A Network Map of the World’s Air Traffic Connections
View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.
In 2017, airlines moved over four billion passengers, a number that continues to grow each year.
As more and more people around the world can afford to scratch their travel itch, new connections and airports will be created to meet that demand. Remarkably, the world’s air transport network doubles in size every 15 years, and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) estimates that it will do so again by the year 2030.
Today’s data visualization – created by researcher, Martin Grandjean – is a dramatic look at over 3,200 air traffic hubs that connect our world’s population centers. The unique, force-directed layout allows us to see relationships beyond geographical location.
As the GIF above reveals, Europe remains an important linchpin in international travel, and cities on North America’s West Coast – such as Vancouver and San Francisco – swing in response to Asia’s gravitational pull.
The World’s Most Connected Airports
While all airports are effective at moving passengers from point A to B, particular locations play a crucial role in the global network. To help put this connectivity between airports into perspective, OAG created the Megahubs International Index.
Below are the top 50 internationally connected airports:
|Rank||Airport||Airport Name||Country||Connectivity Index|
|10||CDG||Charles de Gaulle||France||242|
|11||LAX||Los Angeles||United States||235|
|12||HKG||Hong Kong||Hong Kong||233|
|18||JFK||John F. Kennedy||United States||195|
|19||IAH||George Bush||United States||184|
|20||DXB||Dubai||United Arab Emirates||183|
|22||EWR||Newark Liberty||United States||170|
|27||DFW||Dallas/Fort Worth||United States||164|
|29||SFO||San Francisco||United States||153|
|35||NCE||Nice Côte d'Azur||France||133|
|36||JNB||O. R. Tambo||South Africa||133|
|46||SJU||Luis Muñoz Marín||Puerto Rico||114|
The heavyweight airport leading the world in international connectivity is London Heathrow. This busy air traffic hub recently had a mind-blowing 72,000 possible international connections within a 6-hour window of arriving and departing flights. Heathrow moved over 78 million passengers and 1.70 million metric tonnes of cargo in 2017.
According to OAG, Singapore Changi and El Dorado International Airport in Colombia were the most connected airports in Asia–Pacific and South America, respectively. O. R. Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg was the sole African airport to crack the top 50.
America’s Most Connected Airports
Below are the top 25 most connected airports in the United States:
|Rank||Airport||Airport Name||City||Connectivity Index|
|6||DTW||Detroit Metro. Wayne County||Detroit||139|
|7||MSP||Minneapolis–Saint Paul||Minneapolis–St. Paul||126|
|8||LAX||Los Angeles||Los Angeles||114|
|9||HNL||Daniel K. Inouye||Honolulu||104|
|10||PHX||Phoenix Sky Harbor||Phoenix||103|
|15||SFO||San Francisco||San Francisco||84|
|16||SLC||Salt Lake City||Salt Lake City||79|
|18||DCA||Ronald Reagan Washington||Washington||65|
|20||DAL||Dallas Love Field||Dallas||56|
|25||STL||St. Louis Lambert||St. Louis||43|
While Atlanta Airport, the second most connected hub, has more scheduled domestic capacity, O’Hare’s scheduling offered more connection possibilities for passengers. Both these powerhouse transport nodes show up very clearly on the network map above.
No Fly Zones
There is a grand total of five countries in the world that have no airport and, interestingly, they’re all in Europe. Vatican City and Monaco are simply too small to accommodate an airport.
The remaining three – Andorra, San Marino, and Liechtenstein – rely on neighboring countries and/or helicopter pads for their air travel needs.
Visualizing the Happiest Country on Every Continent
Where are the happiest, least happy, and fastest improving countries worldwide? We’ve broken down this annual ranking by region to answer that question.
Visualizing the Happiest Country on Every Continent
The state of our world is shifting beneath our feet — economics alone no longer equate to satisfaction, let alone happiness.
Today’s visualization pulls data from the seventh World Happiness Report 2019, which ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels. We’ve previously shown the variables used to measure happiness in this report, but here, we break down rankings by continent and region for a clearer picture of where each country lies.
Unhappy Americans have caused the country to tumble in rankings for a third straight year, despite evidence that things are generally looking up. The report attributes much of this erosion to a variety of addictions: opioids, workaholism, gambling, internet, exercise, and even shopping are among them.
Haiti is the least happy country in this region. The country is still struggling to rebuild sanitation infrastructure and other educational and healthcare programs, despite foreign aid.
In brighter news, Nicaragua is seeing great gains in happiness levels, as the country makes a concentrated effort to reduce poverty.
In South America, the majority of countries cluster around a score of six on the happiness scale.
The one notable exception to this is Venezuela, which is faltering in both happiness rank and regional improvement. The nation’s hyperinflation and humanitarian crisis both show no signs of slowing down.
Finland comes out on top of the world for a second consecutive year, and it’s not difficult to see why. The country boasts a stable work-life balance, bolstered by a comprehensive welfare state.
Scandinavian countries appear among the happiest nations for similar very reasons — elevating the region’s score to 16% above the global average.
On the flip side, Ukraine is the unhappiest, likely intensified by the ongoing war in southeastern Donbass. Greece is the least improved, as it continues to heal from the sovereign debt crisis.
Middle East and Central Asia
Uzbekistan shows the swiftest regional improvement, as the country has launched an ambitious reform agenda for greater economic, social, and political development and openness.
Unfortunately, Syria’s continued civil war comes with a heavy price for its people and economy, as does the Palestinian-Israeli conflict — although the latter doesn’t seem to impact Israel’s happiness ranking. In fact, Israel finished with the 13th best score, globally.
Rest of Asia and Oceania
In East Asia, the average happiness score is quite close to the global average, with Taiwan standing out as the happiest country.
Singapore out-competes other countries within Southeast Asia, despite only being home to a population of 5.6 million. Its neighbor Malaysia, however, plunged from 35th to 80th place.
Oceania stands alone – Australia and New Zealand are closely matched in their individual happiness scores.
The African continent as a whole fares 19.2% below the global average. But there are silver linings, with strong strides towards improvement being made.
Mauritius benefits from good governance and a buoyant tourism sector — with visitor arrivals equal to the island’s 1.3 million population. Meanwhile, Benin has soared in the rankings, and is supported by the World Bank in key structural reforms such as poverty reduction and access to basic services.
What could these rankings look like in another ten years?
Notes: The Africa map was updated to show more country scores. The report only covers 156 countries, so “Oceania” only refers to Australia and New Zealand in this instance.
Animation: 200 Years of U.S. Immigration As Tree Rings
Since 1830, there have been four major waves of U.S. immigration – and this unique video depicts the influx of immigrants as rings in a tree trunk.
If you walk down the streets in the United States, the odds are that one in every four people you’ll see is an immigrant, or was born to immigrant parents.
While those odds might seem high, the truth is nearly everyone in the U.S. hails from someplace else if you look far back enough.
Visualizing U.S. Immigration
Today’s intriguing visualization was created by professors Pedro M. Cruz and John Wihbey from Northeastern University, and it depicts U.S. immigration from 1830 until 2015, as rings in a growing tree trunk.
The researchers turned registered U.S. Census data into an estimate for the total number of immigrants arriving each decade, and then the yearly figures in the visualization. One caveat is that it does not account for the populations of slaves, or indigenous communities.
From the Old to the New World
The pattern of U.S. immigration can be explained in four major waves overall:
The origins of U.S. immigrant populations transform from era to era. Which events influenced each wave?
Frontier Expansion: 1830-1880
- Cheap farmland and the promise of economic growth in the first Industrial Revolution spurred large-scale immigration from Britain, Germany, and other parts of Central Europe.
- The Irish Potato Famine from 1845 to 1849 drove many immigrants from Ireland over to the U.S.
- The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe ended the Mexican-American war, and extended U.S. citizenship to over 70,000 Mexican residents.
- Immigrant mobility increased with the introduction of large steam-powered ships. The expansion of railroads in Europe also made it easier for people to reach oceanic ports.
- On the other hand, the Chinese Exclusion act in 1882 prohibited Chinese laborers from entry.
- In 1892, the famous Ellis Island opened; the first federal immigration station provided a gateway for over 12 million people.
The Great Pause: 1915-1965
- The Immigration Act of 1924 enacted quotas on immigrant numbers, restricting groups from countries in Southern and Eastern Europe, and virtually all immigrants of Asian origin.
- The Great Depression, and subsequent World Wars also complicated immigration matters as many came to seek refuge in the United States.
Post-1965 Immigration: 1965-Present
- The Hart-Cellber (Immigration and Naturalization Act) of 1965 overturned all previous quotas based on national origin. Family unification and an increase in skilled labor were two major aims of this act.
- This decision significantly impacted the U.S. demographic makeup in the following decades, as more immigrants of Latin, Asian, and African descent entered the country.
E Pluribus Unum (From Many, One)
While others have mapped two centuries of immigration before, few have captured its sheer scale and impact quite as strikingly. The researchers explain their reasoning behind this metaphor of tree rings:
This idea lends itself to the representation of history itself, as it shows a sequence of events that have left a mark and shaped the present. If cells leave a mark in the tree, so can incoming immigrants be seen as natural contributors to the growth of a trunk that is the United States.
It’s no wonder that this animation showing U.S. immigration won Gold for the “People, Language, and Identity” and “Most Beautiful” categories at the 2018 Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards.
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