The 25 Most Crowded Places on Earth

Posted by on April 11, 2012

If you have seen our list on the 25 most remote places in the world then you are familiar with how desolate our planet can be. On the other extreme, however, there are places where you might have a hard time keeping people out of your bubble. These are the 25 most crowded places on Earth.



Found in Tokyo Summerland, a Japanese theme park, you would be hard pressed to find any water in this pool, especially during summer.



The open air Maracana stadium found in Rio de Janeiro, also known as the Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho was constructed in the 50s to host the World Cup and has since set the world record for attendance at a football game with almost a quarter of a million spectators.



Tokyo is certainly not very well-known for having lots of space, which evidently holds true of its escalators. In fact, in 2008 one of its busier ones actually came to a grinding halt and began to move backwards, piling people up at the bottom and sending several of them to the emergency room.



Although there are many ways to measure the congestion of an airport, Hartsfield Jackson International in Atlanta can boast that it sees the largest number of passengers pass through its terminals every year with over 92 million. That’s over 15 million more than runner-up Beijing Capital International Airport.



Not only is Tokyo ridiculously crowded above ground, things don’t change much down below. It’s home to the busiest subway system in the world with over 3.16 billion annually. That’s more than twice as many as New York City (although the NYC system has more stations)


Shopping Center

Although there are several shopping centers claiming to have the most traffic in the world (most being in Southeast Asia), due to unverifiable statistics the prize for most crowded shopping plaza goes to the Mall of the America near the Twin Cities in Minnesota. It receives over 40 million annual visitors.



Although in 1934 it was estimated that the Panama Canal should handle 80 million tonnes of cargo per year, today that number exceeds 300 million. According to researchers at the University of Oldenburg this makes it the busiest waterway in the world with the Suez Canal coming in a close second.



With over 2.5 million people crossing over the white stripes every day Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo is by far the busiest intersection in the world.


Tourist Attraction

At the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue from West 42nd to West 47th in downtown New York City you will find what many have come to know as the “Crossroads of the World” (or more formally Times Square). According to Travel + Leisure Magazine it is the most visited tourist attraction on Earth, pulling in over 39 million people every year.



Although in most parts of Europe graves often get reused, in London this is not the case. The English are more like the Americans in that they prefer their eternal resting places to literally last for eternity. The only problem is that in a city that has been inhabited for thousands of years the English are quickly running out of space and the city’s largest cemetery has even started asking people if they would be willing to share their grave with a stranger.



Carrying over 106 million cars across the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey every year, the George Washington Bridge is the world’s busiest. It’s so busy in fact that it has two levels and a total of 14 lanes.



Lined with bars, hotels, and shops Oxford Street in London attracts over 200 million people every year. Recently authorities were even forced to reconstruct Oxford Circus and double the amount of pavement, an idea they got from the Shibuya Crossing in Japan (#18).



Not surprisingly, to find the most crowded hotel in the world we return once again to Tokyo. If you have seen our post on the 25 coolest hotels ever then you are familiar with their space conserving capsule inns.



Technically speaking Monaco is the country with the world’s highest population density (about 43,000 people per square mile). Ironically enough though, Monaco itself has an area of less than 1 square mile (3/4 square mile) and a population of only 32,000. For this reason, oftentimes people exclude the microstates of Monaco, Singapore, Malta, and Bahrain in discussions of population density and skip directly to Bangladesh which has 2,637 people per square mile.



Although Japan does have its fair share of crowded areas (#23 and #25), its train system is absolutely no match for that of India. No match whatsoever.