If you wanted to capture more than 55% of the world's population within a circle with a radius of 4,000 km, which city would be its center?
In 2013, a post appeared on Reddit which marked a circular area of the globe with "more people living within this circle than outside it." The circle had a radius of 4,000 km (just under 2,500 miles) and was named the Valeriepieris circle after the author's username Ken Myers.
As Visual Capitalist's Trixie Pacis explains below, Valeriepieris' circle is not actually a circle (it was drawn on a two-dimensional map rather than a globe) and is based on data that has become obsolete, but cartographer Alasdair Rae and discovered what he calls The Yuxi Circle , the most densely populated area in the world.
Rae drew circles around 1,500 cities around the world to find out how many people lived within a 4,000km radius, just like the original Valeriepieris circle. He based his calculations on WorldPop data from 2020, based on a global population of 7.8 billion people.
Of the 1,500 circles Rae made calculations for, 148 contained populations of 4 billion or more. He found many examples in Asia, including China, Myanmar (Mandalay), Laos (Vientiane), Bangladesh (Chattogram), India (Agartala), Bhutan (Thimpu), and Vietnam (Hanoi), to name a few. But of all, Yuxi, a city in the Chinese province of Yunnan, has the largest population living within a radius of 4,000 km: 4.32 billion. The circle comprises over 55% of the world's population, despite including desolate areas such as the Taklamakan Desert, the Tibetan Plateau, Mongolia, and Southern Siberia.
Rae's search for densely populated clusters has also revealed notable circles beyond Asia. They surrounded cities such as Cairo, Paris and Mexico City. Consider the circles appear flat because they are drawn on a globe.
The circle of Hanoi has a population of 4.27 billion (54% of the world population). It was second place in Rae's original research.
The circle surrounding Cairo produces a population of 2.29 billion. This circle reaches most of Europe while still containing populated areas of India, Pakistan and Africa.
By comparison, going around Paris produces a population of 1.19 billion. This Eurocentric circle contains large stretches of water and sparsely populated islands such as Iceland and Greenland.
Across the Atlantic, circling around Mexico City produces a population of 0.73 billion. It is significantly smaller than the other circles, as the total population in the Americas is concentrated in just three countries, the United States, Mexico, and Brazil (not included in this circle).
It is worth noting that the Valeriepieris circle has also inspired other people to look at population density in different ways. In 2015, Danny Quah of the London School of Economics took a closer look at the Valeriepieris circle and was inspired to find the smaller circle with more people living inside it than outside. He determined that a circle with a 3,300 km radius centered near Mong Khet, Myanmar was the smallest circle with the majority of the world's population inside.
This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL https://scenarieconomici.it/il-circolo-di-yuxi-ovvero-come-contenere-il-55-della-popolazione-mondiale-in-4000-km-di-raggio/ on Mon, 18 Apr 2022 07:00:02 +0000.