The population of North Korea in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 22,664,000, which placed it as number 47 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 6% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 27% of the population under 15 years of age. There were an equal number of males and females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 0.54%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 23,706,000. The population density varies greatly from region to region, with an average of 192 per sq km (498 per sq mi) in 2002. The majority of the population resides in the southern regions, with the mountainous northern border being the most sparsely populated.
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 60% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, P'yongyang, had a population of 3,136,000 in that year. Other large cities include Hamhung, with 670,000 inhabitants; Ch'ongjin, 530,000; Kaesong, 310,000; and Sinuiju, 330,000. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 1.6%.