World GDP Pie 2017

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The World GDP as a pie chart. A rough and simple way to look at is: US ~1/4, China ~1/5, Europe ~1/4, Japan ~5%, India ~5%, everyone else ~20%.


Expensive Cities


It’s tough to compare costs across cities in different countries, but this study tries to do just that. It’s trying to answer the question: What is the average cost of a weeklong holiday trip to selected cities? The question is subject to the predefined assumptions – The trip is for two adults staying in Airbnb, walking & public transit, and doing typical tourist daytime activities like visiting museums, shows, or day-trips.

The graphic above is color-coded by region. The range of costs across cities in the sample fit closely to a normal distribution with the majority of cities falling in the $1000-2000 cost window. Africa and Asia have most of the cheaper cities while Western Europe and Coastal cities in the USA are the most expensive to visit.

Oil Prices 2017

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Above is a bar chart showing the break-even price for various oil-producing countries and OPEC. The ‘shale revolution’ has allowed the United States to produce a large portion its oil cheaper than any country in the world except Saudi Arabia. The dramatic fall in the price of oil (due in part to US production increase) hurts expensive ‘tar sands’ oil producing countries like Canada and Venezuela.

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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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:

US Average Daily Sunlight

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Above is a map measuring solar radiation per square meter, averaged to each county within the lower 48 states of the US. The units are a little difficult to translate, but the difference between the extremes (dark purple to light yellow) is a factor of two. This means that cities such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix get about twice as much sunlight each day as Seattle, Portland, or Cleveland.

Ageing Population in Developed Countries

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In 2015, the percentage of the population 65+ years old in OECD countries was 28%, this figure is expected to rise to over 50% by 2050. The graphic above display where each country stands or the population projects in the next 40 years. Japan, Italy, and Greece are already the oldest countries with 46%, 37%, and 35% of their population over 65 years old (in 2015), by 2050 these countries are projected to continue to lead with 78%, 75%, and 73% respectively. This is amazing to imagine. Think about it, Japan in 2050 with nearly 80% of its population over 65 years old. What will a country like that look like?

On the other end of the spectrum in the OCED – Mexico and Turkey are looking stable with only 35% and 37% of their population above 65 years old. This figure is approximately already what the average OCED country is at. The US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand all look stable with a healthy inflow of immigrants that aid in slowing the growth in elderly people as a fraction of the overall population. Side note: South Korea is projected to undertake the most drastic population change. It is currently one of the youngest countries in the OCED, but in 40 years it will be among the oldest – moving from 19% of its population over 65 to over 70% by 2050.

California and Canada

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Did you know that California (39 million) has more population than Canada (36 million)? The map above displays the area comparison and map below shows how Canada’s population would fit into California. For example, most Canada’s population is concentrated in the two provinces of Ontario and Quebec – these provinces have approximately the same population of southern California. Even though Canada has an area larger than the entire United States, its population can fit into California with room to spare. Side note: California also has a substantially larger economy with a 2.6 trillion nominal GDP compared to 1.5 trillion for Canada (2017).

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Coke, Soda, or Pop


The United States has various regional quirks, one of which is what do you call a carbonated soft drink. Where I grew up in Ohio, we called it a Pop. As in, can you give me a pop? When I moved to South Carolina, I noticed that everyone referred to it as a ‘Coke’ – even if they were talking about another soft drink. Now where I live in California, it’s called a Soda.

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.