ORNL’s LandScan is a community standard for global population distribution data. At approximately 1 km (30″ X 30″) spatial resolution, it represents an ambient population (average over 24 hours) distribution. The database is refreshed annually with new versions released in Q3 of each calendar year. The latest LandScan Global dataset is LandScan Global 2019, and previous versions (LandScan Global 2000-2018) continue to be available.

LandScan is developed using best available demographic (Census) and geographic data, remote sensing, and imagery analysis techniques within a multivariate dasymetric modeling framework to disaggregate census counts within an administrative boundary. Since no single population distribution model can account for the differences in spatial data availability, quality, scale, and accuracy as well as the differences in cultural settlement practices, the LandScan Global population distribution is essentially a combination of locally adaptive models that are tailored to match the data conditions and geographical nature of each individual country and region.