree of Population of South and East Asia

Data and statistics are often presented in numbers, but looking at numbers themselves often doesn’t allow one to grasp the true scale of size differences. Below are several comparative attempts to help one grasp the true degree to which the population giants of South and East Asia are densely populated.

China is the world’s most populous country, with 1.39 billion people.
India is the world’s 2nd most populous country, with 1.33 billion people.
The United States is the world’s 3rd most populous country, with 327 million people.
If the United States suddenly had 1 billion more people, it would still be the world’s 3rd most populous country.

A common example of a trait assigned to ignorant Americans is the misconception that Africa is a country. Yet…
Africa has 1.23 billion people, so if Africa was a country, it would only be the world’s 3rd most populous country, after China and India.
At current rates of population growth, though, this probably won’t stay for long.

North America has 579 million people.
South America has 420 million people.
So, if the all of the Americas united into one country, it would have less population than China or India.
In fact, as shown above, the Americas together have less people than Africa.
And, as shown above above, the Americas would need more than another entire USA to catch up to China or India.

California is the most populous state of the United States, with 39 million people.
If California was moved to India, it would rank 12th in population among Indian states. If it was moved to China, it would rank 15th in population among Chinese provinces.
It’s also worth noting that while California would rank 12th in population in India, it would rank 1st in area.

India’s state of Uttar Pradesh has over 200 million people.
If Uttar Pradesh was a country, it would rank 7th in population in the world.
(And of course, India would still rank 2nd.)
How large is Uttar Pradesh? Smaller than Oregon.

Luzon has 53 million people.
Mindanao has 25 million people.
Australia has 23 million people.
The Philippines contain two islands each with more population than Australia.
So does Indonesia, of which in fact one of the islands is Jawa, with six times Australia’s population.

Phoenix’s population density is 1200 people/km².
Austin’s population density is 1170 people/km².
Charlotte’s population density is 1064 people/km²
Bangladesh’s population density is 1142 people/km².
Despite being cities, Phoenix, Austin, and Charlotte have population densities similar to that of the country of Bangladesh.

Here’s a bunch of US states that together have about as much population as Vietnam.
Here’s Vietnam juxtaposed over the US, for an area comparison.

The Seoul capital area has more population than Australia.
Similar urban areas for Delhi, Jakarta, Manila, and Tokyo are as well.

Here’s the world in four parts of approximately equal population.
Yes, the yellow region includes the entirety of the southern hemisphere.

Since China and India both have fewer than 1.4 billion people, removing them from the red and green regions above still leaves 1 billion people.
South and East Asia together have as many people as the Americas, before adding in China or India.


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