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This Map Shows the Most Extreme Comparison of Population Density We’ve Seen

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You may have heard that the majority of the world’s population actually lives within a relatively small circle that covers China, India, Japan, and other parts of Southeast Asia.

That’s a pretty extreme example of population density – but here’s one that is even more impressive.

It’s quite simple actually: it compares parts of the most expansive regions (Canada, Russia, non-coastal USA, Greenland, Australia, and others) with a tiny chunk of land that holds close to 400 million people.

An Extreme Comparison of Population Density

The following image comes to us from Metrocosm, the website of data visualization expert Max Galka.

Bangladesh and three provinces in India, which are highlighted in red, take up just 160,000 sq. mi (415,000 sq. km) – that’s smaller than California. Together they hold more population than all of the blue territories on the map.

An Extreme Comparison of Population Density

That’s right, the blue area contains the entirety of many significant countries, such as Canada, Australia, Norway, Sweden, and Saudi Arabia. The blue even includes parts of China, the United States, and most of Russia.

Getting More Extreme

Here’s the kicker – the disparity is only getting more intense. Take a look at the following map of the fastest growing cities, showing the rate of new citizens per hour:

Fastest Growing Cities

Dhaka, the largest city in Bangladesh, is one of the fastest growing cities in the world with a growth rate of 74 people per hour. Kolkata (India) is also up there, adding 32 citizens every hour.

Meanwhile, the cities within the blue area of the original map do not have the same kind of growth happening at all.

For the Numbers Geeks

Here are the original calculations, from Metrocosm, for the blue and red areas of the original map in case you are interested. It’s worth noting that the data was retrieved in 2015, so it is slightly out of date.

The “Blue” Regions

JurisdictionRegionPopulation
CanadaAll35,010,000
Saudi ArabiaAll28,123,000
AustraliaAll22,280,000
RussiaSiberian Federal District19,254,300
NigerAll18,124,000
KazakhstanAll16,137,000
MaliAll14,478,000
ZambiaAll14,440,000
RussiaNorthwestern Federal District13,583,800
ChadAll12,620,000
RussiaUral Federal District12,082,700
BoliviaAll10,610,000
SomaliaAll10,295,000
SwedenAll9,437,000
BrazilPará8,073,924
Papua New GuineaAll7,440,000
ParaguayAll6,844,000
RussiaFar Eastern Federal District6,291,900
Libyan Arab JamahiriyaAll5,918,217
ChinaQinghai5,626,722
TurkmenistanAll5,411,000
FinlandAll5,408,000
NorwayAll4,985,000
IrelandAll4,804,000
New ZealandAll4,436,000
Central African RepublicAll4,191,429
BrazilAmazonas3,873,743
MauritaniaAll3,623,000
Republic of the CongoAll3,609,851
UruguayAll3,412,000
BrazilMato Grosso3,224,357
LithuaniaAll3,173,000
OmanAll3,110,000
ChinaTibet3,002,166
United StatesUtah2,942,902
United StatesKansas2,904,021
MongoliaAll2,809,000
BrazilMato Grosso do Sul2,619,657
NamibiaAll2,352,000
LatviaAll2,210,000
BotswanaAll2,068,000
United StatesNebraska1,881,503
BrazilRondônia1,748,531
ArgentinaMendoza1,741,610
United StatesIdaho1,634,464
GabonAll1,597,000
BrazilTocantins1,496,880
EstoniaAll1,338,000
ArgentinaSalta1,215,207
ArgentinaChaco1,053,466
United StatesMontana1,023,579
ArgentinaCorrientes993,338
CyprusAll911,000
ArgentinaSantiago del Estero896,461
United StatesSouth Dakota853,175
FijiAll828,046
BrazilAcre790,101
GuyanaAll757,000
BrazilAmapá750,912
United StatesNorth Dakota739,482
United StatesAlaska736,732
ArgentinaSan Juan680,427
ArgentinaJujuy672,260
ArgentinaRío Negro633,374
GreeceCrete620,000
United StatesWyoming584,153
ArgentinaNeuquén550,334
SurinameAll540,000
ArgentinaFormosa527,895
Western SaharaAll507,160
ArgentinaChubut506,668
BrazilRoraima496,936
Solomon IslandsAll472,419
ArgentinaSan Luis431,588
ArgentinaCatamarca367,820
BahamasAll360,000
IcelandAll347,000
BelizeAll335,000
ArgentinaLa Rioja331,847
FranceCorsica322,000
ArgentinaLa Pampa316,940
ArgentinaSanta Cruz272,524
VanuatuAll267,000
New CaledoniaAll266,000
French GuianaAll250,377
GuamAll165,124
ChileMagallanes y la Antártica Chilena159,152
ArgentinaTierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur126,190
MicronesiaAll103,549
KiribatiAll102,351
ChileAysén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo98,413
GreenlandAll57,475
Northern Mariana IslandsAll53,855
GalapagosAll25,000
PalauAll20,918
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)All3,000
SvalbardAll2,642
Norfolk IslandAll2,169
French Southern and Antarctic LandsAll0
South Georgia South Sandwich IslandsAll0

The “Red” Regions

JurisdictionRegionPopulation
BangladeshAll172,019,000
IndiaBihar99,000,000
IndiaWest Bengal90,320,000
IndiaJharkhand32,000,000

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Energy

Mapped: Fossil Fuel Production by Country

These four animated cartograms show the nations leading the world in fossil fuel production, in terms of oil, gas, coal, and total hydrocarbons.

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Fossil fuels exist as a double-edged sword for most countries.

On one hand, they still make up a dominant piece of the current energy mix, and oil is still seen as a crucial resource for achieving geopolitical significance. It’s also no secret that fossil fuels are a driver for many economies around the world.

But with governments and corporations counting carbon emissions and mounting concerns about climate change, reliance on these same fuels will not last forever. As attitudes and policies evolve, they will continue to see a reduced role going forward.

Visualizing Fossil Fuels by Country

So, which countries are pumping out the most hydrocarbons?

Today’s cartograms come from 911Metallurgist, and the animated maps resize each country based on their share of global fossil fuel production.

Below, you’ll see four cartograms that cover oil, gas, coal, and total fossil fuel production.

Crude Oil Production

The United States leads this category, producing about 18% of the world’s total oil:

Oil production by country

Although the U.S. is the number one producer globally, it should be noted that the country doesn’t have the same quantity of oil reserves as other leading nations.

Weirdly, Venezuela has the exact opposite problem. The country has the most oil reserves in the world, but currently only sits as its 12th biggest producer.

Natural Gas Production

In terms of gas, the U.S. leads again with a 20% share of global production. Russia is also a gas powerhouse, with a 17.3% share.

Natural gas production by country

After the U.S. and Russia, it’s a fairly steep dropoff in terms of natural gas production. Countries like Iran, Canada, Qatar, and China are the next most significant players, but they each only produce 4-6% of the global total.

Coal Production

Coal use may be on the decline, but China still produces a whopping 45% of the world’s coal.

Coal production by country

China’s current relationship with coal is an interesting one.

Every year, coal has become less important in China’s energy mix – in 2011 it represented 70% of energy consumption, and by 2018 it had fell to 59%.

Despite this meaningful progress, China’s economy has grown so fast, that coal use has essentially held steady in absolute terms. Meanwhile, the country’s production of coal has actually grown slightly over the same timeframe.

Total Fossil Fuel Production

Finally, here is the sum of all three above categories, converted to metric tonnes:

Total fossil fuel production by country

The United States produces 20% of all global fossil fuels, with Russia and Iran rounding out the top three. After that comes Canada, which produces just under 5% of all fossil fuels globally.

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Maps

Visualizing the World’s 100 Biggest Islands

See the world’s 100 biggest islands in a side-by-side comparison. Then, we look to see which islands have the highest population densities.

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Visualizing 100 of the World’s Biggest Islands

View the full-size version of the infographic by clicking here.

When you think of an island, the first thing that might come to mind is a small, sunny beach surrounded by warm waters. But did you know that 11% of the world’s population actually calls islands their home?

Today’s data visualization is designed by mapmaker David Garcia, and it ranks the hundred largest islands found around the world by size.

Islands in the Stream

The 100 biggest islands range from the likes of expansive Greenland to independent Guadalcanal, the largest of the Solomon Islands. But look a little closer, and you’ll see just how much the top contender outshines the rest. Greenland is almost three times the size of the second-biggest island of New Guinea, and you could fit over 408 Guadalcanal islands within it.

In the visualization, the islands are also tinted, depending on the climate they come from. Blue islands are from the polar regions, turquoise islands lie in the temperate zones, and green islands represent the lush tropics. Which of these regions hosts the most islands?

IslandCountriesRegion
Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland)DenmarkEurope
New GuineaPapua New Guinea, IndonesiaOceania
Pulau Borneo (Kalimantan)Indonesia, Malaysia, BruneiAsia
MadagasikaraMadagascarAfrica
Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin Island, Nunavut)CanadaNorth America
SumatraIndonesiaAsia
HonshuJapanAsia
Kitlineq (Victoria Island)CanadaNorth America
Great BritainUnited KingdomEurope
Ellesmere (Nunavut)CanadaNorth America
SulawesiIndonesiaAsia
Te Waipounamu (South Island)New ZealandOceania
JavaIndonesiaAsia
Te Ika-a-maui (North Island)New ZealandOceania
NewfoundlandCanadaNorth America
CubaCubaNorth America
LuzonPhilippinesAsia
IcelandIcelandEurope
MindanaoPhilippinesAsia
IrelandIreland, United KingdomEurope
HokkaidoJapanAsia
SakhalinRussiaEurasia
HispaniolaDominican Republic, HaitiNorth America
Banks IslandCanadaNorth America
Sri LankaSri LankaAsia
TasmaniaAustraliaOceania
Tatlurutit (Devon Island, Nunavut)CanadaNorth America
Isla Grande de Tierra del FuegoPanamaSouth America
SevernyRussiaEurasia
Shugliaq (Southampton)CanadaNorth America
Axel Heiberg (Nunavut)CanadaNorth America
MelvilleCanadaNorth America
Spitsbergen (Svalbard)NorwayEurope
KyushuJapanAsia
TaiwanTaiwanAsia
New BritainPapua New GuineaOceania
HainanChinaAsia
Prince of Wales (Nunavut)CanadaNorth America
YuzhnyRussiaEurasia
VancouverCanadaNorth America
TimorTimor LesteAsia
SicilyItalyEurope
Kuganajuup Qikiqtanga (Somerset, Nunavut)CanadaNorth America
SardiniaItalyEurope
KotelnyRussiaEurasia
ShikokuJapanAsia
HalmaheraIndonesiaAsia
SeramIndonesiaAsia
New CaledoniaFranceEurope
Bathurst (Nunavut)CanadaNorth America
Prince PatrickCanadaNorth America
SumbawaIndonesiaAsia
NordaustlandetNorwayEurope
October RevolutionRussiaEurasia
FloresIndonesiaAsia
King William (Nunavut)CanadaNorth America
NegrosPhilippinesAsia
SamarPhilippinesAsia
BangkaIndonesiaAsia
Yos SudarsoPapua New GuineaOceania
PanayPhilippinesAsia
Ellef Ringnes (Nunavut)CanadaNorth America
PalawanPhilippinesAsia
BolshevikRussiaEurasia
Bylot (Nunavut)CanadaNorth America
JamaicaCaribbeanNorth America
SumbaIndonesiaAsia
Viti LevuFijiOceania
Hawai'I (Big Island)United StatesNorth America
Cape BretonCanadaNorth America
MindoroPhilippinesAsia
Prince CharlesCanadaNorth America
Kodiak (Alaska)United StatesNorth America
CyprusCyprus, United KingdomEurope
KomsomoletsRussiaEurasia
CorsicaFranceEurope
BougainvillePapua New GuineaOceania
Puerto RicoUnited StatesNorth America
BuruIndonesiaAsia
DiskoGreenlandEurope
ChiloéChileSouth America
CreteGreeceEurope
AnticostiCanadaNorth America
Cornwallis (Nunavut)CanadaNorth America
ZealandDenmarkEurope
Latangai (New Ireland)Papua New GuineaOceania
LeytePhilippinesAsia
Prince of Wales (Alaska)United StatesNorth America
Desolation (Kerguelen)Antarctic Lands, FranceAntarctic
Isla Soledad/ East FalklandArgentinaSouth America
GrahamCanadaNorth America
WellingtonChileSouth America
Novaya Sibir (New Siberian)RussiaEurasia
Yelmalner/ MelvilleAustraliaOceania
Coats (Nunavut)CanadaNorth America
Prince EdwardCanadaNorth America
Vanua LevuFijiOceania
Chichagof (Alaska)United StatesNorth America
BaliIndonesiaAsia
GuadalcanalSolomon IslandsOceania

It’s the Island Life for Many

North America dominates with 32 islands out of the top 100, but there’s a catch — twelve of them are uninhabitable, thanks to the frigid Arctic temperatures.

Throw the number of people into the mix and the regional overview gets even more interesting. Compared to the rest of the world, Asian islands are teeming with life.

  • 28 Asian islands
    Total population: 510.4 million
  • 14 European islands
    Total population: 83.8 million
  • 32 North American islands
    Total population: 40.7 million
  • 12 Oceania islands
    Total population: 18.3 million

Taking things a step further, we’ve remixed the visualization based on population density.

Click below to view the full-size version.

Biggest Islands Sorted by Population Density

The most populated island in the world, Java is filled to the brim with 141 million people — that’s over a thousand people per square kilometer. This is in part thanks to the capital city Jakarta being located on the island, but experts warn those days may be short lived. By 2050, scientific models predict that 95% of the city may be underwater, and that Indonesia must scramble to find a new capital.

To finish, here is the 20 most dense islands on the list, in terms of population density.

Rank by DensityIslandCountriesPopulationArea (km²)People per km²
#1JavaIndonesia141,000,000138,7931,015.9
#2BaliIndonesia4,225,0005,780731.0
#3TaiwanTaiwan23,571,00036,193651.3
#4ZealandDenmark3,749,2007,031533.2
#5LuzonPhilippines53,336,134109,965485.0
#6HonshuJapan104,000,000227,960456.2
#7PanayPhilippines4,477,24712,011372.8
#8KyushuJapan12,970,47936,753352.9
#9Puerto RicoUnited States3,195,0009,104350.9
#10NegrosPhilippines4,414,13113,310331.6
#11Sri LankaSri Lanka21,440,00065,610 326.8
#12Great BritainUnited Kingdom66,040,000209,331315.5
#13HispaniolaDominican Republic, Haiti21,396,00076,192 280.8
#14JamaicaCaribbean2,890,00010,992262.9
#15MindanaoPhilippines25,537,69197,530261.8
#16HainanChina8,670,00033,920 255.6
#17ShikokuJapan3,845,53418800204.5
#18SicilyItaly5,057,00025,711196.7
#19FloresIndonesia1,831,00013,540135.2
#20SamarPhilippines1,751,26713,429130.4

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