The World in Money

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Above is a map of the world displaying each country’s currency projected on top of the country’s territory. There are 180 currencies in the world – the British pound is the world’s oldest currency that’s still in use, dating back to the 8th century! Despite all these currencies, the exchange market is dominated by only a few (shown in the bar chart below). The US dollar and Euro makeup between 60-70 percent of the market and additionally about 30 percent of the world use the USD/Euro or have their currency pegged to one of them.

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Religion in China

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China is a large and diverse country with stark geographic differences. One particular regional difference is religion. The Communist Party of China is officially atheist and party members are strongly discouraged from holding religious faith, however, China does officially sanction five religious organizations – Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestant Christianity, and Catholicism (the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association is not recognized by the Vatican). Above are six maps of China, each showing the regional concentration of the largest faiths in China. The northwestern desert region is Islamic, the southwestern mountainous region is Buddhist, the northeast is Chinese folk religions, and the southeast Taoist.

The above maps may be a little misleading as they display the percentage for various religions, but the scale on each map is different and the population in the western provinces are much smaller than the eastern ones. For example, the Christianity scale only goes up to 7% (for the darkest shade) whereas Buddhism reaches a high of 70% and Islam 50%. Overall, the majority of Chinese are unaffiliated with any religion or practice some ancient folk religion (73% of the population). The other major religions are Buddhism 16%, Taoism 7%, Christianity 2%, and Islam 0.5%.

Africa Birth Rate

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No continent in the world outside of Africa averages more than 2.5 children per women – Africa averages 5! A society or country will remain at the same population level if it remains at the replacement level – 2.1 children per women – below this point, the location’s population is decreasing. Africa’s rate of 5 children per women is well above the replacement level, if fact, at this rate the continent will double in population in the next 30 years. As shown in the map of above, much of this growth is happening between Sub-Saharan Africa and north of southern Africa.

It also important to note the differences in birth rates intra-country. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with 185 million people and is the 7th largest in the world. Its fertility rate is 5.5 children per women which is the highest rate for any country already above 100 million people. The fertility rate is not evenly distributed (as pictured below) with a high rate of 8.4 children per women in rural northern regions compared with 3.8 in coastal urbanized areas. A staggering statistic is that: According to 2013 data, approximately 17% of Zamfara state’s women (the highest figure of 8.4 on this map) are currently pregnant!oeyem8ltks5z.png

The World in Domain Names 2017

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Above is a map displaying the online world, that is, each country’s size on the map represents the number of websites registered to each country code top-level domain (ccTLD). What is clear is there is a large concentration of internet activity in a small number of countries – as of June 2017 there were 302 global ccTLD, the top 10 (shown above) compose 64.8% of all ccTLD domain name registrations.

Two other things jump out from the map above:

First, why is Tokelau (.tk), a New Zealand territory in the south Pacific – a county with a population of 1,499 people – second in the world with 19.1 million domain name registrations? Tokelau has specialized in web hosting by allowing any individual or business to register any number of domain names free of charge with very minimal restrictions or oversight. These policies have lead .tk domains to have a bad reputation. According to a 2011 report by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, .tk domains were involved in ~21.5% of all phishing attacks in the second half of 2010 internet-wide.

Second, why is the .us ccTLD not among the world’s largest? The United States is such an internet world power that most of its the first websites were already registered and growing their brand on Generic top-level domains (gTLD) before ccTLD domains were developed and extended for country-specific use. Americans are more familiar with gTLDs such as: .com, .org, .net, .info, .gov, .edu, and .mil – and have been low to transfer to the ccTLD .us. To have a more accurate picture of the internet world map – as of 2017, across all gTLDs, there were 331.0 million registered domains and only considering .com, .net, .org, and .info (the top 4 gTLDs combined) there are 160.6 million registered domains. Compare that with .cn (China’s top domain) the second most used domain in the world with only 21.4 million. The graph below displays the top ten domains, both ccTLD and gTLD combined – the US has four of the top ten in the world (all gTLD).

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Working Class Affordability 2017

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The above map was created on howmuch.net (https://howmuch.net/) showing how much a working class family can save or be indebted living in various cities across the United States. The software allows you to select different criteria – such as the number of working adults in the household, how much they earn, the number of children, amount spent on food, and size of the house in square feet – the algorithm then produces a map (such as the one above) that displays where the most and least affordable places for your family to live. The size of the bubbles are a larger dark shade of red for unaffordable locations or are a larger dark shade of green for affordable locations. For example, the map above is generated for a family of four with two incomes – a home appliance repairer and a manicurist/pedicurist with a low-cost food plan living in a 1500 sq ft home. This family would need an additional $91.2K annually to afford to live in New York City or additional $83.3K to live in San Francisco. Conversely, the family could save $10.1K annually if they lived in Glendale, Arizona.

US City Commute Patterns 2008

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Above is a graph displaying the percentage of people that commute by public transit on the x-axis and the percentage commuting by car on the y-axis for various cities around the United States. The size of the bubble relates the workforce population of each city. There doesn’t appear to be a relationship between the size of the city’s population and the percentage of those taking public transit, but if one looks at city density a relationship is clear. Of the top 20 cities in the US by population, the highest density in order are: New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Philadephia, and Washington DC. With exception of Miami (commute data not listed), all of top 6 highest density cities also have the highest fraction of their workforce commuting by public transit.

BRIC Comparison

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Above is a comparison of GDP per capita (nominal) figures for BRIC countries – that is, Brazil, Russia, India, and China. The data displayed ranges from 1980 through 2016. A few things stand out, both Brazil and Russia’s economies were overvalued post-2007 financial crisis, driven by high oil prices that have regressed back to the mean and inflated currently values. China economy has leveled off in recent years and India is still much poorer than the other three BRIC economies, yet show promise moving forward.

European Union Unemployment Rate 2017

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Above is a map displaying the unemployment rate for European Union member states as of May 2017. What sticks out is the slow economic recovery for the southern European states post-financial crisis, such as: Greece (with an unemployment rate of) 22.5%, Spain 17.5%, Itlay 11.3%, and Croatia 10.7%. Contrast this with the unemployment rate in the United States during the same period of 4.3%. The EU average unemployment rate stands at 7.8%, nearly twice as high of the US! An economic analysis of labor policies in most EU countries leads to this result as there is less fixability in the labor force among other factors. Despite this performance for the European Union as a whole, some countries are performing above average and are on par with the US in employment rate such as: Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, UK, Poland, and others.