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


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 ( 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.

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


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).