Saturday, August 27, 2011

Top 10: Countries With The Largest Population

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 south east 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

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.

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.

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.

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.