The most densely populated coastal areas of the planet in 2015


L’Atlas Bleu / Living

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In Asia, although the monsoon prevents the desert from spreading between tropical and temperate zones, making it possible for areas of exceptional human population density to develop along the coastlines, a high number of natural hazards turn any advantages into permanent risks. These risks are further accentuated by the vulnerable nature of coastal societies, which are often poorly equipped to withstand natural disasters. These regions therefore regularly experience fatal events, such as the devastation in the Philippines in November 2013. Urbanisation exacerbates such regions’ vulnerability, because in many places this does not take the form of genuine development and also adds technological hazards to the natural, as the Fukushima disaster in Japan showed. Around the rest of the globe, the risks are less severe, except for where communities lack the resources to resist natural hazards (Caribbean islands, Pacific coast of Latin America), or where the damage to coastal facilities is financially and technically unacceptable (Pacific coast, Gulf of Mexico in North America, East Coast of America, North Sea, Mediterranean Basin in Europe).

Jacques GUILLAUME, géographe, Chercheur associé à LETG-Nantes UMR 6554.

Jacques GUILLAUME, « Espaces littoraux les plus densément peuplés de la planète en 2015 », L’atlas Bleu, Revue cartographique des mers et des littoraux. Mis en ligne le 11 janvier 2020,

(version digitale adaptée d’après l’article paru dans L’Atlas Permanent de la Mer et du Littoral n°7 « Risques littoraux et maritimes ». Ed. LETG-Nantes, 2015. p.11)


DOI : 10.35109/atlasbleu-eng.10023