19 Devastating Images of Overpopulation Around the World

Written by Jeffrey on

Source: one final blog

Overpopulation in our world is a sad fact of life but in many cases, it seems to be due to the better job opportunities rather than a lack of space. As metropolitan city’s skyscrapers get taller, the surrounding area gets smaller. People living in New York City, for instance, choose convenience over comfort but in some poorer countries, residents don’t have a choice.

1. Qingdao Huiquan Bathing Beach, China

Qingdao Huiquan Bathing Beach China

Source: feast of fun

The Qingdao Huiquan Bathing Beach is reported to be the largest bathing beach in China.

It is so popular because of the clear blue water, soft rolling waves, and miles of sand. Some say that its surroundings can compete with Hawaii. Over 900 showers are provided, and the place is surrounded with nearby restaurants and shops and it is monitored by a beach-wide security system, so it is a relatively safe place to be.

However, the beach is so popular that it has a capacity of 200,000, and as you can see, it can sometimes come close to reaching it. 

2. Ranganathan Street, India

Ranganathan Street commercial hub Chennai India

Source: Yoga Balaji

Ranganathan Street is THE commercial hub of Chennai, India.

It is jam-packed with retail businesses selling wares of clothing and jewelry, but you can also find a few fruit and vegetable sellers there as well. It is often cited as the most crowded street in India.

It is busy there any time of the year, but a number of shoppers goes up during Diwali, an ancient five-day Hindu festival, as the street offers one-stop shopping for a variety of items needed for the festival.

3. Manila, Philippines

Manila Phillippines Crowd almost 4 times as crowded as New York City

Source: Flickr- Jojo Nicdao

Believe it or not, the population in Manilla, Philippines is around 12 million, which is about four times the population of New York City.

The next biggest city is Mandaluyong with a population of 1,652,171 which is still large, but not even close to Manila, which is said to be the most densely populated town in the world. This makes sense in that it is also the economic and political capital of the Philippines as well.

It is known as a center for business, fashion and the arts, The Port of Manila is also the largest seaport in the Philippines.

4. The Sichuan Province Salt Water Swimming Pool

Sichuan province salt water swimming pool

Source: business people inc

There is an expression in China for this phenomenon comparing the event to “boiling dumplings” because the pools are so crowded.

Doesn’t this look like fun? Though swimming is very popular in China, the mass majority of the people there just want a place to cool off during the hot days of summer. Unfortunately, photos like this are not all that rare.

 There is no room for people to move about; they just have to stand there. How did it get so bad? There is a lack of swimming facilities to accommodate the large crowds since many of the local governments can’t afford year-round pools.

5. Rush Hour at Shinjuku Station

Rush hour at Shinjuku station Yamanote Line Tokyo Japan used by an average of 3.64 million people per day in 2007

Source: WikiCommons- Chris73

Tokyo is known for its overly polite citizens, but apparently, that isn’t the case aboard Shinjuku station’s Yamanote Line during rush hour.

Already the biggest metropolitan area, Shinjuku station moves 900,000 passengers every morning and evening. It is said that riders are high-stressed and always on the brink of losing control in the form of first fights due to being pushed, literally, a little too far.

It is so crowded that many men take advantage of the situation to grope female passengers and for awhile, there was little punishment. Today, every year, about 2,000 people are arrested for groping women during the commute. 

6. New Delhi, India

Delhi India 25 million, the Indian capital is the second-most populated city in the world

Source: Ekta Parishad

The population of New Delhi India has grown so much in the last ten years or so that the Indian capital has become the second most populated city in the world.

In is estimated that New Delhi population was at about 400,000 in 1901 and has grown to 18,248,290 and is expected to rise another 40% by the year of 2020. The city has much to offer including better roads, schools and better living standards which make for a great incentive to live there.

Some estimate that 200,000 to 300,000 people each year come to the city in hopes of finding a better life.

7. Phan Dang Luu Street in Phu Nhuan, Vietnam

Phan Dang Luu street, Phu Nhuan Vietnam

Source: WikiCommons- Ngô Trung

Phu Nhuan is one of the 19 districts in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with about 180,100 residents spread out in just under 5 kilometers.

This photo, showing Phan Dang Luu Street, is an example of how congested the city is. Earlier this year, Ho Chi Minh City identified nine accident-prone hot spots. This came after 27 other hot spots were identified and eliminated. And they fear more are to come.

Since January of this year, 209 traffic accidents have occurred across the country which 104 fatalities and injuring another 135. This is an increase of 17 accidents and injuries.

8. Dhaka Streets, Bangladesh

Dhaka streets Bangladesh

Source: Flickr- Ahron de Leeuw

This photo resembles what you might see in a dystopian themed movie, but it’s real, everyday life on the Dhaka Streets in Bangladesh.

One visitor to the city says that there is no way to understand what it is like there unless you can hear it. In the middle of the night, you’ll hear “marriage parties, political demonstrations, sirens, drums, shouting, market screams, passengers, and risk drivers hitting busses…and who knows what kind of anguish – all combine into every known and not-yet-known rhythm.” Apparently, it is just as busy during the night as it is during the day.

9. Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu capitol of Nepal

Source: WikiCommons

Not surprisingly, Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is the most populous town in Nepal bursting with a population of over 975,000 residents living in households of about a third of that number.

Some estimate that the population could grow as large as 1,319,597 by 2021. The city is a mixing pot of various ethnicities, cultures, and traditions.

There is no real public transportation in the city other than buses and microvans. Most travel sites promoting the city do not show this view of downtown.

10. Rocinha Favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

rocinha favela rio de janiero brazil

Source: WikiCommons- Chensiyuan

Rocinha is considered the largest favela or slum in Brazil and can be found in the Rio de Janeiro’s south zone.

Over 70,000 people live on the steep hillside and is “officially” considered a neighborhood, but that depends on who is describing the area. At best, it can be described as an urbanized slum.

However, most of the buildings are made of concrete and brick and have basic sanitation, plumbing, and electricity, which is a far cry from other slums around the world. It even was home to a McDonald’s at one time.

11. Times Square in New York City, New York

times square new york city

Source: Flickr- Chris Amelung

New York City is the most populous city in the United States that reportedly had a record high of 8,491,079 residents in 2014.

In fact, more people live in New York City than people live in Los Angeles, and Chicago combined! It is estimated that the city’s population will grow to about 9.2 million by the year 2030.

As for Times Square, sometimes referred to as “The Crossroads of the World,” it is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions. Approximately 330,000 people pass through the square every day.

12. Beijing, China

Beijung China fifth in the UN urban population chart with just below 20 million city dwellers

Source: WikiCommons- JerryofWong

Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, is the third largest city in the world.

In 2013, the city’s population rose by 455,000 to a total of 21.148 million. Studies have shown that much of the city’s air pollution comes from the surrounding cities with 35-60% of the ozone being traced to places outside of the city.

To prepare for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, about 17 billion was spent trying to clean up the air which included closing some factories and gas stations and limiting street access during the games.

13. Mongkok Soy St., Hong Kong

Mongkok Soy St Hong Kong irrespective of category has over 340,000 people per square mile

Source: WikiCommons- Hamedog

Mong Kok, an area in the Yau Tsim Mong District of Hong Kong, is distinctive with its mix of old traditional buildings and the mountains of newer multi-storied buildings.

While many of the traditional markets, small shops, and food stalls have all but disappeared in other areas, Mong Kok still embraces them. The Guinness World Records has described the city as the busiest district in the world.

Jam-packed with retail stores, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and massage parlors, it has a very high population density of 340,000 people per square mile.

14. Mumbai, India

mumbai india 3rd most populated city

Source: Flickr- nomadism

Also known as Bombay, Mumbai is not only the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra; it is also the most populated city in India and the most populous metro area with over 21 million residents.

It is also one of the most populous urban regions in the world. Not surprisingly, it is also the wealthiest being the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India including the Hindi Bollywood movie and television industry.

Because it offers the potential of a higher standard of living, it attracts migrants from all over India creating a unique melting pot of cultures in the process.

15. Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo

Shibuya Crossing Tokyo over 2.5 million people cross per day

Source: Flickr- Patrick Dep

In 2008, it was estimated that Shibuya, Japan had an estimated population of 208,371.

Its shopping district surrounds the Shibuya Station, one of the busiest railway stations, and is known as one of the fashion centers and is a hub of nightlife activity in Japan. Over the years, it has become famous for its scramble crossing in front of the station where vehicles stop in all directions to allow pedestrians to take over the road.

It is estimated that over 2.5 million people cross the area each day. The Starbucks store that overlooks the crossing is one of the busiest in the world and the acceptance of mega advertising; the crossing is now compared to New York’s Time Square.

16. Monaco

Monaco less than 1 square mile and has over 30,000 people

Source: Flickr- Pat Guiney

Located on the French Riviera in Western Europe, the city of Monaco has become crowded.

The area, which is less than a square mile, actually holds a population of 36,271 people. It is both the second smallest and second most densely populated country in the world. 

The country’s economics does well thanks to the Monte Carlo Casino and a railway to Paris. It has become a premier tourist destination and well as a playground for the rich and famous.

17. The McDonald Restaurant in Pushkin Square, Moscow, Russia

McDonald's Pushkin Square Moscow Russia busiest in the world serving over 40,000 customers every day

Source: Flickr- David Holt

The largest “McRestaurant” in Russia is located in Pushkin Square in Moscow.

Recently, two Oscar-winning Russian film directors will be paid $14 million to set up a new national fast food restaurant called Yedim Doma! (which means, “We’re Eating at Home!”) To go against the American chain, McDonald’s which now operates 500 stores in the country.

It is said to be the busiest in the world serving over 40,000 customers every day. The fact that the two directors have no restaurant business background doesn’t appear to be a negative either.

18. Oxford Street in London, England

Oxford Street London England 200 million people every year

Source: Flickr- Gary J Wood

Oxford Street is a major road in the City of Westminster in the West End of London which has about 300 shops lined up on both sides.

It is only open to buses, taxis, and two-wheeled vehicles during the week. Even so, there is heavy congestion due to many bus stops and traffic crossings. Then, there is the heavy traffic on the sidewalks due to the many shoppers.

A 2014 report showed that Oxford Street has the world’s highest concentration of nitrogen dioxide pollution ranging from 135 – 463 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The latter is over ten times the permitted maximum.

19. Santa Cruz del Islote, Columbia

Santa Cruz de Islote Colombia population density of 124,700 people per square mile

Source: XibalbaWikiCommons

About an hour’s boat ride from Colombia’s Caribbean coast resides Santa Cruz del Islote, the world’s most crowded island.

It is home to about 700 people who live in the 90 houses, but that number is said to rise to about 1200 when the children, who attend school on the mainland, return home to visit their families.

There is no electricity and fresh water to brought to the island every three weeks. On the upside, though, crime is at an all-time low as opposed to the fighting found on the Columbia’s mainland.