What causes the difference in the population density of Singapore and Nepal?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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These two countries have very different population densities.  Singapore is one of the densest countries in the world, with a density of about 7500 people per square kilometer.  Nepal is much less dense, having only about 180 people per square kilometer.  Let us look at three important reasons for this.

First, there is physical geography.  Nepal is very mountainous.  There are many places in Nepal where it would be very difficult for people to live in large numbers and support themselves through agriculture.  By contrast, Singapore’s geography means that people are able to live practically everywhere in the country.  This makes Singapore much more dense.

Second, there is location.  Nepal is very isolated.  It does not have many advantages in terms of its location in the world.  This means people do not flock to live there.  Singapore is much luckier.  It is next to an important sea lane.  It is also in the middle of a very populated and economically active region.  This makes it more attractive to people.

Finally, there are economic factors.  Partly for reasons we have mentioned, and partly for political reasons, Nepal is rather poor while Singapore is very rich, particularly in comparison to many nearby countries.  Therefore, people are eager to come to Singapore for work if they can.  By contrast, large numbers of Nepalese have to leave their home country to work elsewhere.

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