January 4, 2009--reposted Nov. 25, 2012
One of the most widespread is the idea that Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. It is nothing of the sort.
Earlier this year, I pointed out on my old Spectator blog some of the facts:
The UK politician George Galloway wrote in The Glasgow Record last month that the Gaza Strip is "the most densely populated piece of earth on the planet." Galloway wrote that 1.5 million Palestinians live there.
Daoud Kuttab, a Palestinian journalist currently teaching at Princeton, wrote March 26 that Gaza is "one of the most densely populated places on earth, with 3,823 people per square kilometre." Kuttab's figure is in line with recent Gaza population estimates of 1.4 million.
If Galloway's estimate of 1.5 million Gaza population is correct, this is almost 4,200 people per square kilometer. The Central Intelligence Agency projects that the Gaza population will reach 1,537,269 in July. This would bring the density to 4,270 people per square kilometer.But this isn't even as crowded as Tel Aviv. Gaza has plenty of problems. But they are nothing - nothing - to do with population density:
Both Singapore and Hong Kong have more than 6,000 people per square kilometer. Tel Aviv has more than 7,000 people per square kilometer. If you count the suburbs of Tel Aviv, the metropolitan area with its population of 2.3 million has a density of more than 5,000 people per square kilometer, which is considerably more crowded than the Gaza Strip as reckoned by Galloway or Kuttab or the CIA.Selected estimates of population density:
27,209 people/sq km
24,000 people/sq km
7,445 people/sq km
(385,000 people, 51.8 sq km)
6,352 people/sq km
6,252 people/sq km
5,100 people/sq km
Tel Aviv metro area including suburbs
5,050 people/sq km
(2.3 million people, 453 sq km)
4,900 people/sq km
4,750 people/sq km
4,300 people/sq km
Gaza Strip per CIA projection
4,270 people/sq km
(1,537,269 population July 2008, 360 sq km)
Gaza Strip per George Galloway
4,167 people/sq km
(1.5 million people, 360 sq km)
Gaza Strip per Daoud Kuttab
3,822 people/sq km
The numbers for London, Tel Aviv metro area, Moscow, Tokyo/Yokohama and Warsaw are from the City Mayors site.
Comments: Time to challenge everyone who uses the Gaza is the densest place on earth-it is NOT! There are multiple other places much more dense, see above stats, and these places are some of the most prosperous places on the planet-look at Hong Kong for example. It is not a responsible position to say that population density is the cause of all a society's ills-simply NOT true. Final point for this post: if Gaza is hampered by its population density than it is even more remarkable that our Israeli military was able to produce such low collateral damage to human beings-this is a remarkable achievement and the Israeli military is to be congratulated fir its efficiency and care for human life.