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Maps show the extreme population density in Gaza

By Renee Rigdon and Amy O’Kruk, CNN

(CNN) — As airstrikes in Gaza have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes and overwhelm areas, including hospitals, there is little room to go. Across the Middle East, Gaza is among the smallest and most densely-packed cities.

The urban area around Gaza City is home to nearly 2 million people living in an 88-square-mile expanse, which is about 21,000 people per square mile, according to data from an annual Demographia report. Demographia looks at the urban footprint of cities to calculate density, as opposed to official administrative boundaries.

Within Gaza City, the population density is over 500 people per 100 square meters in many sections, according to data from the European Commission. Other areas of the Gaza Strip, such as Khan Yunis and the Nuseirat refugee camp, are also tightly packed, with over 250 people per 100 square meters in many places, and as high as over 400 people per 100 square meters in the refugee camp, according to the data.

While the Demographia report found Gaza City isn’t as packed as the world’s most dense cities, including Dhaka, Bangladesh, which has over 80,000 people per square mile, it’s more crowded than global cities, such as London, and three times more dense than Los Angeles, the most population-dense area in the US, according to the report.

Population density of built-up urban areas

As of Wednesday, Israel has hit hundreds of targets in Gaza in response to Hamas’ deadly and unprecedented attack early Saturday morning on Israel.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in Gaza, while at least 1,200 people have died in Israel, according to authorities on both sides.

Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are both crowded cities – Jerusalem’s population is the densest across the region. While Tel Aviv is less dense than Gaza City, the Jerusalem area has an estimated 21,988 people per square mile, slightly higher than Gaza City’s 21,034.

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