New Study Reveals The Most Heavily Surveilled Cities on Earth

2021 is a big moment for CCTV: the world’s one-billionth surveillance camera is likely to be installed by the end of the year. A single CCTV camera per every eight humans on Earth.

But of course, it doesn’t quite work like that. Each camera doesn’t follow a set group of people around, creating a neatly edited portrait. The cameras are (mostly) fixed in position, and some countries have many more cameras than others.

In China and the US, for example, there is already one camera per 4.1 and 4.6 people, respectively – way ahead of the curve. But what if it is more pertinent to think of how cameras are distributed spatially? After all, more cameras across a city with a smaller footprint makes for greater coverage of everybody’s comings and goings.

The increasing levels of CCTV surveillance could have direct implication to people’s privacy, so Surfshark wanted to know which cities have the highest number of CCTV cameras per square kilometer. We gathered the numbers, crunched them, and produced a series of new visualizations to illustrate just how pervasive surveillance cameras are in the 130 most populous international cities.

Credit: Surfshark. Original source of study:

Methodology & Sources

We gathered multiple sources to determine the number of CCTV cameras in the world’s 150 most populous cities. The population of each city in this study was taken from, and the area in km2 was gathered from Wikipedia. With all data in hand, we were able to calculate the number of cameras per 1,000 people and per 1 km2. Crime data was sourced from

All data was gathered in November 2020.

For the full research behind this project, visit:

WORLD MAP: CCTV Density in Cities Around the World

City vs. City Comparison Tool


Top 10 Cities for CCTV Density Infographic [High-Res]

About Surfshark

Surfshark is an award-winning, highly secure yet easy to use VPN that encrypts users’ online data to help them stay private and protected every day, hassle-free.

Their mission is to humanize protection tools so that everyone can be in control of their privacy and security. That’s why the app is intuitive to use and is packed with easy-to-understand resources, reports and how-to guides on security and privacy.

About NeoMam Studios

NeoMam Studios is a creative studio on a mission to create digital content that online audiences will want to share for months and years to come.

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