Import Partners – US, EU, China, or Russia


The map above displays from whom countries import more from – either the US, EU, China, or Russia. Border countries import the most from their neighbor country and this trading influence propagates outward. Generally speaking, the US is the export center for a North American zone, France+Germany for a European zone, Russia for a Eurasian zone, and China an Asian zone + the nearly the entire southern hemisphere.

Tourism Rankings 2017

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The map above displays the world’s countries sized by international tourism receipts in 2017. The top ten can be seen in tabular view below:

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A few things jump out. The US gains more from international tourism than any other country by a factor of 3 and China spends more aboard than any other country by a factor of 2! Macau (ranked 9th) has three times the gambling revenue of Las Vegas, with much of this money origination in mainland China and spend ‘internationally’ in Macau. (Hong Kong ranks 11th with 33 billion in receipts in 2017) If Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan were counted as one country on this list, it would rank 2nd with 81 billion in receipts.

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Top 50 Cities by GDP Comparision 2014

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Visit the link to interactively play with the data:!/vizhome/Top50CitiesbyGDPComparision/Dashboard

We often see lists of GDP by country, but rarely by city. This is puzzling because most countries are empty space and GDP output is concentrated in a few small areas. For example, about 50% of US GDP is generated on only 2% of its area – namely: cities. This is also the case around the world.

To put the importance of these 50 cities into perspective. The top 25 cities in the world generate 15.5 trillion dollars in GDP or 20.1% of total world GDP (2014 numbers). They do this with only 4.7% of world population and have a GDP per capita of 44 thousand dollars (4 times world average). The top 50 cities in the world generate 22.6 trillion dollars in GDP or 29.4% of total world GDP (2014 numbers). They do this with only 8.2% of world population and have a GDP per capita of 37 thousand dollars (3.5 times world average).

The GDP centers are clustered in geographic regions in North America, Western Europe, and Eastern Asia. Only a few cities are represented from the southern hemisphere and none from Africa or the Middle East. Asian cities tend to be larger in population, number of skyscrapers, and lower in GDP per capita. North American and Europen cities tend to have small-to-medium populations, low density, and a high GDP per capita.

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People in Poverty, then and now

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Above is two snapshots of the number of people living in extreme poverty for various countries around the world. Countries are colored by the geographic region they are in — East Asia & Pacific, South Asia, etc. The first snapshot is from 1993 and the other is 20 years later in 2013. What is striking the decrease in extreme poverty in China and for the East Asia/Pacific region generally. For a comparison, China and India have comparable population 1.4 billion and 1.3 billion respectively — however, China has been much more successful in lifting a much larger proportion of its citizens out of poverty; presumably due to double-digit GDP growth year after year over this period.

Another comparison: Africa has a population of 1.2 billion, again comparable in size to both India and China. Yet, the number of people in extreme poverty has actually increased over the past 20 years with the largest gains coming from Nigeria (Africa’s most populous country) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Economic growth numbers are typically hard to come by for many countries in Africa due to a large proportion of the workforce working in the informal economy (black market). Although, the poverty numbers (shown above) and the GDP per capita estimates (shown below) seem to indicate that African’s experienced negative GDP per capita growth throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s.

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World Urbanization Prospects 2014

The following are highlights from the World Urbanization Prospects 2014 report published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

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Globally, 54% of the world population lives in an urban area with at least 500k people. (note: urban in purple, rural in grey) The world has become more urban over time and is projected to continue.

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Urbanization differs across regions, with North American and Europe being the most urbanized — Africa and Asia least urbanized.

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High-income countries tend to be more urban (80%) than low-income countries (30%) — implying that urbanization and development are related

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Urbanized areas are displayed below in various groups (ranging from small cities to megacities) for the years 1990, 2014, and projected 2030.

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Urbanized areas (500k+ population) in 2014 are displayed on the map below

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Other interesting notes:

Africa and Asia are home to 90% of the worlds rural population and have the lowest rate of urbanization by content 40% and 48%.

China, India, and Nigeria will account for 37% of urban pop growth between now and 2050.

One in eight people live in one of the world’s 28 megacities (10m+ pop)

Link to the full report here:

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%.

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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BRIC Comparison


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.