Are you a geography nut? Well, if you are, or even if you’re not, you’ll probably find the map above quite interesting. It is a map of the world, but with one significant change… the largest countries (geographically) are now home to the largest countries according to population.
Yes, two of the five largest countries stay in the same place — the United States and Brazil. However, there are many significant and interesting changes as well.
The map has appeared on websites all over the internet, but it is not clear who actually created it, unfortunately. Nonetheless, here’s a nice discussion of the map and the changes it includes from the website Big Think, where I recently ran across it:
The averages per country would more closely resemble the global average of 34 per mi² (13 per km²). But those evened-out statistics would describe a very strange world indeed. The global population realignment would involve massive migrations, lead to a heap of painful demotions and triumphant promotions, and produce a few very weird new neighbourhoods.
Take the world’s largest country: Russia. It would be taken over by its Asian neighbour and rival China, the country with the world’s largest population. Overcrowded China would not just occupy underpopulated Siberia – a long-time Russian fear – but also fan out all the way across the Urals to Russia’s westernmost borders. China would thus become a major European power. Russia itself would be relegated to Kazakhstan, which still is the largestlandlocked country in the world, but with few hopes of a role on the world stage commensurate with Russia’s clout, which in no small part derives from its sheer size.
Canada, the world’s second-largest country, would be transformed into an Arctic, or at least quite chilly version of India, the country with the world’s second-largest population. The country would no longer be a thinly populated northern afterthought of the US. The billion Indians north of the Great Lakes would make Canada a very distinct, very powerful global player.
And here are a few additional thoughts of my own that I included on a post over on our sister site Planetsave:
Of course, this is all just for fun, and there are environmental issues and calculations not considered, such as the environmental constraints of mountains, deserts, etc. and identifying the “livable” area of countries before rearranging them. Nonetheless, it certainly is fun to look at the map and think about how things would be different
Hope you enjoyed checking out the map. Let us know if you have more thoughts on it or know of more cool maps we could share on here.