United States Population Map

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As of 2017, the United States population stands at 324 million – the third largest country in the world by population behind India and China. The population ranges across the nation from state to state, from a high of 39 million in California to a low of 585 thousand in Wyoming. The map above distorts each state’s normal area to display its relative population size. In order words, California population represents 12% of the US total and thus takes up 12% of the map, Texas 8.6%, Florida 6.3%, and so on until Wyoming with 0.18%. The states are color coded by groups of ten with the largest ten in red, the next ten in orange, then yellow, light green, and dark green. California and Texas represent 1/5th of US population and the top 5 states make up 37%. The map below is of the United States as normally displayed, with each state relative to it area.

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World Map 1957

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Above is a map of the world in 1957 with highlights displaying various country alliances – NATO/Western allies in Purple/Light Purple, USSR/Communist countries in Orange/Light Orange, and Muslum countries in Green. The map does a great job displaying the encirclement of allies the US had surrounding the USSR, known as the US’s strategy of containment (seeking to prevent the spread of communism to other countries).

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China’s Population Density

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Only about 30 percent of China’s landmass is habitable with approximately 40% of it’s land covered by mountains (in the southwest) and an additional 25% deserts (in the northwest). The maps above display that 94% of China’s population lives on the eastern side of it’s territory. The map below displays the location of China’s deserts and arid regions.

China and India make of 40% of the world’s population and although this figure seems strikingly high, estimates from 1 AD indicate the China and India combined for 60% percent of world population back then! Anyone who has visited either country is aware that both have very high population density. For comparison, world population density is 140 people per square mile – India is about 10 times that with 1008 people per square mile (ppsm) and China is 370 ppsm. Given what we know about the geography of China, this density estimate is quite low and once discounting it’s uninhabitable land, China’s density is more around 1233 ppsm. (Given that about 25% of India’s land is uninhabitable, a more direct comparison would put India density at 1344 ppsm). For those interested, here is the population density for some other countries: European Union (UK included) 304 ppsm, United States 85 ppsm, Brazil 62 ppsm, Russia 21 ppsm, and Canada 9 ppsm.

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Expansion of Russia

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Russia is the world’s largest country in area with nearly 11% of the world’s landmass. This area is approximately the size of the United States and Canada combined! It is a transcontinental country with territory extending into Europe and Asia. In fact, its Asian land portion alone makes it the largest country in Asia and its European land portion alone makes it the largest country in Europe! Above is a map displaying the expansion of Russian territory from 1613 to 1914. Despite all this growth in territory over the years, approximately 80% of Russia’s population still lives in the Green or Yellow portions on the map above (territory Russia controlled dating back to 1613).

Cousin Marriage

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This may seem shocking, but worldwide approximately 10% of all marriages take place between first or second cousins. Above is a map displaying the relative percentages for marriages between first or second cousins for each country (Note: countries in gray mean there is not data). Marriages between cousins are concentrated in the middle east where some countries have as high as 50% of marriages between first or second cousins! The middle east region averages about 1/3 of all marriages to cousins – three times the world average.

Island Nations

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Of the 193 UN member nations, 46 are island nations. This means that nearly a quarter of the world’s sovereign countries are islands. The largest island nations by population are Indonesia (260 million), Japan (126 m), Philippines (102 m), and the United Kindom (65 m). Of the 46 island nations, 13 are in the Caribbean, 13 are in Oceania, 10 are off the coast of Asia, 6 are off the coast of Africa, and 4 are off the coast of Europe.

For those wondering why Australia is not considered an island due to its status as the world’s smallest continent – The size comparison below shows the world’s largest island by area (Greenland) next to Australia. Australia is 3.5 times larger than Greenland!

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Millennial Voting

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Above is a map displaying how millennials voted in the 2016 election. If only millennials were able to vote, it would have been an overwhelming victory for the Democratic Party: 504 to 23. Demographers William Straus and Neil Howe define ‘Millennials’ as being born between 1982 and 2004 – however, there is not an exact dividing line. Birth years can range between 1983 and 2001 for some demographers, such as Elwood Carlson. What seems to be clear is that as millennials age and become a larger political force, the country may become increasingly democratic in future elections.

US Hispanic Population

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The map on the left displays the Hispanic percentage for each US state in 1940. Contrast that with the map on the right displaying the Hispanic percentage for each US state in 2010. The Hispanic population in 1940 was mostly concentrated in the southwest border states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, but over the next 70 years, migration and birth rates spread the population throughout the entire southwest, west coast, and major cities on the east coast. New Mexico continues to be the US state with the highest concentration of Hispanic population with 41% in 1940 to 46% in 2010. Nationwide the Hispanic population has increased dramatically over the past 70 years – from around 1.4% in 1940 to 16.3% in 2010!

US African American Percentage

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The map on the left displays the African American percentage for each US state in 1910. Contrast that with the map on the right displaying the African American percentage for each US state in 2010. The African American population in 1910 was very concentrated in the southeast, but over the next 100 years migration spread up the east coast and into the midwest – this distributing the population more evenly in the eastern half of the US. It is interesting to note that every state in the western US (was in 1910 and remains to be in 2010) below the national average in African American population. Mississippi continues to be the US state with the highest concentration of American Americans but has decreased from 56% in 1910 to 37% in 2010. Nationwide the African American population has remained stable over the past 100 years -from around 10.7% in 1910 to 12.6% in 2010.