How much change can happen in only one decade? If you’re looking at East Asia between 2000 and 2010, the answer is probably “more than you think.”

Earlier this year, the World Bank put out a call to data specialists to find the most innovative and effective ways to visualize the fascinating data it had gathered on 869 urban areas in East Asia with more than 100,000 people each in 2010. Nadieh Bremer, an astronomer-turned-data analyst who runs the blog Visual Cinnamon, won that contest.

Here are a few stills from Bremer's interactive:



As Bremer’s visualization shows, those 869 cities grew by one-third in just a decade. That's a difference of 200 million people – more than half the population of the U.S.

As of 2010, East Asia had 738 cities with between 100,00 and 1 million people, 123 cities with a population between 1 and 10 million, and 8 megacities with more than 10 million people. The largest city in the region is the Pearl River Delta in China, whose population grew by more than 50 percent in the decade to reach 42 million.

As the visualization suggests, urbanization is a powerful force for boosting economic growth and alleviating poverty. However, this massive shift in people is also presenting big challenges in terms of providing access to services, employment, housing and other resources.

Click here to visit the interactive on Bremer’s site. Republished courtesy of Nadieh Bremer.