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Visualized: The World’s Busiest Airports, by Passenger Count

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the world's busiest airports by passengers

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Visualized: The World’s Busiest Airports, by Passenger Count

Airports, with their slow-moving queues and bustling gates, can be some of the most crowded, stressful places in the world. Despite the negatives associated with commercial air travel, overall it’s an impressive system, with the biggest air transit hubs recording passenger traffic numbers that rival the populations of large countries.

The infographic above uses data from Airports Council International (ACI) to rank the top 10 busiest airports in the world, looking at total passengers enplaned and deplaned, with passengers in transit counted once.

The Most Bustling Airports in 2022

In 2022, worldwide passenger traffic came near to 7 billion, an increase of almost 54% from 2021, and a 74% recovery from pre-pandemic levels.

Here’s a closer look at the data, alongside the year-over-year increases at each airport:

RankAirportCityPassengers (2022)Change vs. 2021
#1Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)🇺🇸 Atlanta93,699,63024%
#2Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)🇺🇸 Dallas73,362,94618%
#3Denver International Airport (DEN)🇺🇸 Denver69,286,46118%
#4Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)🇺🇸 Chicago68,340,61927%
#5Dubai International Airport (DXB)🇦🇪 Dubai66,069,981127%
#6Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)🇺🇸 Los Angeles65,924,29837%
#7Istanbul Airport (IST)🇹🇷 Istanbul64,289,10774%
#8Heathrow Airport (LHR)🇬🇧 London61,614,508218%
#9Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)🇮🇳 New Delhi59,490,07460%
#10Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)🇫🇷 Paris57,474,033119%

These 10 airports made up 10% of all passenger traffic in the world last year. Half of these airports are in the U.S. and their numbers were largely buoyed by domestic travelers, according to the ACI Director General.

While Atlanta’s airport saw the highest number of passengers at nearly 94 million, London’s Heathrow airport saw passenger traffic grow the most annually by over 217%.

In this dataset, such big percentage increases between 2021 and 2022 are usually linked to the scaling back or full removal of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Travel Industry Looking Ahead

Despite high levels of passenger traffic globally, the travel and tourism industry has actually not yet fully recovered to pre-pandemic peaks, but it is getting close. A recent report from the World Travel & Tourism Council found that the industry has recovered to 95% of its market size in 2019.

Jobs also recovered in the industry with 21.6 million workers added in 2022, hitting over 295 million globally and representing one in 11 jobs worldwide. Spending by overseas tourists also hit a record growth rate last year of 82%, totaling out to $1.1 trillion. Overall, the trend is looking positive for those in travel and tourism.

In fact, many popular travel destinations have already had spending exceed 2019 figures, with 34 countries seeing their travel industries return to pre-pandemic levels of contribution to GDP.

“By the end of the year, the sector’s contribution will be within touching distance of the 2019 peak. We expect 2024 to exceed 2019.”– Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO

While conflicts like the war in Ukraine have hindered recovery somewhat, recent moves by countries like China to reopen borders will help bolster growth in the travel and tourism industries.

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Personal Finance

Mapped: The Income a Family Needs to Live Comfortably in Every U.S. State

Families in expensive states require over $270,000 annually to live comfortably.

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A map showing the income that two working adults with two children need to live comfortably in each U.S. state.

The Income a Family Needs to Live Comfortably in Every U.S. State

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.

Families in the top five most expensive U.S. states require an annual income exceeding $270,000 to live comfortably.

This visualization illustrates the income necessary for two working adults with two children to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in each state.

“Comfortable” is defined as the income needed to cover a 50/30/20 budget, with 50% allocated to necessities like housing and utilities, 30% to discretionary spending, and 20% to savings or investments.

The calculations for family income needed in each state were done by SmartAsset, using the cost of necessities sourced from the MIT Living Wage Calculator, last updated on Feb. 14, 2024.

Massachusetts Tops the List

Massachusetts is the most expensive state to live comfortably in, requiring a total family income of about $301,184. Hawaii ($294,611) comes in second, followed by Connecticut ($279,885).

Housing is one main reason Massachusetts is an expensive state to live in, particularly in the Boston area. In addition, the state also has a high cost of living, including expenses such as healthcare and utilities.

RankStateIncome for 2 working adults raising 2 children
1Massachusetts$301,184
2Hawaii$294,611
3Connecticut$279,885
4New York$278,970
5California$276,723
6Colorado$264,992
7Washington$257,421
8Oregon$257,338
9New Jersey$251,181
10Rhode Island$249,267
11Vermont$248,352
12Minnesota$244,774
13New Hampshire$244,109
14Alaska$242,611
15Maryland$239,450
16Nevada$237,286
17Virginia$235,206
18Illinois$231,962
19Arizona$230,630
20Pennsylvania$230,464
21Maine$229,549
22Delaware$228,966
23Wisconsin$225,056
24Utah$218,483
25Michigan$214,490
26Nebraska$213,075
27Georgia$212,826
28Montana$211,411
28Iowa$211,411
30Idaho$211,245
31North Carolina$209,331
31Ohio$209,331
33Florida$209,082
34Indiana$206,003
35New Mexico$203,923
36Wyoming$203,424
37Missouri$202,259
38North Dakota$202,176
39Texas$201,344
40South Carolina$200,762
41Kansas$196,768
42Tennessee$195,770
43Oklahoma$194,106
44Alabama$193,606
45South Dakota$192,608
46Kentucky$190,112
47Louisiana$189,613
48West Virginia$189,363
49Arkansas$180,794
50Mississippi$177,798

Meanwhile, Mississippi is the least expensive state for a family to live comfortably, requiring $177,798 per year. Arkansas ($180,794) comes in second, followed by West Virginia ($189,363). In common, all these states share low prices of housing.

Learn More About Cost of Living From Visual Capitalist

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out this graphic, which ranks the median down payment for a house by U.S. state.

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