Top List of Countries with the Highest Population in the World 2016

The more than 7.4 billion people in the world are spread across 196 countries. While a couple of countries, such as China and India, have more than 1 billion people living in them, others, such as Vatican City, have less than 1,000 full-time residents (around 800 at any given time) [1]. So, where does everyone call home? Let’s look at a list of the 10 countries with the highest population.

The Most Populated Countries in the World


Throughout history China has had one of the world’s largest populations and today is no different. Currently, China has roughly 1,382,323,332 inhabitants, making it the world’s most populated country. India is not too far behind with approximately 1,326,801,576 residents. Why do so many people call these two countries home? There are several reasons, though a significant cause is related to their huge size. Despite the number of people living there, India is ranked 33rd in terms of world population density, while China is 83rd. In addition, the climate is temperate, there’s plenty of fertile land for farming, and the easily navigated rivers make transporting goods pretty easy.

Rounding Out the Top 5 Most Populated Countries

The 3rd highest population can be found in the United States, with around 324,118,787 people, followed by Indonesia in 4th with 260,581,100, and Brazil in 5th with 209,567,920. With a nickname like “The Land of Opportunity”, it is pretty easy to see why people would want to live in the US.

Indonesia, like the countries before it, also has plenty of space for residents to spread out. Interesting, Indonesians have a popular saying, “banyak anak banyak rejeki”, which translates in English to “more children, more fortune.” While this saying originated centuries ago when large families were necessary for farming and fishing, today, it is not unusual for families to be large in the attempt to make certain there is a male heir to pass on the family name.

Despite having a high crime rate, Brazil has a high population rate because of residents, apparently, love living there. According to Brazilians, they love to “go out and have a good time.” In addition, the country, at least in the Niterói and Rio de Janero area, encourages residents to be the person they truly are inside, which attracts expats to the country [3].

Counting Down the Top 10

In 6th place, Pakistan has a population of 192,826,502, while Nigeria comes in 7th with 186,981,563. Bangladesh takes the 8th spot with 162,910,864 residents and Russia comes in 9th with 142,439,832. Mexico rounds out the list of the top ten countries in the world with the highest population with 128,632,000 people calling the country home.

Pakistani residents appreciate how inexpensive, yet high quality the health care and education systems are, which is a common reason resident opt to stay in this country [4]. On the other hand, Nigeria has a high population rate due to the high birth rates and incentives for foreign workers. In fact, there are around 250 different ethnic groups in Nigeria alone [5]. Despite Bangladesh’s reputation for being crowded and dirty, residents are quick to point out that things are improving. The country is one of the fastest growing economies in the world [6].

According to a number of Russians, it’s a common misconception that Russia is a bleak and violent country [7]. In fact, most residents enjoy living in this country and have no desire to leave. When it comes to Mexico, the country has seen an increase in population over the past seven decades. However, it is slowing down considerably, a trend that is expected to continue in the foreseeable future [8].

Highest Population Density

Finally, let’s take a quick look at population density. With a population of around 37,800 and a country that takes up less a square mile, Monaco has the highest population density of any country in the world. Their population density is an astounding 37,863 people per square mile. Incidentally, Bangladesh is the most densely populated country among countries that have a population of 10 million or more [9].

It goes without saying that the world’s population is likely to continue growing, but it’s impossible to predict exactly which countries will see the highest levels of growth.