Regional poverty in Russia

Russia likes to present itself as a developed nation at the forefront of global progress, however, when it comes to income, average numbers in even its richest regions don’t even get close to minimum salary in Western Europe. Of course, the costs of living in Russia are much lower than in “western” countries. Think about cheaper real estate, electricity, gas, public transport and internet, free healthcare and an option to get a university education for free. However, supermarket prices differ but not as much as the salaries and other things essential for modern life such as electronics cost more or less the same.

Maybe the title of this map is a bit harsh and maybe it’s not really poverty, but when in such a big, rich country which produced one of the greatest artists and scientists in the world half of the population has to survive on less than 400€ a month, I feel like certain questions should be raised.

You can contact me here. And of course, here’s the source.

Highest peaks in South America

South America is home to a few peaks significant on the global scale. First of all, it is home to Ojos del Salado, the tallest volcano on Earth. Second, interestingly enough, although Everest is the highest mountain on the planet, Chimborazo is the closest one to space (or the furthest one from the centre of the Earth). This is due to the equatorial bulge, which is the difference between the equatorial and polar diameters of our planet. As the Earth rotates around its axis, the centrifugal force around the equator propels the Earth’s surface outwards, thereby making our planet a spheroid with a bulge around the equator rather than a proper sphere.

Thanks to the Andes, South America also hosts the 3 most elevated capital cities in the world, La Paz (3,640m), Quito (2,850m) and Bogotá (2,625m). An unexpected consequence of that is the advantage the Bolivian national football team gains when hosting games in La Paz. During the qualifiers for World Cups 2006 – 2010, the Bolivian team won 14 and drew 10 games at home and simultaneously won none and drew 2 away.

As usual, comments in the comments, contact through the contact form.

Life expectancy in Asia

According to WHO, most people in Asia when they are born can count on living more than 70 years. Some countries, such as Yemen, Pakistan or Afghanistan, unfortunately, have a lot of work to do to raise their life expectancy levels to the current average on the continent and, unfortunately, the instability caused, among other factors, by centuries of foreign intervention in the region keeps preventing the rise of these numbers. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Macao, Japan and Hong Kong which are not just the best in Asia but in the whole world.

Questions? Suggestions? Requests? Here. Praises? Rotten tomatoes? Corrections? Below in the comments.

Drinkable water in Africa

The situation with water in Africa is to a certain extent better than with electricity. Only in Chad, less than 40% of the population have access to basic drinking water services. Still, we should strive for >99% in all countries across the world. Just imagine if you had to walk for more than 30 minutes to get a drop of drinkable water. Doesn’t sound that great and for millions of people in Africa, even this would be an improvement.

Here’s the source. As usual, I’m waiting for your comments down below and for your suggestions and requests here.

Countries compared to Sakha

Sakha or Yakutia is home to more than 950.000 people, half of which are Sakha – the most numerous ethnic group of indigenous peoples in the area. It also hosts one of the coldest places on Earth outside of Antarctica, Oymyakon where on multiple occasions the temperature fell to almost -70°C.

Breathtaking landscapes, diamonds, naturally mummified mammoths, a natural park attempting to re-create prehistoric ecosystems and many other fascinating things can be found in this region, which is the biggest administrative subdivision in the world. It is so big, that in fact, if it were independent it would be the 8th biggest country in the world, after Russia, Canada, China, the US, Australia, Brazil and India and by far the least densely populated as every person living in Yakutia can have around 3km2 of land just for themselves.

Leave a comment if you got something to say and for any requests/suggestions head here. Cheers.

Cycling in the EU

In my opinion, bicycles are the best way of moving around cities. At least, around European cities as distances here are not as great as those of urban sprawls of the US or megapolises of Asia. Quick, easy to park, healthy, cheap and simply enjoyable – when your country has enough infrastructure and not too many mountains, these are the characteristics of urban cycling. Do you want to add “appropriate weather” to the list of conditions? Fair enough but why do Finland and Sweden have much higher percentages of cycling commuters than basically anywhere else in Europe? Proper infrastructure might be able to even out the severities of the climate although it is indeed less enjoyable to cycle in -25°C than in +20°C for most people. Special thanks to the Netherlands, cycling here is echt lekker. Be like Nederland.

Do you want to take a look at the original report and other interesting metrics regarding the quality of European transport – go here. If you got something to say, for instance, that you enjoy cycling in the cold more than on a sunny day, feel free to leave a comment, for other inquiries I’m waiting for you here.

Subregions of Oceania

I think Oceania gets very little attention in the western world unless it’s Australia or New Zealand. So, here is a map of 3 big subregions of Oceania: Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Each of them has certain traits that help us unite them into one category but make no mistake, within each subregion, there are plenty of distinct cultures. Interestingly enough, Norfolk Island (close to New Caledonia) was uninhabited when first visited by the Europeans and that’s why it is not included in any of the subregions, although artefacts from both Polynesian and Melanesian cultures can be found on the island from the period way before colonisation. Australia is also not a part of any of the subregions because the indigenous peoples of the continent have their own distinct cultures which would make up a subregion or even subregions of their own.

Comments, likes and your stories about how you visited the region – below, requests and suggestions – here.

Population change in Asia

Although most of the countries in Asia still exhibit population growth of more than 1% per year, some places have seen their rates fall under this mark and some even went into negative numbers. Somewhere the decline is intentional, like in China and their one-child policy (which was scrapped in 2021 and now the government is trying to promote completely the opposite). In other places, like Syria, other more devastating factors are at play. Georgia’s population is also declining, however, the rate of decline between 2015 and 2020 was the lowest since 1990, so there’s still an upward trajectory there. Japan’s population also has begun to decline since 2010.

Although the growth rate of around 1% might sound like not that much, it means that in 70 years the population of the country would double. So if everything stays the same (which, obviously, won’t happen) the population of India in 2100 would be nearing 3 billion people. Not a small change.

The source is here. Leave a comment if you feel like it. If you have any suggestions or requests – here’s where you need to go.

Access to electricity in Africa

In 2019, the IEA reported fresh numbers on access to electricity in the world and unfortunately it doesn’t look great for millions of people on the African continent. Although a lot of work has been done in recent years and the numbers for sub-Saharan Africa rose from 33% in 2010 to 49.7% in 2019 there is still a long way to go. Just try to imagine what your country would look like if only 1% of had access to electricity.

Leave a comment if you know more on the topic than me, I’m just a map-maker. Requests and suggestions not related to this map are welcome here.

National flags without red, white or blue

It might seem like a simple question and, to be honest, it mostly is. It might, however, depend not only on whether you consider maroon to be a shade of red so you can include Sri Lanka in the special category but also on the language you speak. Let’s take flags of Kazakhstan and France. Both have blue, right? Well, if you speak Russian, you might say these are different colours because light blue is often seen as a separate colour in Russian, not as a shade of blue. Of course, there is teal or cyan in English but they are not as widely used as the Russian word for light blue. If you are interested to learn more about colour names in different languages, particularly, how they develop, check out this cool Vox video.

As usual, comment if you like the map and if you have any requests/ideas – you’re welcome here.