There are 6.7 billion people in the world, spread throughout 195 nations, all vying for a place on a single planet that has finite resources and limited space -- with some countries getting a bigger piece of the pie than others. But here's an idea: Putting aside how those arbitrary political boundaries came to be, what if a more measurable factor, like population size, determined the chunk of land allotted to each nation? According to the map above, the world would look quite a bit different -- but on a globe with a fixed amount of real-estate, could it be a bit more equitable, too?In the rearrangement of nations from the map above, there are certainly winners and losers. The tiny population of Greenland, for example, which has long enjoyed living on one of the largest landmasses on Earth, ends up on the tiny island of St. Helena. The weather may be a bit better, but they lose a lot of space. The Vietnamese who will replace them must remember to pack a coat as they take up residence in their icy new home.
The Chinese, too, with the world's largest population, get an upgrade with to the largest national borders, where Russia is today. But Russians needn't go far, however, when moving to their cozier new place just to the south, in present day Kazakhstan.
According to the map, some residents won't have to pack their bags at all. The US, as the third largest country in terms of both population and size, gets to stay put -- as does Brazil, ranked fifth on both counts. Their neighborhoods become markedly more eclectic, with Ethiopia moving into Mexico's borders and India into Canada's. For Brazilians, scoring authentic French cuisine will be easier than ever as the once-European nation moves in next door.
This clever map, while clearly not accounting for the concept of 'habitable space', does help demonstrate area land per capita rates in quite a novel way. But ultimately, the qualities that define a person's identity and culture aren't so confined by such political boundaries in the grand scheme of things. Rather, the world is made up of people, alike in more ways than they are different, all of whom share something more important than their individual nations: one lonely little planet, rich in life and beauty, that can keep us all happy and comfortable -- if we only work together to let it.
More on Maps that Shape our Understanding of the World
The True Size and Importance of Africa (Map)
The True Size of Africa Continued: The Mercator Wars
Laser and Satellite Technology Maps How Much Carbon the Amazon Can Hold