Shanghai population 2021

Although official data is not yet available, the population of Shanghai in 2021 is estimated to be just over 24.1 million people.

This makes Shanghai the largest city in China, and the largest city proper in the world today.

Rapid population growth in Shanghai over recent years has been driven by immigration. The city’s natural population growth is very low, and it has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world.

Population of Shanghai map

Located in South East China, at the mouth of the Yangtze river, Shanghai is the world’s busiest port and a major financial centre.

How many people live in Shanghai today?

The latest official data, provided by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government (document in Chinese) reveals that the estimated 2015 population of Shanghai is 24,152,700 people.

This represents a very slight decrease on the 2014 population of 24,256,800.

Unfortunately, no data has yet been published to clarify the population of Shanghai in 2017 or even 2016.

The 2015 and 2014 data has been estimated, partly based on official data from the 2010 census, which reported the 2010 population as 23,019,148.

In addition to the population recorded in official statistics, Shanghai is believed to be home to around 2 million itinerant workers.

Shanghai population growth rate

Although Shanghai’s population fell slightly in 2015, this decrease comes after many years of steady, and at some times rapid, population growth.

For example, between 2000 and 2010, the number of people living in Shanghai grew by 40.3%, from 16,407,700 in 2000 to 23,019,200 in 2010.

With the exception of 2015, population growth since 2010 has been at between 1-2% per annum.

The table below shows the population of Shanghai over time, and includes data from selected years from 1953 to 2015. Annual population figures have never been provided, so unfortunately we are unable to provide a detailed chart listing Shanghai’s population by year.

YearPopulationPercentage change
1953 6,204,400 n/a
2014 24,256,800+0.4%
2015 24,152,700-0.4%

Shanghai’s low birth rate

Population growth in Shanghai has been driven almost entirely by the massive inflow of migrants into the city.

According to the Shanghai Bureau of Statistics (document in Chinese) 9 million (that’s almost 40%) of the people who live in Shanghai today are migrants.

Non migrants14 million

Partly because of this, the city has one of the lowest natural birth rates in the world – Shanghai’s low fertility rate of 0.7 is regarded as one of the lowest in the world. This is well below the replacement rate of 2.33 children per woman.

Shanghai population density

Shanghai is a moderately densely populated city.

Based on 2010 data, when the population was 23,019,196 and the area of the city was 6,340.50 square kilometres, we can calculate that the population density of Shanghai was 3,630.50 people per square kilometer.

Other Shanghai demographics

98.8% of people in Shanghai are Han Chinese, making it by far the most common ethnic group in the city. The remaining 1.2% of the population is split across a number of other smaller ethnic groups.

Han Chinese98.8%
Other ethnic groups1.2%

The majority of people (86.9%) in Shanghai (survey data in Chinese) are either not religious or are not adherents of an organised religion. Of the remaining 13%, Buddhism is the largest single religion (10.4%), followed by two Christian religions – Protestantism (1.9%) and Catholicism (0.7%).

Not religious / not in organised religion86.9%

Because of its position as a trading city, Shanghai has a rich religious history, and quite a few Christian churches and Islamic mosques can be found dotted around the city alongside more numerous Buddhist and folk religion temples.

Life expectancy in Shanghai is almost ten years higher than the Chinese average of 75.15 years. According to China Daily, the average life expectancy of a person born in Shanghai is now 84.8 years.

Shanghai life expectancy84.8 years
China life expectancy75.15 years

Infant mortality is also much lower in Shanghai than in the rest of China. In 2011 it was estimated to be 5.97 deaths per 1,000 live births, a rate comparable to that in Western European and North American countries.

Foreign population in Shanghai

Fitting with its reputation as a major trading city and financial hub, Shanghai is home to one of the largest foreigner populations in China.

Approximately one in every four foreigners in China live in Shanghai.

Of the 162,381 resident foreigners in Shanghai during the 2010 census, the largest groups came from Japan (35,075), the United States (24,358) and South Korea (21,073).

The majority (95,623) were employees of foreign companies or their relatives. A further 16,064 were overseas students, or their relatives.

The table below gives more detail about the number of foreigners living in Shanghai.

CountryResidents (2010)
United States24,358
South Korea21,073
United Kingdom5,591


Where is Shanghai? What country is Shanghai in?

Shanghai is situated on the South Eastern coast of China. It sits at the mouth of the Yangtze river.

Population of Shanghai map

Shanghai has been an important city for centuries and, once it was fortified, it became one of the Qing dynasty’s major sea ports.

Its location attracted the attention of European colonial powers during the late 19th century. This European interest was a double-edged sword – on the one hand it was effectively occupied by European powers, but on the other hand, it became a major East Asian trading hub.

Economic reforms implemented in China since the 1990s have reinvigorated Shanghai, and led to its resurgence as a major city on the world state.

The name Shanghai means ‘Upon the Sea’. The city has also been called, in English, the Pearl of the Orient and the Paris of the East.

Japan population (2021)

The Statistics Bureau of Japan reported that the population of Japan on 1 May 2016 was 125,360,000, another slight decrease in population.

Population of Japan chart

[table “30” not found /]

How many people live in Japan?

Despite a fall in population over the past year, and almost one million people over the previous five years, Japan is still the tenth largest country in the world by population.

An island nation in the Asia Pacific region, Japan is the 40th most densely populated country in the world, with 336 people per square kilometre (869 people per square mile).

Four in every five people in Japan live on the main island of Honshu, which has a population density of 447 people per square km.

Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world today. The average baby born in Japan today can expect to live until 84.

Population Decline in Japan

As you can see from the chart, Japan’s population steadily increased through the 20th century, with the exception of a dip in the 1940s caused by the Second World War.

Population of Japan chart

After many years of slowing population growth, the number of people who live in Japan has begun to decrease. The fall began in 2004, and has accelerated since then.

The 2015 census showed a reduction in Japan’s population of almost 1 million people – from 128,057,352 in 2010 to 127,110,000 in 2015. The population fell by a further 150,000 to 126,960,000 in 2016.

To put that in perspective, that’s a decrease of 0.7% in the five years from 2010 to 2015. If current trends continue, the population could fall to just 97 million by 2050.

In the 1980s, Japan was the 7th largest country in the world by population, but since then it has gradually dropped down the world population rankings and is now the 10th most populous country in the world.

The main causes of the fall in Japan’s population are its low birth rate combined with its also low death rate. People in Japan are living longer and having fewer babies – and those that do choose to have children are delaying starting a family until later in life.

This could present a major challenge for Japan, as the number of people of working age is falling compared to the number of Japanese pensioners. The Government believes that, by 2060, 40% of Japanese citizens will be over 65. This, combined with fewer tax receipts from a smaller working population, will make it harder for Japan to fund pensions and healthcare for the elderly.

The problem of Japan’s falling population is so acute that the Japanese government has been considering mass immigration – a dramatic step in a country as ethnically homogeneous as Japan.

The United Nations estimates that, unless Japan’s low fertility rate is also raised, it would need 650,000 immigrants every year to stabilise population levels.

Ethnic Groups

Japan is one of the most homogeneous and least ethnically diverse countries in the world.

Official data, which measures citizenship rather than ethnicity, reports that 98.5% of the population is Japanese. The remaining 1.5% is a mixture of foreign nationals.


The number of foreign nationals in Japan includes 653,000 Chinese, 530,421 Koreans, 203,027 Filipino (Philippines), and 193,571 Brazilians (2012 data).


The Brazilian community in Japan is made up mainly of descendants of Japanese immigrants who went to Brazil early in the 20th century. According to IBGE data, there are approximately 1.5 million people of Japanese descent in Brazil. In the 1980s and 1990s a large number of Brazilians of Japanese descent in turn emigrated to Japan, encouraged by the Japanese Government which made it legal for Japanese first, second and third generation descendants to return. (Related article: Population of Brazil.)

None of the data above includes the 54,00 US service personnel in Japan, their 42,000 dependents, or the 8,000 Department of Defense employees in Japan.

The Japanese ethnicity data does not adequately help us to understand the population of other indigenous ethnic groups within Japan. In fact, before 1997 the Japanese Government did not accept that minority ethnic groups existed within Japan.

Examples of ethnic groups that are indigenous to Japan include the Ryukyuans and the Ainu who, although small in number, have distinct cultural and ethnic identities.

The Ryukyuan, also known as Okinawans, are indigenous to the islands of the Ryukyu archipelago, which make up the Okinawa Prefecture today.

The Ryukyuan population is approximately 1.6 million. This is made up of approximately 1.3 million people who live in the province of Okinawa, and a further 300,000 Okinawans who live elsewhere in Japan.

The Ainu are the indigenous people of northern Japan. It wasn’t until 2008 that they gained official government recognition as a minority in Japan. It is believed that the Ainu population of Japan is approximately 24,000.

Some also classify Koreans (and their descendants) in Japan as a distinct ethnic group. Many ‘Zainichi’, as they are also known, were bought to Japan when it was a colonial power in the first half of the 20th century. They were left stateless at the end of the second world war.


Japan has two main religions – Shinto and Buddhism. There are also a small number of Christians in Japan and a number of atheists.

According to the World Factbook, 79.2% of Japanese are Shinto, 66.8% Buddhist and 1.5% Christian. A further 7.1% practice another religion. (2012 data.)


Many Japanese consider themselves to be syncretists. That is to say that they practice more than one religion at the same time – for example, both Shintoism and Buddhism. This is why the percentages above add up to more than 100%.

Very few people in Japan report that they are atheists.


Japan has no official state language, but Japanese is the first language of 99% of the people in Japan.


Japanese has, as with most languages, a range of dialects. The Tokyo dialect is considered by many to be the standard form of Japanese.

The Ryukyuan languages, spoken in Okinawa in the south of Japan, are different enough from standard Japanese to be considered a distinct language.

Other small minority groups, such as the Ainu and Evenki in the north of Japan also have distinct languages.

Education and Literacy Rate

Education in Japan is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 15.

Most children continue in education until they are 18. About 75% of high school graduates go on to attend university or another higher education institution.

There are 778 universities in Japan, and more than 2.8 million students in higher education (2010 data). The majority of Japan’s higher education institutions are private.

Two of Japan’s universities are in the world’s 40 best universities – Kyoto University (38th) and the University of Tokyo (39th).

It is widely accepted that the literacy rate in Japan is around 99%, although this cannot be confirmed because the Japanese government has not conducted a survey of literacy rates since 1955.

UNESCO has cast some doubts on the assumption that Japan’s literacy rate is 99%. They note that this figure would be difficult to achieve when taking into account low literacy rates in some minority groups.

Population Density

Population density in Japan is 336 people per square km, which makes Japan the 40th most densely populated country in the world.

Four in every five people in Japan live on the main island of Honshu, which has a population density of 447 people per square km.

Japan population density map

This is a population density map of Japan. As you can see, the area around Tokyo is the most densely populated area of Japan, and the northern islands, including Hokkaido, are the least densely populated regions of Japan.

Largest cities in Japan

Tokyo is the largest city in Japan, as well as its capital city. The population of Tokyo in 2016 (April) is 9,327,512.

This population of 9.3 million represents all of the people who live in Tokyo’s 23 wards, which make up the city proper. However, the wider Tokyo metropolitan area has a larger population of 13,574,022.

Counting this, Tokyo is the 8th largest city in the world. Counting the lower figure of 9.3 million would make Tokyo the 15th largest city in the world.

Some people consider the Greater Tokyo Area to be a Japanese megacity with an estimated 2014 population of 37,832,892. This wold make Tokyo the largest megacity in the world, ahead of the Shanghai megacity which has a population of 35 million.

Tokyo City9.3 million
Tokyo Metropolitan Area13.5 million
Greater Tokyo Area37.8 million

In contrast to the rest of Japan, the population of Tokyo (the city itself) is steadily increasing. In the 2010 census, its population was recorded as 8,949,447.

Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan, with a population of 3,726,325. The two other Japanese cities with a population of more than two million people are Osaka (2,697,070) and Nagoya (2,295,328).

This table lists the 10 largest cities in Japan by population.

[table “31” not found /]


Other Japanese demographic data

Sex ratio

The sex ratio for Japanese people across all age ranges is 0.95 males for every female.

Across all ages 0.95 males(s)/female

At birth, there are 1.056 males to every female and among over 65s there are 0.73 males to every female.

At birth1.056 male(s)/female
0-15 years1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years1.02 male(s)/female
65+ years0.74 male(s)/female

This is broadly in line with other major democratic and industrialised countries.

The low ratio of men to women aged over 65 can be partly explained by the effects of the second world war, but a larger factor is that women tend to live longer than men in Japan, as in most societies.

Life expectancy

Japan has the world’s longest life expectancy. The average Japanese child born today can expect to live until 84 years of age.

Overall life expectancy84 years
Male life expectancy80 years
Female life expectancy87 years

Japanese females born today can expect to live until 87 years of age. This is the longest female life expectancy in the world.

Japanese males born today can expect to live until 80 years of age. This is the 6th longest life expectancy in the world, after San Marino (83 years) and Singapore, Switzerland, Iceland and Israel (all 81 years).

The Japanese diet has long been cited as the reason for Japan’s long life expectancy, but a wide range of factors, including diet, genetics, universal healthcare and social equality combine to provide such a healthy life expectancy.

Median age

The median age in Japan is 46.5 years.

Median Age46.5 years
Male Median Age45.2 years
Female Median Age47.9 years

The median age for Japanese men is 45.2 years and the median age for Japanese women is 47.9 years.

Birth rate and death rate

The birth rate in Japan is 7.9 births per 1,000 population. The death rate is 10.2 deaths per 1,000 population (2015 data).

Birth Rate7.9 births per 1,000 population
Death Rate10.2 deaths per 1,000 population

Fertility rate

The fertility rate in Japan is 1.46 children per woman (2015).

Fertility Rate 20151.46
Fertility Rate 20051.26

This is relatively low, but is an increase on the low of 1.26 children per women recorded in 2005.

Japanese population pyramid

Here is a population pyramid of Japan based on 2016 data.

Japan population pyramid 2016

The bulge of people aged 65-69 represents the larger than normal number of children born in the years immediately after the war.

The lower than expected proportion of people aged over 69, and men aged over 69 compared to women over 69, is a result of the increased number of deaths during the war.

Japan population by year

The table below lists the historical population of Japan by year.

[table “32” not found /]


Related resources

The best source for accurate statistics about Japanese demographics is Statistics Japan which has resources available in both English and Japanese.

Chongqing population 2021

Depending on whether you are counting the city proper, or the wider urban area, or the municipal area, the population of Chongqing is either 8.5 million (the city proper), 18.4 million (the wider urban area) or 30.1 million (the municipal area).

This confusion has led to some people calling Chongqing the largest city in China, and even the largest city in the world.

City proper8.5 million
Wider urban area18.4 million
Municipal area30.1 million

In reality, although the Chongqing city proper is still a massive city of over 8 million people, the overall Chongqing municipality covers a massive area, most of which is urban, rather than rural.

How do you define a city like Chongqing?

The difficulty is that China defines a few really big areas, including Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, as municipalities. But in reality, they are a combination of proper urban cities, suburbs, satellite cities, and all of the rural countryside in between them.

Chongqing is divided into 38 different sub-divisions, including 17 counties (four of which are autonomous) and 21 districts.

To give you an indication of how much of Chongqing is actually rural, a China Daily article recently noted that the municipality’s population including 23.3 million farmers. One in three of those farmers (8.4 million) are actually migrant workers.

If the municipal area of Chongqing (30.1 million people) were a country, it would be the 45th largest in the world, about the same size as Venezuela. Despite this, Chongqing’s massive population still accounts for less than 2.5% of the total population of China.

Where is Chongqing?

Chongqing is in the centre of China. It is situated at the mouth of the Jailing River, as it enters into the Yangtze River, China’s largest and most important inland waterway.

Chongqing population
Because of this central location, Chongqing has become an economic, manufacturing and transport hub, and one of the most important strategic cities in the country.

The city has a long history as a strategically important city and trading centre. In 1890 became the first inland Chinese city to be opened up to foreigners, and from 1937 to 1945 it was the provisional capital city of China, home to the government of Chiang Kai-shek.

Chongqing city has grown rapidly over the past sixty years, from a population of of just over 1 million in 1950 to over 8 million today.

Today it is one of four directly controlled municipalities in China (the others are Tianjin, Shanghai and Beijing). These four municipalities have a great deal of autonomy but, at the same time, report directly to the government in Beijing rather than any regional government. Chongqing is a direct controlled municipality partly because of its size and economic importance, and partly to allow the central government more oversight over the massive, and strategically vital, Three Gorges Dam project.

Minority groups in Chongqing

Although the majority of the people who live in Chongqing today are Han Chinese, the municipality is also home to a number of minority groups, including more than one million Tujia and 500,000 Miao people. People from these minority populations are mostly located in the east and south of Chongqing.

The most commonly spoken language is Sichuanese Mandarin. A few minority languages are also spoken, including Xiang, Hakka, Miao and Tujia.

Chongqing population by year

The table below details the Chongqing population in selected years from 1949 to 2015.

YearPopulationPercentage change
1949 1.0 million n/a
19796.3 million528.2%
198313.9 million120.4%
199615.3 million10.1%
199728.7 million88.0%
200028.5 million-0.9%
200528.0 million-1.8%
200828.4 million1.5%
201228.9 million1.6%
201329.7 million3.0%
201429.9 million0.7%
2015 30.1 million 0.7%

The data in the table demonstrates rapid growth during from the 1950s to the 1990s. Although population declined slightly in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it has been steadily growing since 2008.

Guangzhou population 2021

Our estimate of the Guangzhou population (2021) is 13,476,852.

Based on the 2014 population of 13.08 million Guangzhou is the third largest city in China, after Shanghai (24 million) and Beijing (21 million).

Guangzhou, previously known as Canton, is the largest city in Guangdong province, and is a part of the Pearl River Delta Mega City. This massive urban area includes other major Chinese cities such as Shenzhen and Dongguan. In total, the Pearl River Delta Megacity has a population of 44 million people.

The number of people living in Guangzhou varies throughout the year because it attracts many seasonal migrants, who only live in the city for part of the year. This floating migrant population helps the city to maintain a flexible labour market, that can respond to increases and decreases in demand for work.

Guangzhou population by year

The following table shows the population of Guangzhou since 1950. Figures between 1950 and 2000 are for every decade. Figures since 2005 show population growth in Guangzhou updated every year.

 Year Population Percentage change
 1950 2.56 million n/a
 1960 3.68 million +43.4%
 1970 4.18 million +13.6%
 1980 5.01 million +18.4%
 1990 5.94 million +18.4%
 2000 9.94 million +67.3%
 2002 10.10 million +1.6%
 2005 9.49 million -6.0%
 2006 9.96 million +4.9%
200710.53 million+5.7%
200811.15 million +5.9%
200911.86 million+6.4%
201012.70 million+7.0%
201112.75 million+0.4%
201212.82 million+0.6%
201312.92 million+0.7%
201413.08 million+1.2%

The rate of population growth in Guangzhou is difficult to predict because it varies so widely – in the last ten years alone, the rate has been as high as 7% per annum (2010) and as low as 0.4% per annum (2013).

It is likely that economic factors have a major impact on population growth, and growth is likely to be highest when the economy is doing well, and there are jobs in Guangzhou that attract internal migrants. Likewise, growth is likely to be slower when the economy is doing less well, and new jobs are harder to come by.

Guangzhou population projections

By 2020, it is estimated that there will be more than 18 million people living in Guangzhou. This growth will be caused mostly by internal migration, but there are concerns that the relaxation of China’s one child policy will also boost population growth.

This has caused alarm in the Chinese government, because such rapid population growth will place a major strain on the city’s infrastructure – roads, urban transit, healthcare, housing, etc.

To combat this, plans are being developed to limit population growth in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou population density

Guangzhou is one of the more densely populated cities in China – at last count, population density in Guangzhou was 1,708 people per square kilometer.

The urban population of Guangzhou is slightly lower – at 11,070,654. The remainder of the population lives in Guangzhou’s rural areas.

Population of Guangzhou by administrative district

Here is a map and table that shows each administrative district in Guangzhou and the number of people who live in each.

Map of Guangzhou districts

District namePopulation (2010)

As you can see from the table, districts in the centre and west of the city are the most populous, and the most densely populated. They could be considered the city’s urban areas.

Those in the north, east and south of the city are much less densely populated, and could be considered its rural areas.

Where is Guangzhou located?

Here is a map which shows where Guangzhou is located in China.

Where is Guangzhou located in China map
Guangzhou is in Southern China, in Guangdong province. Located on the Pearl River, just inland from the Southern cost, and just 75 miles north of Hong Kong and next to the special economic zone of Shenzhen, its location is perfect for a major trading and manufacturing city.

It is one of the richest cities in China – Guangzhou’s nominal GDP in 2013 was $248 billion, which is roughly equivalent to the economy of Ireland. GDP per capita was $19,459, almost three times the average GDP per capita of China for 2013 ($6,995).

Largest cities in China 2021

Our list of the largest cities in China includes the largest city in the world (Shanghai), 10 cities with a population of more than ten million people (see top ten below), and 145 cities with a population more than one million people (see table below). 

On this page you will find information about the ten largest cities in China which, together, have a total population of 164 million people. That’s more than 12% of the entire population of China. If the ten biggest cities in China were a country, they would be the eighth largest country in the world.

The table at the end of this page also contains a table listing the population of each of the 200 most populous cities in China, including all 145 cities with a population of more than 1 million people.

Unless otherwise noted, population figures in this article are from China’s 2010 census.

1 – Shanghai: Population 24,100,000

Shanghai is not just the largest city in China – it is the largest city in the world. The population of Shanghai in 2015 was 24.1 million people, a slight drop from its highest ever population of 24.25 in 2014.

Population of Shanghai map

Shanghai’s strategic location at the mouth of the Yangtze River meant that the city has for centuries been a major port. It attracted the attention of European colonial powers in the 19th century, and was forced to open itself to foreign trade by the British, who effectively ran the city for much of the next century.

Today, Shanghai is the largest port city in the world and a major financial centre. The Shanghai Stock Exchange is the world’s third busiest, and the city attracts more foreign investment than any other area in the Asia-Pacific.

The total Shanghai population has grown rapidly in recent years, but much of this growth has been the result of internal migration within China. The city actually has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, and without internal migration its population would fall over time.

Click here for more information about the population of Shanghai, the largest city in the world.

2 – Beijing: Population 21,500,000

Beijing is the second largest city in China and the third largest city in the world. At the time of the 2010 census the population of Beijing’s urban area was 21,500,000 people.

Population of Beijing map

As well as being the capital city, home to China’s government, Beijing is a major business hub and is the base of many of China’s largest companies. It is also a major transport hub, home to the largest airport in the world.

Beijing is a major cultural and tourist hub, and in its ancient city you will find many beautiful palaces and temples. Sections of the famous Great Wall of China are within easy reach of Beijing, just outside of the city limits.

The city of Tianjin (number six in our list, below) sits on the coast just to the south of Beijing, acting as the capital city’s port and providing access by sea to the world outside of China.

Beijing has always been one of the largest cities in China, if not the world. According to historians, in 1775 it was the first city in the world to reach a population of more than one million people

Click here to read our detailed article on the population of Beijing.

3 – Guangzhou: Population 20,800,654

The population of Guangzhou’s urban area at the last census in 2010 was 20,800, 654 people. Within this area, the population of the city proper was 12,700,800 people.

Where is Guangzhou located in China map

This makes Guangzhou the third largest city in China, and the largest city in the province of Guangdong. Close to Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a major manufacturing city that is home to a large migrant workforce.

Guangzhou, along with Shenzhen (China’s seventh largest city), Dongguan (China’s fourteenth largest city) and a number of other smaller cities can be combined to make up the Pearl River Delta megacity. Although it has no official status as a city, with a population of more than 44 million, the Pearl River Delta city is considered by many to be the world’s largest megacity – larger even than the Tokyo megacity.

Click here to read the latest Guangzhou population updates.

4 – Chongqing: Population 18,384,000

The population of Chongqing urban area in 2010 was 18,384,000 people.

Chongqing population

When counting the Chongqing population, some people count the wider municipal (administrative) area of 30.1 million people. This is a misleading quirk of the way China divides its administrative districts, though, as much of the municipal area of Chongqing is actually rural countryside and cannot reasonably be classified as a city.

Chongqing is in central China. Its location means it is a strategically important city and, in 1890, it was the first inland city within China to be opened up to foreign traders.

Today, Chongqing is a communications and transport hub, and is one of four municipal areas directly administered by the central government in Beijing.

Click here to read a more detailed update on the population of Chongqing.

5 – Chengdu: Population 17,677,122

In 2010, the population of Chengdu was 16,722,122 people, making it the largest city in Western China.

Chengdu population map

Chengdu is one of very few large cities in the West of China. Because of its location in a relatively sparsely populated area, it has become a major regional hub – for transport, economics, government and culture.

Far away from the bustle of Eastern China, Chengdu is considered to be one of the most relaxed cities in China. It was the last major city in China to fall to the Communists in 1949.

6 – Tianjin: Population 15,469,500

Tianjin is a city in North East China, on the Bahai Gulf. The census recorded the 2010 Tianjin population at 15,469,500.

Tianjin population map

Because of its strategic importance, Tianjin is a directly controlled municipality, governed by the central government in Beijing.

It is located on the Grand Canal, which connects China’s Yellow and Yangtze rivers, and as a result is one of China’s largest ports, serving the nearby capital city of Beijing.

7 – Shenzhen: Population 12,357,938

Shenzhen is located on the border between mainland China and Hong Kong (population 7.2 million). The two cities are intertwined and, today, Shenzhen is a major financial and trading city.

Shenzhen population map

Before it was made a special economic zone in 1980, the city had a population of just 332,900 people. Since then, its population has grown spectacularly – increasing by 265% between 1980 and 1990, and by 477% between 1990 and 2000. Population growth slowed to a mere 47.8% between 2000 and 2010.

Together with Guangzhou, the third largest city in China (see earlier in this list) and Dongguan, Shenzhen is part of the Pear River Delta city.

8 – Harbin: Population 12,000,000

Harbin is the capital city of Heilongjiang province, in the far north east of China. In total, the population of Harbin in 2010 was 12,000,000 people, an increase of more than 12% over the 2000 population of 9,413,359.

Harbin population map

Harbin is classified as a sub-provincial city, and is made up of nine different metropolitan districts and two smaller cities.

Harbin is at the heart of one of China’s main agricultural regions, so businesses related to agriculture dominate.

9 – Wuhan: Population 10,670,000

Wuhan is the capital city of central Chinese province Hubei. In 2010, the population of Harbin had reached 10,670,000 people.

Wuhan population map

Modern day Wuhan was created when the city of Wuhan merged with neighbouring cities of Hankou and Hanyang.

Wuhan is a major transport hub within China, and was the capital city of Chiang Kai-shek’s KMT government during the 1920s, and China’s provisional capital in 1937 during the war with Japan.

10 – Suzhou: Population 10,349,090

Suzhou is a prefecture level city in Jiangsu province, sixty miles to the northeast of Shanghai.

Suzhou population map

The population of Suzhou’s urban area in 2010, at the time of the last census, was 10,349,090 people. The first decade of the 20th century saw population growth in Suzhou of more than 6%, making it one of China’s fastest growing cities.

Suzhou’s main industry is manufacturing and it attracts a large share of foreign investment into China. .

Table – 200 largest cities in China by population

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Hong Kong population 2021

The population of Hong Kong is estimated by the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department to be 7,346,700. 

With a population of 7.35 million people, Hong Kong makes up 0.53% of the total population of China and is the sixteenth largest city in China.

Hong Kong used to be a British colony, but since 1997 it has been an autonomous territory within China. Because it has control over its own domestic policy, Hong Kong is sometimes classed as a sovereign state.

Hong Kong population map

Because of Hong Kong’s small size, it is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. In 2016, the population density of Hong Kong was 6,624 people per square kilometer or 17,156 people per square mile.

Life expectancy in Hong Kong is among the highest in the world, at 83.74 years (2015 data).

How many people live in Hong Kong today

The Hong Kong census and statistics department releases an estimate of the current population of Hong Kong every year.

The latest estimate, released in June 2016, showed that the number of people living in Hong Kong in mid-2016 was 7,346,700 people. A revised estimate showing the 2017 population is expected in February 2017.

The number of men living in Hong Kong was 3,370,100. The number of women was slightly higher, at 3,956,200.

Hong Kong is made up of three regions – Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories. The most recent statistics available for the population of all three of Hong Kong’s regions comes from 2011 and is as follows:

Hong Kong Island population1,270,876
Kowloon population2,108,419
New Territories population3,691,093

Hong Kong Census 2016

Hong Kong holds a full census every ten years and a by-census mid-way between each full census.

Hong Kong Census 2016

The last full census in Hong Kong was held in 2011, and the next one will be held in 2021. This census counted the entire population of Hong Kong.

The 2016 census will be a by-census. Instead of being sent to every household, a census form will be sent to around 10% of residential addresses in the territory. This should provide enough information to allow the government to provide updated estimates.

The 2016 by-census is due to start on 30 June and finish on 2 August.

You can read more about the 2011 census here, and the 2016 by-census here.

Hong Kong population growth

Population growth in Hong Kong has been relatively steady since the end of British rule in 1997. In recent years, the annual population increase in Hong Kong been between 0.6% and 0.9% per annum.

Here is a table listing the annual population growth rate in Hong Kong for each of the last five years.

Year endPopulationIncrease

It shows that although Hong Kong’s overall growth rate has remained fairly consistent, growth has shifted from being driven by natural population increases (more births than deaths) to being driven by immigration.

Hong Kong’s natural population growth rate has slowed from 54,000 people in 2011 to 17,5000 people in 2015. At the same time, Hong Kong immigration rates are on the rise, increasing from 6,300 people in 2011 to 43,800 people in 2015.

Hong Kong population by year

Here is a table showing the population of Hong Kong by selected years since 1841.

YearHK Population

The table shows that there were dramatic changes in the HK population during and immediately after the second world war.

There were also significant population increases in the 1970s, when the government struggled to control illegal immigration from China, and in the early 1990s just before the transition from British to Chinese rule.

Hong Kong population density

Hong Kong is the fourth most densely populated country or territory in the world, after Macau (another autonomous territory within China), Monaco and Singapore.

If we know the size of a territory and the number of people who live in it, we can work out the population density by dividing Hong Kong population by the Hong Kong size.

At the start of 2016, Hong Kong’s population of 7,324,300 people lived in a territory of 1,106 km sq, or 427 square miles.

This puts the final population density of Hong Kong at 6,624 people per square kilometre, or 17,156 people per square mile.

Hong Kong6,624 per sq km
Hong Kong Island 16,390 per sq km
Kwun Tong district57,250 per sq km

Hong Kong Island is the most densely populated part of Hong Kong. It is home to 16,390 people per square km and 42,450 people per square mile.

The most densely populated district in Hong Kong is Kwun Tong in Kowloon. In 2014 its population density was 57,250 people per square kilometer. This puts it just outside of the 30 most densely populated districts in the world.

Ethnic groups in Hong Kong

The great majority of people in Hong Kong are ethnic Chinese, who made up 92.6% of the population at the time of the 2011 census.

The other three groups with more than 0.5% of the population are Filipino (1.9%), Indonesian (1.9%) and White (0.8%).

Ethnic Chinese92.6%

Although the number of most ethnic groups has remained relatively stable in recent years, Hong Kong has seen a surge of immigration from Indonesians, whose numbers more than doubled from 50,494 in 2001 to 133,377 in 2011 and Pakistanis, whose numbers rose from 11,017 in 2001 to 18,042 in 2011.

What are people from Hong Kong called?

Technically, people who are resident in Hong Kong are called Hong Kong Permanent Residents.

However, more informally, residents of Hong Kong are commonly referred to as a Hong Konger (sometimes Hongkonger) or Hong Kongese (sometimes Hongkongese). Interestingly, in 2014 both words were included for the first time in the Oxford English Dictionary (see links).

A recent survey found that 38% of people in Hong Kong considered themselves to be Hong Kong Citizens whereas only 17% considered themselves to be Chinese citizens. A further 43% of the population of HK considered themselves to be both Hong Kong citizens and Chinese citizens.

Hong Kong Citizens38%
Chinese citizens17%
Hong Kong and Chinese citizens43%

Hong Kong language

Hong Kong has two official languages – Chinese and English.

Chinese became an official language in Hong Kong only in 1974 – before that English was the only official language. The official status of both languages is set out in the Hong Kong Basic Law.

In practice, Cantonese is the main variant of the Chinese language used in Hong Kong, although Mandarin (sometimes also referred to as Putonghua) is increasingly common.

Although English is one of Hong Kong’s two official languages, it is not spoken by the majority of people in Hong Kong. In fact, once we count people who speak it as a first or second language, it is the third most widely spoken language in Hong Kong, after Cantonese and Mandarin.


Cantonese is spoken by 95.8% of people in Hong Kong. It is spoken by 89.5% as a first language and by 6.3% as a second language.

Mandarin is spoken by 47.8% of people in Hong Kong. Although just 1.4% of Hong Kongers speak it is a first language, a much larger 46,5% can speak it as a second language.

English is spoken by 46.1% of Hong Kongers. It is the first language of just 3.5% of Hong Kong residents, and a second language of 46.1% of residents.

(Data from 2011 census.)

Hong Kong life expectancy

According to the UN, overall life expectancy in Hong Kong was 83.74 years in 2015.

Life expectancy for men in Hong Kong is 80.91 years and life expectancy for women in Hong Kong is 86.58 years.

Overall life expectancy83.74 years
Female life expectancy86.58 years
Male life expectancy80.91 years

This means that Hong Kong has the highest life expectancy of any country or territory in the world today.

Experts attribute this longevity to Hong Kong’s excellent health care system – it is thought to have some of the best private hospitals in the world – and a healthy lifestyle. Some argue that the lack of a statutory retirement age, which means that many Hongkongers work well into their seventies or eighties, is a factor.

Hong Kong demographics

Hong Kong birth rate and death rate

Hong Kong’s birth rate in 2014 was 8.6 births per 1,000 population. This means that Hong Kong has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, well below the replacement rate.

The birth rate has fallen from a high of 35 births per 1,000 population in the 1961.

The Hong Kong death rate (also known as mortality rate) is 6.2 deaths per 1,000 population. This figure has remained relatively stable over the past four decades.

Birth Rate8.6 births per 1,000 population
Death Rate6.2 deaths per 1,000 population

Hong Kong religion

Although religious freedom in Hong Kong is protected by the basic law, no official data on religion in Hong Kong is collected. As a result, most available figures are estimates.

The Hong Kong government estimates that there are more than 1 million Buddhists and more than 1 million Taoists in Hong Kong.

Buddhist1 million plus
Taoist1 million plus

The same government report indicates that there are 480,000 Protestant Christians and 379,000 Catholics in Hong Kong. Additionally, there are about 300,000 Muslims and 100,000 Hindus

Hong Kong literacy rate

The adult literacy rate in Hong Kong is 95.7%. This includes all adults, so the literacy rate among younger people from Hong Kong is likely to be significantly higher.

Where is Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is on the southern coast of China.

Hong Kong population map

To the north of Hong Kong is the Chinese province of Guangdong, which contains Guangzhou, the third largest city in China. The city of Shenzhen is just across the border from Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is made up three regions – Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories.

Hong Kong was ruled by Britain from 1842 until 1997, when sovereignty over Hong Kong was transferred to China.

Today, Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China.

This means that, although Hong Kong is formally a part of the People’s Republic of China, it has considerable autonomy when it comes to running its own day to day affairs. It has its own government and, with some restrictions, has control of its own domestic policy. Foreign affairs and defense are handled by the Chinese government in Beijing.

Slovenia Population 2021

The population of Slovenia (2021) is 2,063,317. This figure is provided by the Slovenian Government (see below for detail).

Slovenia is the 143rd largest country in the world by population and the 38th largest country in Europe. Slovenia, which joined the European Union on 1 May 2004, is the 23rd largest country in the EU (out of 28 countries).

How many people live in Slovenia today?

The Slovenian Government’s Statistical Office releases population estimates four times a year. In its last release (July 2016) it reported that the population of Slovenia on 1 April 2016 was 2,063,371.

This represented a small drop (817 people) in population since 1 January 2016, but an increase of 1,419 since 1 April 2015. This is a year on year increase of 0.07%.

The last census to take place in Slovenia was in 2011. It reported a population of 2,050,189 on 1 January 2011, and all subsequent population estimates are based on data from the census.

Slovenia population growth

Slovenia’s birth rate is below replacement rate. Additionally, around 250,000 Slovenes live abroad, mostly in other parts of the EU.

Because of this, population growth in Slovenia comes from immigration into the country.

According to the Statistical Office there are 108,899 (5.3% of the population) of Slovenia’s citizens were born outside of the EU.

For a table detailing population growth since the 1940s, see the end of this article.

Largest cities in Slovenia

Ljubljana is the largest city in Slovenia, as well as the country’s capital city. On 1 January 2016, the population of Ljubljana was 279,756.

Other major cities are Maribor (population 111,832), Celje (population 37,787), Kranj (population 37,586) and Koper/Capodistria (population 25,306).

Here is a table listing the ten most populous cities in Slovenia.

 City Population (2016)
 Novo Mesto23,392

Note: Koper, a city on near the border with Italy and with a large Italian population, is called Capodistria in Italian.

Ethnic groups in Slovenia

Slovenes are the largest ethnic group in Slovenia. They made up 83.1% of the population in 2002, the last year for which official data is available.

Slovenia’s history as a former republic of Yugoslavia means that Slovenia has significant Serb, Croat, Muslim and Bosniak minorities.

Slovenia also has small Italian and Hungarian minorities. Unlike minorities from the former Yugoslavia, Italians and Hungarians have rights under the Slovenian Constitution, including guaranteed seats in the National Assembly.

Ethnic groupNumberPercentage

Religion in Slovenia

Slovenia is primarily a Roman Catholic country. At the 2002 census (latest data available) 57.8% of Slovenians reported that they were Catholic.

Leaving aside non-religious groups and those who didn’t declare a religion, the next largest religious groups in Slovenia are Islam (2.4%) and Eastern Orthodoxy (2.3%). Islam is practised primarily by Bosniaks and Slavic Muslims, which Eastern Orthodoxy is practised primarily by ethnic Serbs.

Roman Catholic57.8%
Believer, no religion3.5%
Eastern Orthodox2.3%
Other religion0.2%

Languages in Slovenia

Slovene, which is more commonly known as Slovenian, is the official language of Slovenia, and an official language of the EU. It is the first language of 87.8% of people in Slovenia and is spoken at home by 92% of people.

Other first languages spoken in Slovenia are Croatian (2.8%), Serbian (1.6%), Serbo-Croatian (1.6%), Albanian (0.4%), Macedonian (0.2%), Romany (0.2%).

Hungarian and Italian are also official languages in a number of regions within Slovenia, and are spoken by 0.4% and 0.2% of the population respectively.

Slovene / Slovenian87.8%

Other demographic data

Population density

The area of Slovenia is 20,273 square km or 7,827 sq miles. Based on the population on 1 April 2016 (2,063,371), population density in Slovenia is 101.78 people per square kilometre and 263.62 people per square mile.

Literacy rate

The literacy rate in Slovenia is 99.7%.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy in Slovenia at birth is 80 years. For Slovenian women it is 84 years and for Slovenian men it is 77 years.

Overall life expectancy80 years
Female life expectancy84 years
Make life expectancy77 years

Birth and death rate

The birth rate in Slovenia was 10.0 births per 1,000.

This represents an increase over the birth rate at the turn of the century (it was 8.7/1,000 in 2003). But, as noted earlier, Slovenia’s birth rate is lower than needed to maintain the population. Instead, Slovenian population growth is driven by immigration into Slovenia.

The death rate in Slovenia was 9.6 deaths per 1,000.

Slovenia population pyramid

Slovenia population pyramid 2016

Slovenia population by year (census year)

This table list the population of Slovenia at the time of each census.

Census yearPopulationPercentage change

For the latest, post-2011 census, population estimates, see the top of this article.

Jamaica Population 2021

The population of Jamaica is 2,950,210. This makes Jamaica the fourth largest country in the Caribbean by population (after Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti), the 13th largest country in North America and the 138th largest country in the world.

Despite its small population, Jamaica is a formidable competitor at the Olympics. Its sprinters have won 23 medals (10 gold medals, 7 silver and 6 bronze) at the last two Olympics (London and Beijing). As a result, Jamaica ranked second on our table of London 2012 Olympic medals per capita.

This year Usain Bolt is one of the favourites to win the Rio 2016 Olympic 100m and 200m titles. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is also a strong challenger for the women’s 100m title. Others in the hunt for medals are Omar McLeod and Hansle Parchment (110m hurdles). Jamaica is also expected to feature strongly in the sprint relay races.

Click here to see where Jamaica stand in the Rio 2016 per capita medal table.

How many people live in Jamaica today?

Unfortunately, no official estimates of the population of Jamaica in 2016 are available yet. The latest estimate (2,950,210) is for mid-2015 and is provided by the CIA Factbook.

The most recent official population estimate comes from the Government of Jamaica, who reported that at the end of 2014 Jamaica’s population was 2,720,554.

The population at the time of the last Jamaican census (2011) was 2,697,983. To see the Jamaica population increase over time, refer to the table at the end of this article.

Largest cities in Jamaica

Kingston is both the capital city of Jamaica and the largest city in Jamaica, with a population of 584,627 (2011 census).

The population of Kingston has increased by 5% since the previous census in 2001, which reported a population of 993,581.

There are two other cities in Jamaica with a population of more than 100,000 people – Spanish Town (147,512) and Montego Bay (110,115).

Here is a table listing the largest cities in Jamaica.

 City Population (2011)
 Kingston 1,041,084
 Spanish Town 147,152
 Montego Bay110,115
 May Pen 61,548
 Mandeville 49,695

Ethnic groups in Jamaica

Most Jamaicans are descended from African slaves brought to the island to work on British sugar plantations in the 18th century. There is also a significant number of Jamaicans who are descended from East Indians and Chinese workers brought to the islands after the abolition of slavery.

More than 92% of Jamaicans identified as Black in the 2011 census. A further 6.1% identified as Mixed.

East Indian0.8%

Jamaican diaspora – Jamaicans Abroad

Over the last 50 years around a million Jamaicans have emigrated to other countries – mostly the UK, Canada and the USA.

The USA Jamaican population is the largest in the world. In 2013 the US Census bureau reported that there were 1,091,482 Jamaican Americans in the US. It is thought that around 60% were born in Jamaica, the rest are descended from earlier immigrants. More than half of Jamaican Americans live in New York State and Florida.

The UK’s Jamaican population is the second largest in the world. Around 150,000 people born in Jamaica live in the UK, but the total number of people who are Jamaican British (either born in Jamaica or of Jamaican descent) is estimated to be approximately 800,000 people. The majority live in British cities, primarily London and Birmingham.

Religion in Jamaica

Protestant Christians are the largest religious group in Jamaica, although they are broken into a number of different denominations.

In total, 64.8% of Jamaicans are estimated to be Protestant. Other major groups are Roman Catholic (2.2%), Jehova’s Witness (1.9%) and Rastafarian (1.1%). Just over a fifth of Jamaicans (21.3%) reported that they had no religion.

Roman Catholic2.2%
Jehovah's Witness1.9%

Languages in Jamaica

There are two languages in common use in Jamaica – Jamaican Standard English and Jamaican Patois.

Jamaican Standard English is the language used in formal communications, the media and education. Jamaican Patois is a creole language derived from English and is more commonly used in spoken conversation.

Detailed statistics about usage are not available, although a 2007 survey indicated that 46.4% of Jamaicans were effectively bilingual. The remainder could speak only one language – either Jamaican Standard English (17.1%) or Jamaican Patois (36.5%).

Jamaican Patois36.5%
Jamaican Standard English17.1%

Population density in Jamaica

The total area of Jamaica is 10,991 square km or 4,244 square miles.

If we take the 2015 population estimate (2,950,210) and divide it by the area we can work out that Jamaica’s population density is 268 people per square km or 695 people per square mile.

Jamaican Literacy Rate

The literacy rate in Jamaica is estimated to be 88% (2013, World Bank).

Jamaican Life expectancy

Life expectancy at birth in Jamaica is 73.55 years. Female life expectancy is 75.24 years and male life expectancy is 71.93 years.

Overall life expectancy73.55 years
Female life expectancy75.24 years
Make life expectancy71.93 years

Jamaica population pyramid

Jamaica Population Pyramid 2016

Jamaica population by year table

YearPopulation% Increase

Note: this table details the end of the year population figures provided by the Jamaican Government, via the Statistics Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

Brazil population 2021

The population of Brazil is 210,147,125 people.

Brazil’s population is growing at a rate of 0.8% per year, so it is likely that Brazil’s population will reach 207 million by the beginning of 2017.

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, the largest country in South America, and the second largest country in the Americas (after the United States).

In August 2016 Rio de Janeiro in Brazil hosted the Olympic games for the first time. The Games took place during a period of concern about the Zika virus. The Brazilian government urged women to delay pregnancies and there is speculation that this could cause an alarming drop in the birth rate in Brazil.

How many people live in Brazil today?

The latest up to date population estimates can be found by visiting the official government of Brazil population clock, which is constantly updating.

The figures are estimated, based on extrapolations from the 2010 Brazilian census, which indicated that the Brazil population in 2008 was 190.8 million people.

Population of Brazil 2016 chart

The population of Brazil has been steadily growing since records were first kept. This chart shows population growth since the first census was taken in 1872. The underlying population data used to create this chart can be found in the table at the end of this article.

Ethnic groups in Brazil

Brazil is an ethnically diverse country, descended from three main populations:

  • Indigenous Brazilian peoples
  • European (mainly Portuguese) settlers
  • Sub-Saharan Africans, sent to Brazil as slaves

Over time the ethnic groups have mixed, leading to an ethnically diverse society.

Brazilian census data classifies people as one of five main groups. They are:

  • Branco (white)
  • Pardo (brown)
  • Preto (black)
  • Amaerlo (yellow)
  • Indigenous

The 2010 census reported the following breakdown:

Branco (white)91,051,646
Pardo (brown)82,277,333
Preto (black)14,517,961
Amarelos (yellow)2,024,288

Racial identity is more fluid in Brazil than in many countries of the world. People often define their race based on physical appearance rather than genetic heritage, and people who are more successful are more likely to be considered (or to consider themselves) white.

Mixed into these groupings are substantial Japanese-Brazilian (largely in the São Paulo region) and Jewish (largely based in the Rio de Janeiro area) communities.

The indigenous people of Brazil are, as you would expect for such a geographically large country, from many distinct ethnic groups. Povos Indigenas no Brasil estimates that there are 246 different indigenous Brazilian peoples.

Around 100 indigenous Brazilian tribes are still isolated and uncontacted.

Religions in Brazil

Christianity is the largest religion in Brazil. According to the 2010 census, 86.8% of Brazilians are Christian.

Roman Catholic64.6%
No religion8%
Other religions3.2%

Roman Catholicism is the largest Christian grouping within Brazil – 64.6% of Brazilians are Catholic, and Brazil has the largest single Roman Catholic population in the world today.

Another 22.2% are Protestants, largely Evangelical and Pentecostal. Protestantism, particularly Evangelicalism, is growing rapidly while the proportion of Roman Catholics is falling.

The other significant groupings are those with no religion (8%) and those who practise Spiritism (2%).

A further 3.2% practice other religions, including small Buddhist, Jewish and Islamic populations.

Languages in Brazil

Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, and is spoken by almost everyone in the country.

Brazil is the only country in South America to have Portuguese as its official language. Over time, Brazilian Portuguese has diverged slightly from European Portuguese – in much the same way that American English has diverged from European English.

In addition to Portuguese at least a further 200 indigenous languages are spoken in Brazil today. They are all spoken by relatively small communities, however.

The most widely spoken indigenous language in Brazil is Kaiwa Guarani which has around 15,000 native speakers. Most are in the Southern Brazilian province of Mato Grosso do Sul. A few hundred additional speakers are across the border in Northern Argentina.

There are also substantial numbers of Japanese speakers (around 380,000), Spanish speakers (around 480,000) and Korean speakers (around 37,000) in Brazil.

Education and literacy rate

Brazil has a comprehensive and well funded state education system. The constitution of Brazil guarantees that a proportion of state taxes (25%) and federal taxes (18%) is set aside each year for education funding.

The administration of education in Brazil is decentralised, being mostly run by individual states and municipalities.

Education is compulsory for all children aged from 6-14 years.

There are more than 2,400 universities in Brazil. Around ten percent of Brazilian universities are publicly funded; the remaining 90% are private universities or run by charitable organisations.

Access to university education in Brazil is limited – only 11% of the working age population has a degree. The university sector has expanded rapidly in recent years, however, from just under 600,000 students in 1997 to 1.6 million students in 2010. Most of this growth has been in the private university sector.

The University of São Paulo is regarded as the best university in Brazil. According to the Times (UK) it is ranked between 201st and 250th in the world.

Literacy rate

The literacy rate in Brazil (2015 UN estimate) is 92.6%. The literacy rate for women (92.9%) is slightly higher than for men (92.2%).

Literacy rate (total)92.6%
Literacy rate (male)92.2%
Literacy rate (female)92.9%

Literacy rates for younger Brazilians are higher, at 98.9% for people aged 15-24 years. For males aged 15-24 the literacy rate is 98.6% and for females it is 99.2%.

Literacy rate (total, 15-24)98.9%
Literacy rate (male, 15-24)98.6%
Literacy rate (female, 15-24)99.2%

Altho gh lower than the Brazilian government would like, the Brazilian literacy rate has improved dramatically over the past 50 years. In 1960 the literacy rate was around 60%.

Literacy rates vary widely across Brazil, however. The 2010 census indicated that rates ranged from 97% in Distrito Federal to 77% in Alagoas.

Population density in Brazil

Brazil is one of the least densely populated countries in the world.

Population density in Brazil is 23.8 people per square kilometer or 62 people per square mile.

This makes Brazil the 192nd most densely populated country in the world.

The majority of the Brazilian population is located in Brazil’s eastern, coastal states. As a result, it’s north-western, interior, states are much less densely populated.

The most densely populated states in Brazil are the Distrito Federal (493.5 people per square km) and Rio de Janeiro (376.0 people per square km).

The least densely populated states are Roraima (2.2 people per square km) and Amazons (2.5 people per square km). These two states are about as densely populated as Mongolia.

Largest cities in Brazil

The population of São Paulo is 12,038,175 (2016 estimate). This makes São Paulo the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in South America, the largest city in the Americas and the 11th largest city in the world today.

The next largest city is Rio de Janeiro, with a population of 6,453,682.

Brasília, the capital city, is the fourth largest city in Brazil. Although Brasília was only founded in 1960, today it is home to 2,852,372 people.

Here is a list of the ten largest cities in Brazil.

[table “44” not found /]

Other Brazilian demographic data

Unless otherwise stated, data in this section is from the CIA Factbook, and dated 2015.

Sex ratio

The sex ratio at birth in Brazil is 1.05 male(s) to every female. The overall sex ratio is 0.97 male(s) to every female.

Sex ratio at birth1.05 male(s) / female
Sex ratio across population0.97 male(s) / female

Life expectancy

Life expectancy in Brazil at birth is 73.53 years. For males, life expectancy is 69.99 years and for females it is 77.25 years.

Overall life expectancy73.53 years
Male life expectancy69.99 years
Female life expectancy77.25 years

Median age

The median age in Brazil is 31.1 years. For males it is 30.3 years and for females it is 31.9 years.

Median Age31.1 years
Male Median Age30.3 years
Female Median Age31.9 years

Birth and death rate

Brazil’s birth rate is 14.46 births / 1,000 population.

Birth Rate14.46 births per 1,000 population
Death Rate6.58 deaths per 1,000 population

Its death rate is 6.58 deaths / 1,000 people.

Fertility rate

Fertility rate in Brazil is 1.77 children per woman.

Fertility rate: Brazil1.77 children / woman
Fertility rate: replacement level2.33 children / woman
Fertility rate: USA1.88 children / woman

This relatively low fertility rate is causing some concern because it is below the replacement rate of 2.33 children per woman and lower than the fertility rate in the United States (1.88 children per woman).

Brazil population pyramid

Here is the latest (2016) Brazil population pyramid.

Brazil population pyramid

It demonstrates that Brazil has a comparatively young population.

Brazil population by year table

This table details the population growth of Brazil, with an entry for every year in which a census took place in Brazil.

The first census was held in 1872 and censuses have been held roughly every ten years since then.

The table also includes population data for 2016, based on the official Brazilian population clock on 9 June 2016.

[table “43” not found /]

Cook Islands population (2021)

Latest government data (from the 2016 census) puts the Cook Islands population at 17,459 people.

This figure includes short term visitors to the island, mainly tourists on holiday. The resident population of the Cook Islands (from September 2016) is estimated to be 11,700.

Unless otherwise noted, statistics in this article are drawn from the results of the 2011 Cook Islands census.

How many people live in the Cook Islands today?

Results from the 2011 census indicated that there were 17,794 people on the Cook Islands on 1 December 2011. This was made up of 14,974 residents and 2,820 visitors, mostly tourists holidaying in the Cook Islands.

Of the Cook Islands residents, 7,409 were male and 7,484 were female.

Rarotonga is the most populous island in the Cooks, home to 10,572 residents and 2,523 of the 2,820 visitors.

Population Growth in the Cook Islands

Population in the Cook Islands varies from year to year.

Cook Islands Population by year chart

This is partly because within a small population a slightly higher than normal number of deaths or births in one year can have a dramatic affect on population figures.

It is also partly because many Cook Islanders spend time off the islands, living in other countries – primarily New Zealand, where they have citizenship.

The Cook Islands population grew steadily during the first half of the 20th century, from around 8,000 people in 1900 to just over 20,000 people (visitors and residents) in 1971.

After a small dip in the 1970s the population has stabilised at around 18,000 people, including around 15,000 residents.

The resident population of the Cook Islands at the last three censuses is as follows:


Ethnic Groups in the Cook Islands

Cook Islands Maori are the largest ethnic group on the Cook Islands. 81% (12,180 people) reported that they were Cook Islands Maori and a further 7% (1,005 people) reported that they were part Cook Islands Maori.

Cook Islands Maori81% / 12,180 people
Part Cook Islands Maori7% / 1,005 people
Other ethnic origin12% / 1,789 people

The remaining 12% of respondents (1,789 people) reported that they were of another ethnic origin – most commonly of New Zealand European origin.

The ethnic composition of Rarotonga, the largest island, is different to the other islands in the country – almost all of the respondents who reported that they were of another ethnic origin live on Rarotonga.

Religion in the Cook Islands

94% of Cook Islanders reported that they were religious, and almost all of those respondents reported that they were associated with a Christian faith.

The four main churches on the Cook Islands are the protestant Cook Islands Christian Church (49%, 7,535 members), followed by the Roman Catholic Church (17%, 2,540 members), the Seventh Day Adventist Church (8%, 1,190 members) and the Mormon Church of the Latter Day Saints (5%, 656 members).

Cook Islands Christian Church49% / 7,535 members
Roman Catholic Church17% / 2,540 members
Seventh Day Adventist Church8% / 1,190 members
No religion6% / 841 people
Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon)5% / 656 member

A further 841 people (6%) reported that they had no religion, and the remaining respondents reported that they were members of another, smaller, church.

Cook Islands languages

The two main languages in the Cook Islands are English and Cook Islands Maori. Both are official languages of the Cook Islands and over 90% of the Cook Islands population can speak and write in both languages.

While almost everyone is able to speak and write in English, the number who can speak and write in Cook Islands Maori varies, depending on ethnicity. Those who are Cook Island Maori are most likely to be fluent, followed by those who are part Cook Islands Maori and then those of other ethnic groups.

Cook Island Maori10,003 speakers of 12,180 people
Part Cook Island Maori422 speakers of 1,004 people
New Zealand European49 speakers out of 510 people
Fijian17 speakers out of 376 people

Cook Island Maori is closely related to New Zealand Maori. The language has been placed on the UNESCO endangered language list but with government support is actively being promoted and preserved.

Other languages in the Cook Islands include Penrhynese, Pukapukan and Rakahanga-Manihiki. They are also considered to be endangered languages.

Largest cities in the Cook Islands

Avarua, the capital city of the Cook Islands, is the only town or city on the Cook Islands of any significant size. It is located on the northern shore of Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands.

According to data from 2006, the population of Avarua is 5,445 people.

Largest islands in the Cook Islands

Instead of recording population by cities, it is more useful to record the Cook Islands population by island.

Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands, and the large majority of Cook Islanders live there. In 2011, the population of Rarotonga was 10,572 people.

Aitutaki is the second largest island, with a population of 1,771 people in 2011, followed by Mangaia, with a population of 562 people.

Here is a full list of the Cook Islands listing their 2011 resident population.

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The Cook Islands are divided into two groups, north and south. This classification is also used at times to record population. The population of Rarotonga and the two Cook Islands groups in 2011, sorted by resident population, is as follows:

Rarotonga10,572 people
Southern Group3,290 people
Northern Group1,112 people

Education and Literacy Rate

The Cook Islands spends 3.1% of GDP on education. Education is compulsory for all children from 5-15 years.

The literacy rate in the Cook Islands is 95%

Many students go on to further and higher (university) education outside of the Cook Islands, normally at universities in New Zealand.

An increasing number of students are choosing to study at the University of the South Pacific, which has a Cook Islands campus and delivers many courses remotely or by distance learning.

Other Cook Islands demographic data

Data in this section is drawn from the CIA World Factbook article about the Cook Islands. Data, unless otherwise noted, is from 2015.

Sex ratio

At birth the ratio is 1.04 male(s)/female, which is slightly below the world average of 1.06 male(s)/female.

Cook Islands sex ratio at birth1.04 male(s)/female
World average sex ratio at birth1.06 male(s)/female

At higher ages, however, the ratio is more strongly skewed in favour of males than females compared to the rest of the world.

Cook Islands total sex ratio1.07 male(s)/female
World average total sex ratio0.79 male(s)/female

The ratio across the total population is 1.07 male(s)/female, which is considerably higher than the world average of 0.79 male(s)/female.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy in the Cook Islands is 75.6 years. Cook Island males can expect to live for 72.7 years, and females can expect to live for 78.6 years.

Overall life expectancy75.6 years
Male life expectancy72.7 years
Female life expectancy78.6 years

Median age

The Cook Islands has a relatively young population. Median age in the Cook Islands is 35.25 years.

Median Age35.25 years
Male Median Age34.6 years
Female Median Age35.7 years

For males, the median age is 34.6 years and for females the median age is 35.7 years.

Birth and death rate

The birth rate in the Cook Islands is 14.33 births/1,000 population. This is below the global average of 19.15 births/1,000 population.

Cook Islands Birth Rate14.33 births per 1,000 population
World Average Birth Rate19.15 births per 1,000 population

The death rate in the Cook Islands is 8.03 deaths/1,00 population. This is slightly above the global average of 7.89 deaths/1,000 population.

Cook Islands Death Rate8.03 births per 1,000 population
World Average Death Rate7.89 deaths per 1,000 population

Fertility rate

The fertility rate in the Cook Islands is 2.23 children per woman.

Cook Islands Fertility Rate2.23 children per woman
World Replacement Fertility Rate2.33 children per woman

This is only slightly below the replacement fertility rate (the rate needed to sustain a population) which is 2.33 children per woman.

Coconut consumption

The Cook Islands is one of the few countries in the world to ask a question about coconut consumption as a part of its census.

Household consumption28,461 coconuts
Livestock consumption123,427 coconuts
Other uses5,647 coconuts

The survey revealed that 2,947 households in the Cook Islands used 28,461 coconuts every week. That’s 10 coconuts per home per week.

Coconuts are also widely used for feeding livestock. 1,645 households reported using coconuts to feed animals, going through a total of 123,427 coconuts per week. That’s 75 coconuts per household per week.

The census also reported that 5,647 coconuts were used by 117 households for other, unspecified purposes.
There are a lot of coconuts on the Cook Islands.

Cook Islands population pyramid

The image below is of the Cook Islands 2016 population pyramid.

Cook Islands population pyramid 2016