The United States has a population that is nearly five times greater than the United Kingdom. Yet, the UK still has more people than the 27 least populated states combined. On the other hand, the UK has fewer people than the two most populous states.
The map above shows how each of these combinations would look. In red, you can see that the UK has more people than the following states combined:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
However, if you look at the states in blue you can see that just California and Texas have slightly more people than the UK.
Overall, the United Kingdom is the 51st most densely populated country on earth with a population of 64.1 million people living in 242,910 km2 (93,788 sq. miles), which gives it a population density of 262 people/km2 (679 people/sq. mile).
In contrast, the United States is the 180th most densely populated country on earth with a population of 319.3 million people living in 9,826,675 km2 (3,794,101 sq. miles), which gives it a population density of 32.5 people/km2 (84.2 people/sq. mile).
Thus, the UK is roughly 8 times more densely populated than the US.
Jumping back to the two groups of states above, the red states have 61 million people living in 5.6 million km2 for a population density of just 10.9 people/km2 or only around 1/3rd the already low US average.
In contrast the two blue states have 65 million people living in 1.1 million km2 for a density of 59 people/km2 or around 80% above the US average but sill only around 1/4 of the density of the UK.
However, there are in fact 4 states which have a higher population density than the UK. They are:
- New Jersey (467.2 people/km2)
- Rhode Island (392.7 people/km2)
- Massachusetts (331.3 people/km2)
- Connecticut (286.7 people/km2)
Finally, Washington DC, given that it’s a city, has the highest density of all at 4,088.4 people/km2 for a total population of 658,893. But it’s still not as dense as London, which has a density of 5,354 people/km2 and a total population of 8.4 million.
For one more perspective here’s how the population of the UK could fit into the US 5 times over:
Read these to learn more:
- The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution
- The Population of the UK
- The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate
So are the UK and/or the US really overcrowded or could they grow even larger in the future? Leave your comments below: