Getting a new perspective on our world.
Worldmapper (© Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan)) is a handy and entertaining website for those trying to gain a better understanding of how people, wealth, and disease are distributed in our world. Below you will find a few examples of their collection of world maps where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest.
The land area of each territory is shown here. The total land area of these 200 territories is 13,056 million hectares. Divided up equally that would be 2.1 hectares for each person. A hectare is 100 metres by 100 metres. However, population is not evenly spread: Australia’s land area is 21 times bigger than Japan’s, but Japan’s population is more than six times bigger than Australia’s. © Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield).
In Spring 2000 world population estimates reached 6 billion; that is 6 thousand million. The distribution of the earth’s population is shown in this map. India, China and Japan appear large on the map because they have large populations. Panama, Namibia and Guinea-Bissau have small populations so are barely visible on the map. Population is very weakly related to land area. However, Sudan which is geographically the largest country in Africa, has a smaller population than Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Tanzania. © Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield).
Influenza, commonly known as flu, has huge fluctuations in prevalence over time. In Argentina in 2001 there were sizeable outbreaks of influenza lasting for 8 weeks. These 8 weeks were during the cold season (end of July to early September). This map shows the length of time that people have been exposed to influenza outbreaks between 2000 and 2005. The populations of the Russian Federation and Colombia experienced influenza outbreaks 20% of the time, so they appear large on the map. Influenza outbreaks affect whole communities, not just those falling ill. © Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield).
HIV/AIDS Disease Burden
HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection, attacks the immune system. It eventually causes AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. With cases first recognised in the United States in 1981, AIDS increases the risk of many infections and tumors. In 2003, the highest HIV prevalence was Swaziland, where 38%, or almost 4 in every 10 people aged 15 to 49 years, were HIV positive. All ten territories with the highest prevalence of HIV are in Central and Southeastern Africa. Transmission of HIV is through sex, using infected needles and in the womb. Infected children are not shown here. HIV/AIDS often has an acquired social stigma. © Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield).
Those living on less than $1 per day
The first Millennium Development Goal is to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who live on the equivalent of US$1 a day, or less. In 2002, an estimated 17% of the world population lived on this amount. They lived on less than or equal to what, to be precise, US$1.08 would have bought in the United States in 1993. In over twenty territories more than a third of the population lives on less than US$1 a day. All but two of these territories are in Africa. The largest population living on US$1 a day is in Southern Asia, most of whom live in India. © Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield).
Cellular phone users in 1990
Cellular phone users in 2002
The number of subscriptions to cellular telephones around the world increased 100 fold between 1990 and 2002. During this period the infrastructure needed to use cellular telephones spread to many parts of the world. This map of subscriptions in 2002 shows many territories which are minute on the 1990 map, such as Bangladesh, Cameroon, El Salvador and Georgia. Despite this spread of technology, the territories that were largest on the 1990 map remain the largest on the 2002 map. However, worldwide by 2002 there were 188 cellular subscriptions per 1000 people. In Taiwan and Luxembourg there were more subscriptions than residents. © Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield).
Internet users in 1990
Internet users in 2002
During the 12 years from 1990 to 2002, people using the Internet increased in number by 224 times. By 2002 there were 631 million Internet users worldwide. The distribution of Internet users worldwide has changed remarkably over just a dozen years. In 1990 Internet users were mainly found in the United States, Western Europe, Australia, Japan and Taiwan. By 2002 people living in Asia Pacific, Southern Asia, South America, China and Eastern Europe were notable Internet users. A not insignificant number of Internet users are also shown to be in Northern Africa, Southeastern Africa and the Middle East. © Copyright SASI Group (University of Sheffield).