This weird map shows the world's countries drawn according to population size


Middle-school Geography teachers hate the guy who made this!

View this one, weird map to instantly improve your knowledge of global population distribution!

Please note: I actually love the post and the map, I just couldn’t resist riffing on the “one weird trick” meme.



I had a look through their list of size-adjusted maps and found it curious that you can get population size, and you can get land area, and you can get urbanization rate; but they don’t have one for population density.

You can sort of rough it out by looking at the population size map and running through the countries that look a bit deflated or a bit inflated; but that’s not wildly precise.


What projection are they using?

Who knew there were many millions of people living in Antarctica?

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I’m with you on that question.

It’s as if they felt they had to leave it on the map for reference… which is still perplexing.

As distorted as the map is, the countries and continents are still recognizable.

Maybe it’s because Antarctica doesn’t really belong to a particular nation?

As it happens, penguins are terrifyingly skilled in census and electoral fraud(incidentally, this is why the traditional costume of the plutocratic class is made to resemble the penguin’s plumage, it’s an attempt to gain the animal’s powers of undue influence by sympathetic magic). Were it not for geographical constraints on their range, we would probably all be living under an avian oligarchy.


Not very good choices for area mapping. The united states population is twice as much as Mexico and yet the area of the Alaska appears to displace area away from the lower 48 in a way that implies Mexico’s population is similar. Population density to area would definitely be better as mentioned earlier.

How would you do “Population density to area” on a map?

Population density is already dividing by area. “Population density to area” seems to be population / area / area. And then you draw in on a map that has area… Maybe you should just describe it.

Austrayl’yer looks like something Bill the Cat hacked up…

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Hard to be sure, but I’m going to guess they might have started with Gall-Peters.

A relevant cartoon by Mr. Munroe :wink:

I think at some point, they had to make a decision about the level of granularity they wanted to present, and chose to go with nations.

Consider the United States as an example. If we were to map the states of the US in a similar way, the coastal states would be inflated considerably from their actual size while the intermountain west (basically the Mountain Time zone) would shrink down to pinpricks. The map might be recognizable to someone familiar with the states of the US, but might as well be an inkblot to a Ugandan*.

Taking the granularity a step further, to the level of counties would make my own state, Oklahoma, nearly unrecognizable even to longtime residents. Half of the population lives in just 3 of the 77 counties.

The tl;dr (too late, I know): I’m willing to let the map-makers lump Alaska in with the whole of the US, rather than treat it as a separate entity.

*Ugandan was an arbitrary choice for someone who lives half a world away and has no need to be familiar with US internal boundaries.

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Surely ‘map adjusted for land area’ is just ‘map’?

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