Dencity: What Does 7 Billion Look Like?

The earth recently passed a huge milestone: an estimated 7 billion people now inhabit our home planet. That number is nothing to blink an eye at, yet most maps displaying the population of the world make little visual reverence to how astounding that mass of people really appears: enter a new map called Dencity.

Created by design intern James Grady at Fathom, the new map graphs population using circles of various sizes and colors. Large, darker circles represent areas with lower populations, while smaller brighter circles highlight dense cities (as cleverly referenced in the name). As noted by our friends at Flowing Data, this new approach adds much to how we see population, taking a leap beyond the traditional country-wide representations of population or maps that only use color to show density.

For a closer look at Dencity or to buy a poster of the graphic, head to

Below: the map in its entirety. Click the image for a larger view.

Detail: India. Click the image for a larger view.

Detail: China. Click the image for a larger view.

Detail: the eastern United States. Click the image for a larger view.


Benjamin Starr

Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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  1. Wendysays:

    Nigeria…Germany….China….India….Interesting…but still off.

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