Steven Teplitsky

Gaza: The Most Densely Populated Area of the World

CTV NEWS: The Gaza Strip: Tiny, cramped and densely populated

ABC NEWS: The Gaza Strip: Tiny, cramped and as densely populated as London

DAILY MAIL: Gaza Strip’s one of world’s most densely-populated enclaves

NEWSWEEK: Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated regions in the world

Most news outlets, whether in print or on TV,usually begin their reports with the line “Gaza is the most densely populated area of the world” leading one to visualize a human catastrophe unfolding before our eyes.


What is the source of this information?

For the broadcast industry, the primary source for this claim comes from the Associated Press (AP) and every media outlet uses the identical quote, “Tiny, cramped and as densely populated as London.” No media outlet bothers to check AP’s facts since the AP is known as an honest, reputable, news agency.

Associated Press’ source is PCBS. Not CBS News, but Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). A “trusted” news agency such as AP is receiving its information from an agency whose mandate is to spread lies about Israel. The Palestinian Bureau of Statistics is not known for its commitment to accuracy. Population size is deliberately beefed up in the PBS reports as a means to put pressure on Israel to accept the “demographic demon” theory, that a crowded Palestinian population requires painful concessions on Israel’s part. In an interview to the New York Times in 1997, Hassan Abu-Libdeh, Head of the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, dubbed the census “civil Intifada”.

How does the population of Gaza rank with other densely populated areas of the world?

According to census experts, population density is measured according to population size relative to the area of a given territory. In the Gaza Strip there are approximately 2 million residents, in an area that spans 365 square kilometers. Simple calculations determine Gaza’s population density at 5,479 people per square kilometer – roughly the density of London which has 5596 people per square kilometer.

This is why the AP uses London in its reporting. But we never hear complaints about London’s density.


To give credit to the PCBS, let’s use some of their statistics. According to PCBS in the 2017 census, the population of Gaza City was 590,481. The area of Gaza City is 45 square kilometers, giving it a population density of 13,121 per square kilometer. Khan Younis, the second largest city registered a population of 205,125 in an area of 54.56 square kilometres, giving it a population density of 3759 per square kilometer.

According to Wikipedia, none of the cities in Gaza make it onto the top 50 list.


Some of the cities which make the Top 50 list are quite familiar to us. They are Manila (43,064 per sq. km.), Dhaka (29,069 per sq. km.), Manhattan (28,154 per sq. km.), Bnei Brak (26,368 per sq. km.), Karachi (25,555 per sq. km.), Mumbai (22,937 per sq. km.),Paris (20,545 per sq. km.), and Union City (19,066 per sq. km.).

I have been trying to find references to the above-mentioned cities in terms of their densities causing a humanitarian crisis, but to no avail.

I will get back to you when and if I find something.


About the Author
Graduated from Brandeis University in Near Eastern and Jewish Studies in 1978 before completion of PhD (ABD) in "Relationship of US to Pre 1948 Yishuv". Active in Toronto Jewish community while pursuing business career. Made Aliyah in 2020. Last person to be admitted into Israel before Covid shutdown. Favorite movie quotes are "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" and "You can't handle the truth!" and "Whaddya think, I'm dumb or something?"
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