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35 - The Size of Africa

November 20, 2006, 3:29 AM

Africa remains the least developed continent, and the most plagued by disease, poverty and malnutrition. The ‘dark continent’ also largely remains off the news radar in the developed world, although it’s not clear to me whether that is a consequence or a cause of the troubles it suffers.

In any case, taking into account how little we are aware of Africa, it’s quite startling to see a map showing how big the place actually is. This map is strangely reminiscent of an earlier post on this blog, showing the size of Brazil relative to the nations of most of Europe. It was taken here from a blog called White African, but seems to originate from the Times Atlas.

It shows how Africa (30,3 million km²) is larger than the combination of China (9,6 million km²), the US (9,4 million km²), Western Europe (4,9 million km²), India (3,2 million km²) and Argentina (2,8 million km²), three Scandinavian countries and the British Isles (map gives no surface for these last two areas; I’ve rounded out the figures for the aforementioned regions).

What’s also quite bizarre is the fact that a relatively sparsely populated country such as Argentina (about 38 million inhabitants) is not that much smaller than India, the world’s second-most populous nation, which currently has a population of about 1,1 billion people.

africa_in_perspective_map.jpg

 

35 - The Size of Africa

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