Another very interesting visualization of world population from the folks in Reddit. Only 5 per cent of the world's population lives in the regions of this map shaded blue. Another 5 per cent lives in the area shaded red.
Reddit MapPorn - account IbisDigitalMedia
We found the map in a very interesting article from the web site CityMetric, who included some interesting facts and deduction.
According to CityMetric, the red area includes Bangladesh (pop: 156m), and the Indian states of Bihar (pop: 104m) and West Bengal (pop: 91m). It also includes two megacities: Kolkata in West Bengal (15m), and the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka (13m). In all, that’s a combined population of about 351m people in roughly 330,000 km2, giving a population density of 1062 people per km2.
The blue area includes Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, huge swathes of northern and Asian Russia, Mongolia, most of the Amazon basin, Patagonia, large swathes of Africa and the Arabic peninsula, the US states of New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and both Dakotas, and pretty much the entire Australasian continent.
As CityMetric points out, the map is a bit of a cheat. They've assumed that whoever made the map calculated how many people 5 per cent of the global population is, and then started working their way down a list of big areas with low population density until they hit their magic number. It’s a slightly artificial way of doing things, and leads to odd things like the exclusion of the Nile valley and the thin sliver of South America on its populated Pacific Coast.
Map by Reddit user TeaDranks
One of the things that interest us at Lizard Point are visualizations that provide a different perspective on the world we inhabit. Maps are especially good at this. And not all maps have to be physical (showing geographic features) or political (showing state boundaries). The map above, recently featured in the Washington Post, is a World Population Cartogram. According to Wikipedia, A cartogram is a map in which some thematic mapping variable – such as travel time, population, or Gross National Product – is substituted for land area or distance. The geometry or space of the map is distorted in order to convey the information of this alternate variable. I think you would agree that the perspectives provided by this map are quite different that the maps we usually see.
Any insights you get from the map depend on your own perspective. For instance, we at Lizard Point live in Canada, a huge country in terms of land mass. But as the cartogram illustrates, a very small country when it comes to population. Even our neighbours to the south in the populous United States, shrink a little when compared to the populations of India and China. A few other surprising insights that we found;
- the relatively small size of Russia (less populous than Nigeria),
- the large size of some of the Caribbean countries (Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic), and
- the complete absence of large countries such as Greenland and Iceland.
No doubts, you'll have some insights of your own. We encourage you to visit this and other interesting maps from the Washington Post website embedded in a fascinating article by Ana Swanson entitled, The best places to be alone all over the world.
And don't forget that Lizard Point quizzes has population (and much more) information about all the countries in our site. Just click on the 'study' button.