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).

College Basketball Final Fours, since 1975

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The map above displays the number of Final Fours reached by each school since 1975 (the year the NCAA tournament was expanded to 32+ teams). Side note: Only teams that have reached at least 2+ Final Fours are displayed in the map above (29 teams). Regionally, the upper south dominates college basketball with many of its teams reaching the final four, such as: North Carolina with 14 final fours, Duke 13, Kentucky 11, and Louisville 8.

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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Netflix Subscription Growth

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The subscription growth of Netflix over the past 5 has been stunning, especially when you consider the performance of its competitor: cable. As of the fourth quarter in 2016, Netflix now has more subscribers than total cable subscribers – growing from under 25 million in 2012 to nearly 50 million by 2016. Note that these figures only include US domestic subscribers, not global users. Global subscribers are expected to rise as Netflix expanded into new markets in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe (pictured in the graphic below). It seems that people are not watching less TV, rather watching it through a different and more mobile friendly medium.

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Historic Economic Power

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The chart above shows the percent of global economic power (defined as the weighted share of world GDP, trade, and net capital exports) for the top three countries in selected years ranging from 1870 to (projected) 2030. To me, the graph shows the decline in power of Britain from 1870 through 1950, the decline in power for the United States from 1950 through 2030 (although less quickly than Britain), and the rise of China from 2010 into the near future. What once was a European-centric world in the 1800’s is giving why to an East Asian-centric world in the 21 century with the rise of China and India. Side note: If the European Union is considered as a unified entity in the chart above, its scale and decline would closely match that of the US.

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.