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Demographics

These 5 Maps Visualize Population Distribution in a Unique Way

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Every once in a while, a data visualization trend organically sweeps through Reddit, the popular social news aggregation site, leading to some eye-catching and interesting user-generated results.

We’ve seen users visualize how they spend their disposable income, how they spend their time, and even details of their relationships. Sometimes these charts are fairly personal and uninteresting to the outside world – but other times, they can be quite compelling to a wider audience.

Population in Fourths

Most recently, in the Data is Beautiful subreddit, the trend has been to use data visualization techniques to split up the maps of countries into four evenly populated areas.

There are hundreds of maps to be found using this technique, but here are just five examples that we thought were particularly interesting. Each one reveals certain things about the population distribution, geography, and urban/rural split in their respective jurisdictions.

The United States
The first map is the least striking, but it creates an interesting baseline – it shows the U.S. divided into four equal sections of population, with no single area standing out as being incredibly dense or sparse:

United States

With over 300 million people spread throughout the country and big population centers in each region, it’s no surprise that this split into fourths is quite even.

However, that will not be the case for the remaining maps.

California
For example, when we go to the state level the distributions can be more easily impacted by big cities:

California

This map of California by old_gold_mountain is a great example of this – with three major urban areas (Los Angeles, Bay Area, and San Diego) all holding large amounts of the state’s population, the composition looks quite uneven when it gets divvied up in this way.

Canada
But Canada’s sparseness in the north goes to an even greater extreme:

Canada

It’s said that 90% of the Canadian population lives within 100km of the U.S. border – and this map by repliers_beware makes it clear that any further north can get pretty remote.

Australia
Australia is another country with geographical diversity. Some regions are conducive to civilization and growing great wine, but few species (including humans) find the Outback very hospitable.

Australia

In this case, user NaytaData lumps in the Outback with cities like Adelaide and Perth to get this colored area up to the required 25% population mark.

Chile

For a very long and narrow finale, here is the country of Chile.

Chile

This map by QuietlyEcstatic shows that the capital Santiago and its surrounding area is roughly equal to three other very large sections of the country – including the sparse but beautiful Chilean piece of Patagonia.

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Demographics

Charted: Unauthorized Immigrants in the U.S., by Country of Origin

The U.S. has over 11 million unauthorized immigrants.

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This Voronoi graphic visualizes the country of origin for the unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S.

Visualizing Unauthorized Immigrants in the U.S.

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.

More than any other nation, the U.S. is home to over 46 million immigrants. Of these, over 11 million are unauthorized immigrants.

This graphic visualizes the countries of origin for the unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S., based on 2021 estimates from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), published in September 2023. Because these estimates are based on 2021 figures, they don’t capture the record number of border encounters witnessed in 2022 and 2023.

Mexico’s Overall Share is Declining

According to the MPI, Mexico accounted for 7.7 million unauthorized immigrants in 2008. This suggests a 32% decline to the latest estimate of 5.2 million.

CountryRegionUnauthorized Immigrants
🇲🇽 MexicoNorth America5,203,000
🇬🇹 GuatemalaNorth America780,000
🇸🇻 El SalvadorNorth America751,000
🇭🇳 HondurasNorth America564,000
🇮🇳 IndiaAsia400,000
🇵🇭 PhilippinesAsia309,000
🇻🇪 VenezuelaSouth America251,000
🇨🇳 ChinaAsia241,000
🇨🇴 ColombiaSouth America201,000
🇧🇷 BrazilSouth America195,000
🌍 Rest of World2,322,000
Total11,217,000

Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras follow Mexico. According to the Migration Policy Institute, immigration from these three countries has been the most significant contributor to the growth of the Central American-born population in the U.S. since 1980. Roughly 86% of Central Americans in the United States in 2021 were born in one of these three countries.

India comes in fifth. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an unprecedented number of undocumented Indian immigrants have been crossing U.S. borders on foot in recent years.

Among the factors for the increase in Indian immigration to the U.S. are the overall growth in global migration since the pandemic, oppression of minority communities in India, and extreme visa backlogs.

Learn more about unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. by our breakdown by U.S. state found here.

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