Monday, February 07, 2011

Ex Africa Semper Aliquid Novi

This is an interesting graphic. But what's the point? Africa's big all right. Number two after Asia in the all-continent square mile/square kilometer challenge. Everyone ought to know that, though I'm sure many people don't.

But if suddenly everyone in the world knew how big Africa is in the scheme of continents, it would follow that -- what? Africa would be held in higher regard because it's so big?

What would the graphic mean if, instead of the U.S., China, India and various European countries, you put in Canada and Russia? Africa's roughly 11,730,000 sq. mi.; Russia measures about 6,601,000 sq. mi.; and Canada comes in at 3,855,000 sq. mi. or so. That is, Russia and Canada would be short of filling up Africa by a Chad or Mali or the like.

This too is an interesting map, courtesy that endlessly interesting blog, Strange Maps. The numbers are a little old now, but the comparisons are probably still apt. Illinois' budget problems have been compared to Greece or Ireland, which might be appropriate in terms of relative debt load, but simply in terms of GDP, the state's failure would be more like an implosion of Mexico. Also remarkable is that, after decades of decline, Michigan still has an Argentine-sized economy.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home