Map Monday: more fun with maps, playing with population densities

This week’s topic was inspired by a map my niece posted on Facebook, mostly for my interest. Thanks, Heidi! This is the map she posted:

British Columbia, Canada. Remember, you can click on this or any other map to zoom in on details.

You won’t be surprised to learn that she lives in British Columbia. She lives somewhere way up in the upper middle of the blue part.

Her map put me in mind of a few I’ve posted previously, starting with one from the early days of Map Monday of the world divided into 7 equal parts by population:

Or we could look at the world split into 4 equal parts by population:

Or the world split into two parts by population:

There are too many to include here, but I offer a selection so you can see how much fun you can have looking at patterns of population spreads in continents, countries, states, and provinces. There is no doubt that we are not spread out evenly across the planet!

Canada divided into 4 regions of equal population

Or how about this creative map? The U.S. divided into 10 Canadas!

The United States – the population of the two orange sections equals the population of the red section

Africa split into 4 equal parts by population

Australia (the 4th colour, around Sydney, is hard to see!)








Chile (there really are three colours there, indicating the three equal divisions of population)

Are you curious about what the population distribution of your neck of the woods would look like as a map?!


Image credits:,, MaxGalka (Metrocosm), Reddit, Washington Post,

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27 Responses to Map Monday: more fun with maps, playing with population densities

  1. Very instructive way to image a population density. Sets one thinking about the geographical drivers of population.

    There are, of course, many ways to divide population into three pieces. You could always interchange an equal number of people between two divisions, to give you a different division. On a map you probably want the divisions to be contiguous, and perhaps not too gerrymandered. I wonder what some of these maps look like if you split the populations into thirds by something like nearly equal winter temperature, or nearly equal annual rainfall. Oh there’s a lot to play with here. Thanks.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thank you for your comments, IJK. I’m glad you see the potential in maps being able to tell a wide variety of stories. That indeed is their value. Different divisions will tell different stories. There are maps that show differences in precipitation and temperatures, but they aren’t related to populations, except to show how few or many people live within a band of similar climate. I’m glad these population maps got you thinking!

  2. Roy McCarthy says:

    Absorbing and thought-provoking as ever. Mongolia 🙂 I wonder, if there was a re-distribution of the world’s population equally over all land surfaces, would we eventually gravitate back to the same pattern we see now.

    If I had any design skills I’d do one of Jersey. The population is weighted towards three parishes in the south leaving much of the island pleasantly rural.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      I loved the Mongolia map. I chose it over the more predictable UK and Germany maps! I think it would be great fun for people to make similar maps of their own regions. And you can put different spins on the message by choosing different divisions of population. That’s what American politicians do when they gerrymander voting districts; they “redistribute” population boundaries.

  3. AnuRijo says:

    Map Monday -I liked that concept 😊👍🏻..

  4. I find myself looking forward to what you’re gonna come up next from an Atlas. Sadly over population could well be the end of this planet, there’s just tooo many people abusing and consuming 😦

  5. lghiggins says:

    Eye opening! I love my space and can’t imagine living in a densely populated area!

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks for commenting, Linda. I know what you mean, I also live where population density is most definitely not a problem. Being surrounded by nature has been especially gratifying during these strange times of isolation.

  6. AMWatson207 says:

    Something to think about; Mainers rarely consider population. We have so many more trees than people.

  7. Pingback: A map is worth 100,000 words | Life and Random Thinking

  8. dfolstad58 says:

    Map Monday! Yay. I loved it. How else other than a map could you explain this to a group – these pictures are worth a 100,000 words.

  9. Illuminating in ways I’ve never considered.

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