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Map of the world rearranged by population

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 23, 2010

If all the countries in the world swapped geographic positions based on population, then you’d have something that looked a bit like this:

World map by population

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 largest landlocked 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.

The full map is here. Interestingly, four countries stay in the same positions: the US, Ireland, Yemen, and Brazil.

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