A map that shows the size of countries based on their population
Illustration by Reddit user TeaDranks
A map compiled by Reddit user TeaDranks reinvisions what our world would look like if a country’s size was proportional to its population. Adapted from a 2005 population map made by cartographer Paul Breding, TeaDranks’ version uses contemporary data to change the scale of the countries and reflect global growth over the last 10 years.
Countries with massive territories but proportionally smaller populations (like Russia, Canada, and Australia) are depicted dramatically smaller, becoming tiny slivers of land. The United States hosts only 5 percent of the world’s total population, and its diminished prominence on the map is a bit shocking, especially in comparison to the overwhelming sizes of China and India as well as the rising population of the rest of the Asian continent. Europe is dwarfed; the entirety of that continent looking like it could fit snugly within China.
The dominance of Asia is one of the most important takeaways from this map. While Western news tends to focus on the Middle East and Europe when talking about “global news,” more than half of the world’s population resides in the Asian continent and is continuously underrepresented when discussing world happenings. Last year, comedian John Oliver called out American television priorities when news outlets across the board failed to cover India’s historic elections, blasting Fox News for running a ridiculous segment about a leopard on the loose in India. An estimated 195 million people voted in the April 17th election.
Another map illustrates the prominence of Asia:
It’s important to note that many Asian countries are struggling to handle their population explosion and the demands on resources, space, and their economies. However, the Asian continent hosts some of the world’s most dynamic and rapidly developing economies, and these two maps are useful visualizations of Asia’s increasing importance and why some believe that this century will become known as the Asian century.