Free population distribution data for Asia and Africa
Due to a lack of mapping resources and difficulties in obtaining census statistics for many Asian countries, the AsiaPop project was set up in July 2011 to produce detailed and freely available population distribution maps for the whole of Asia. The project recently announced the next release of population distribution datasets for 17 Asian countries, including Sri Lanka, Nepal, North and South Korea and Tajikistan. The data, available in GeoTIFF format, are available to download for free (subject to registration) and provide population count data (persons per square) for 2010 and 2015.
A combination of high-resolution (100m) settlement maps derived from satellite imagery and land cover maps were used to reallocate contemporary census-based population data, producing more accurate national cover than had been previously available. The datasets are used to measure the impact of population growth, monitoring change and as a basis for future development strategies.
A related project was established in Africa in 2009 (http://www.afripop.org/), also providing free population count data (in Esri FLOAT format).
AmeriPop, started in Oct 2012, aims to provide similar data for Central and South America (http://www.ameripop.org/).