The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

This amazing map shows where most of humanity lives

(Courtesy of Max Galka)
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The map above shows the distribution of the world's population. Half of humanity lives in the black space and the other half in the yellow. It's a stunning illustration of the degree to which people are concentrated in certain urban centers, particularly in Asia, where the majority of the global population lives.

Produced by data-viz blogger Max Galka, the map was generated using statistics compiled by a NASA research unit.

"Their data divides the world into about 30 million tiny boxes, each one roughly 3 miles by 3 miles in size," Galka explains in an email to WorldViews. "For each box, the data provides estimate for the number of people living inside it."

The yellow region in the map reflects every cell that has a population of 8,000 or more people; the black reflects those with fewer than 8,000 people.

Zooming in reveals a starker glimpse of the population density of certain areas. See, for example, how stretches of South Asia's Gangetic plain and eastern China contain vast multitudes compared to the rest of the planet.

Compare that to the relative emptiness of the United States or even much of the continent of Africa, where aside from a few major urban centers near the coast, and the Nile delta, population density remains rather low.

"As it relates to overpopulation, the U.N. projects that by 2100 the world population will reach 11 billion, with nearly all of that growth occurring in Africa," writes Galka in his email to WorldViews. "So, the question is, can Africa accommodate an additional 4 billion people?"

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