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Mapped: How Houthi Attacks in the Red Sea Impact the Global Economy

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A map detailing the recent Houthi Attacks and how they impact shipping through the Suez Canal.

How Houthi Attacks in the Red Sea Impact the Global Economy

Since October 7th, Houthi militants in Yemen have been targeting commercial cargo ships in the Red Sea, severely disrupting maritime trade.

The Iranian-backed group is using drones to attack vessels that they believe are delivering goods to Israel, forcing ocean carriers like MSC and Hapag-Lloyd to to cancel and detour routes originally meant to pass through the Red Sea.

These strikes are occurring in the crucial Bab al-Mandab Strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Arabian sea, and is bordered by the Yemen on one side and Djibouti and Eritrea on the other.

The Houthis, a Shiite minority sect in Yemen, wrested control of large portions of the country, including the capital Sanaa and a key Red Sea port, Al-Hudaydah, from the Saudi Arabian-backed Sunni government in 2014.

Their latest attacks are pushing shipping companies to avoid the Red Sea, in turn preventing access to the Suez Canal, through which nearly 12% of global maritime trade passes through.

What do Houthi Attacks in the Red Sea Mean for the International Economy?

The world economy has already had a difficult two years, with inflation sparking a cost of living crisis across many countries.

Now, ships diverted from the Suez Canal will be forced to go around the Cape of Good Hope, much like trade did before the Suez Canal existed.

This longer journey increases fuel costs, reduces shipping efficiencies, and could raise the prices of imported goods, which includes critical shipments of grain from Asia and oil from the Middle East.

The price of Brent Crude has already climbed 8% in the last week.

RankShipping LaneShips/DayConnects
1English Channel400UK/Europe
2Malacca Strait230Asia/Middle
East/Europe
3Strait of Hormuz55Iran/Oman/UAE
4Suez Canal50Asia/Middle
East/Europe
5Panama Canal38East/West Coast
Americas/Asia

Source: TEC Container Solutions.

Meanwhile, operators of the Panama Canal, another key shipping lane, have had to reduce traffic through the passageway due to a prolonged drought in the country, also disrupting global shipping.

In response to the Houthi attacks, the U.S. has recently announced a defense coalition leading nine other nations that will work together to strengthen security in the area.

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Maps

Mapped: North America Population Patterns by Density

Nearly half a billion people live on the third-largest continent. We take a closer look in this population map of North America.

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A map of North America along with its population patterns.

Mapped: North America Population Patterns by Density

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

From the icy expanses of the Arctic to the warm Caribbean sea, the North American continent covers nearly 25 million square kilometers, or about 15% of the Earth’s land area. Populating this vast region are nearly half a billion people, spread out from coast to valley, along the edges of arid scrublands and rainforests.

We visualize a map of North America population patterns, including Central America and the Caribbean, with spikes illustrating densely populated areas.

Data for this map is sourced from Statistics Canada, the World Bank, and WorldPop—a research group based out of the University of Southampton that tracks population growth and movement across the globe.

Ranked: Countries and Territories by Population Density

Deep in the Atlantic, seen as a small dot near Haiti on the map, the island state of Bermuda is the most densely populated jurisdiction on the continent. Measuring just 53 km² in area, and home to 65,000 people, results in an average population density of 1,266 people per km².

Also in the Caribbean, Barbados ranks second with an average population density 647 people/km², followed by Puerto Rico, ranked third-highest at 430 people/km², despite its much larger area—9,104 km².

RankCountry/TerritoryAverage Population
Density (per km²)
Area (km²)
1🇧🇲 Bermuda1,22653
2🇧🇧 Barbados647431
3🇵🇷 Puerto Rico4309,104
4🇲🇶 Martinique3931,100
5🇦🇼 Aruba370193
6🇸🇻 El Salvador31821,040
7🇻🇮 Virgin Islands308352
8🇻🇨 Saint Vincent &
the Grenadines
302389
9🇭🇹 Haiti29227,750
10🇱🇨 Saint Lucia269616
11🇬🇵 Guadeloupe2521,780
12🇯🇲 Jamaica24810,991
13🇧🇶 Netherlands Antilles229960
14🇹🇹 Trinidad & Tobago2125,128
15🇩🇴 Dominican Republic18348,730
16🇰🇾 Cayman Islands168262
17🇦🇬 Antigua & Barbuda155443
18🇰🇳 Saint Kitts & Nevis149261
19🇻🇬 British Virgin Islands147153
20🇬🇹 Guatemala134108,890
21🇦🇮 Anguilla129102
22🇨🇺 Cuba102110,860
23🇩🇲 Dominica91754
24🇲🇸 Montserrat91102
25🇨🇷 Costa Rica7851,100
26🇭🇳 Honduras62112,090
27🇲🇽 Mexico531,972,550
28🇹🇨 Turks &
Caicos Islands
47430
29🇳🇮 Nicaragua42129,494
30🇵🇦 Panama3878,200
31🇺🇸 U.S.319,629,091
32🇵🇲 Saint-Pierre
& Miquelon
28242
33🇧🇸 The Bahamas2113,940
34🇧🇿 Belize1222,966
35🇨🇦 Canada39,984,670
36🇬🇱 Greenland02,166,086
37🇺🇸 Navassa Island05.2

Source: WorldAtlas.

Naturally the largest countries on the continent—Canada, the U.S., and Mexico—have some of the lowest average population densities compared to other nations in the region.

However, thanks to their size, their overall population distribution is more apparent on a map of this scale. In Canada, the Greater Toronto Area is home to one-fifth the country’s entire population. In stark contrast, the rest of the country seems almost empty—averaging just 3 people/km².

Major U.S. cities—New York, Chicago, and San Francisco—also stand out, though the more regular dispersion of Americans, particularly in the Northeast, South, and Midwest can also be seen.

Interestingly, Monterrey in Mexico jumps out on the map; the city is built at the foot of Cerro de la Silla, and several districts are densely populated as a result.

Ranked: Continents by Population Density

How does North America compare to the other continents by population density?

Unsurprisingly, thanks to its large land area, as well as comparatively smaller population, North America is one of the least densely populated continents in the world, beaten only by Oceania, which averages 5 people/km², and Antarctica.

RankContinentAverage Population
Density (per/km²)
1Asia149
2Africa49
3Europe32
4South America25
5North America25
6Oceania5
7Antarctica0

Source: World Population Review

In comparison, Asia, while being the largest continent, is also home to 60% of the global population, and averages 149 people/km².

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