10 Cities With the Highest Population Densities

Downtown skyline along Manila Bay.
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Cities are known for being crowded, but some cities are far more crowded than others. What makes a city feel crowded isn't just the number of people who live there but the physical size of the city. Population density refers to the number of people per square mile. According to the Population Reference Bureau, these ten cities have the world's highest population densities

1. Manila, Philippines — 107,562 per square mile

The capital of the Philippines is home to roughly two million people. Located on the eastern shore of Manila Bay the city is home to one of the finest ports in the country. The city regularly hosts over a million tourists each year, making the busy streets even more crowded.

2. Mumbai, India — 73,837 per square mile

It's no surprise that the Indian city Mumbai comes in second on this list with a population of over 12 million people. The city is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. The city lies on the West coast of India and has a deep natural bay. In 2008, it was dubbed an "alpha world city."

3. Dhaka, Bangladesh — 73,583 per square mile

Known as the "city of mosques," Dhaka is home to roughly 17 million people. It was once one of the most wealthy and prosperous cities in the world. Today the city is the country's political, economic and cultural center. It has one of the largest stock markets in South Asia.

4. Caloocan, Philippines — 72,305 per square mile

Historically, Caloocan is important for being home to the secret militant society that spurred the Philippine Revolution, also known as the Tagalong war, against Spanish colonialists. Now the city is home to almost two million people.

5. Bnei Brak, Israel — 70,705 per square mile

Just east of Tel Aviv, this city is home to 193,500 residents. It is home to one of the largest coca-cola bottling plants in the world. Israel's first women's only department stores were built in Bnei Brak; it's an example of the gender segregation; implemented by the ultra Orthodox Jewish population.

6. Levallois-Perret, France — 68,458 per square mile

Located roughly four miles from Paris, Levallois-Perrett is the most densely populated city in Europe. The city is known for its perfume industry and beekeeping. A cartoon bee has even been adopted at the city's modern emblem.

7. Neapoli, Greece — 67,027 per square mile 

The Greek city of Neapoli comes in at number seven on the list of most densely populated cities. The city is divided into eight different districts. While only 30,279 people live in this small city that's impressive given its size is only .45 square miles!

8. Chennai, India — 66,961 per square mile

Located on the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is known as the education capital of South India. It's home to almost five million people. It's also considered one of the safest cities in India. It's also home to a large expat community. It's been dubbed one of the "must-see" cities in the world by the BBC.

9. Vincennes, France — 66,371 per square mile

Another suburb of Paris, Vincennes is located just four miles from the city of lights. The city is probably most famous for its castle, Chateau de Vincennes. The castle was originally a hunting lodge for Louis VII but was enlarged in the 14th century.

10. Delhi, India — 66,135 per square mile

The city of Delhi is home to roughly 11 million people, putting it just after Mumbai as one of India's most populated cities. Delhi is an ancient city which has been the capital of various kingdoms and empires. It's home to numerous landmarks. It's also considered the "book capital" of India due to its high readership rates.

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Rosenberg, Matt. "10 Cities With the Highest Population Densities." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/highest-population-densities-1435110. Rosenberg, Matt. (2020, August 27). 10 Cities With the Highest Population Densities. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/highest-population-densities-1435110 Rosenberg, Matt. "10 Cities With the Highest Population Densities." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/highest-population-densities-1435110 (accessed June 1, 2023).