The Least Populated Places on Earth

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With over seven billion people on the planet today, it can seem almost impossible to get away from other people sometimes. However, there are over 57.5 million square miles of dry land on Earth to explore, which means if you travel far enough, you're capable of finding some relief from the crowds. Here are some of the least populated places on Earth.

Tristan de Cunha

View of Tristan de Cunha on island
Credit: maloff/ Shutterstock

These volcanic islands in the South Atlantic are 1,500 miles away from South America and are often given the title of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. The main island, which is the only one with people living on it, covers about 75 square miles, but there are only around 260 inhabitants. Getting there isn’t exactly easy either. The main transportation access to the island is sailing on one of the fishing boats, which travel to the island only eight or nine times per year.

Pitcairn Islands

Aerial view of the Pitcairn Island shore with choppy blue waters and red rocks
Credit: Joe Benning/ Shutterstock

On the other side of the planet are the Pitcairn Islands. This chain of South Pacific volcanic islands is 3,500 miles away from the nearest significant landmass of New Guinea. Pitcairn Island itself is the only occupied island in the chain, which stretches out over 100 miles. Pitcairn Island is smaller than Tristan de Cunha and there are only about 50 people living on it. Most of these families are descended from European and Polynesian heritages, since their ancestors landed on the island after they famously mutinied on the Bounty.

Oymyakon, Russia

Desolate snowy landscape of Oymyakon, Russia and its large rocky mountains
Credit: Tatiana Gasich/ Shutterstock

This town in northern Russia only has a population of 500. Since the small town lies on the Indigirka River, it's only accessible by plane or by a multi-day journey down the only road that leads there, the Road of Bones.

What makes Oymyakon such a difficult place to live in? Well, it's known as one of the coldest inhabited locations on the planet with temperatures reaching as low as -90 degrees Fahrenheit. While that temperature is an extreme, the average temperature during the winter is around -50 degrees Fahrenheit. These long, cold winters mean that the ground is permanently frozen and cannot support crops.

Greenland

Colorful homes on the coast
Credit: Mathias Berlin/ Shutterstock

A massive country at the top of the world, Greenland covers more than 810,000 square miles of land, but only has a population of 56,000 people. This means that the country has one of the lowest population densities in the world.

The extremely low population density is best explained by the fact that most of the country’s landmass is covered in a thick layer of ice. In fact, the only significant settlements in Greenland are along the western coast, where the ice slowly gives way to a beautiful, rocky beach. Despite the island’s low population, it has been inhabited for almost 4,500 years, which means a trip here will include both solitude and history.

McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Aerial view of McMurdo Station
Credit: james_stone76/ Shutterstock

The continent that's home to the South Pole and some of the most intense winter systems in the world has a very low number of permanent residents. One of the most populated places in Antarctica is McMurdo Station, an American research station that is only inhabited year-round by scientists, artists, and military personnel.

There are more than 80 structures that make up the compound including clubs, stores, and a helipad. However, don’t expect to visit recreationally. McMurdo Station can be reached only by planes capable of landing on ice and despite the world-class facilities, the population dips from around 1,200 during the relatively calm summer to less than 200 in the winter.

So, if you're looking to spend some time alone, remember that if you travel far enough, you will likely find it — although getting there might be an adventure all on its own.

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