Will the Earth ever become a city planet?

Probably not going to have to worry about overpopulation any time soon...

13th December 2017
Will the Earth ever become a city planet? © Getty Images

Barnsley, probably not the bustling city metropolis you were looking for... © Getty Images

Coruscant, which is the capital of the Star Wars Galactic Empire, supposedly has a population of around three trillion. This is about 430 times Earth’s current population, but even this wouldn’t be enough to create a proper city planet.

To give all of Earth’s landmass the same population density as Tokyo, you would need 895 trillion people, or 300 Coruscants. Even the more pessimistic projections from the United Nations suggest that the Earth’s population will peak at less than 100 billion people by the end of this century. Spread across all the land area on the planet, that would give the world an average population density lower than that of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, which is hardly a skyscraper-filled metropolis. 

Read more:


SFQASubscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.