I got married in Amsterdam. One thing I remember most about my time in The Netherlands is the obvious height of the locals. Both men and women, generally, are quite tall.
A new study supports my anecdotal observation. Dutch men are the tallest people in the world (women there are second), followed closely by some of their European neighbors. People in Southeast Asian and African countries are, on the other hand, shorter.
I’ve always wondered why the Dutch are so tall. Is it their dairy-rich diet, perhaps? Or could there be a correlation between the lower average temperatures in Northern Europe and its apparent height advantage? Are people taller in colder countries?
Scooters at a Taipei intersection. Credit: Quatro Valvole/Wikimieda
I’m in Taiwan this month to study Mandarin. During breaks, I’ll be posting occasionally about the island nation’s demographics, politics and (sticky) weather.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the streets of Taiwan — other than the excellent food, sweet people and formidable humidity, of course — is the constant buzz of scooters. They are everywhere — and loud and perhaps a little unsafe.
That’s true even in Taipei, the capitol region, which has a world-class subway system and yet about 1 million motorcycles on the roads (as opposed to roughly 800,000 cars and trucks).
It turns out there’s a proportionally startling number of motorcycles, as the government classifies them, on the roads across this country: More than 13 million in nation of just 23 million.
Most homes have them, for example:
And there are nearly twice as many motorcycles on the roads than cars and trucks, according to the government:
Though the rate of motorcycles per 1,000 population is declining:
I woke one recent morning at 5 a.m. obsessing about, of all things, the people of New York City — specifically how the population is distributed among the five boroughs: Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. And how that’s changed over time.
I had a general idea. But my nerd brain needed to know for sure. So I went to Wikipedia for data. These charts show the total population, by borough, since 1790.
This chart shows how the proportion of New York City residents in each borough has shifted over time. Decades ago, Manhattan was the center of population. Not anymore, of course:
Are states proportionally represented on the historical list of National Football League players? That’s the question I had four years ago when I posted two simple state-by-state maps summarizing players’ birth places.
That post has been surprisingly popular, so I decided to remix the visualization a bit — replacing the old choropleth maps with tile grids.
A few months ago, I wrote about the novelty of a McDonald’s selling beer at one of its restaurants in South Korea — a first for the fast-food giant in Asia.
The story wouldn’t have been complete, of course, without the context of South Korea’s raging alcohol consumption. People who drink here do so more heavily than their counterparts in most countries around the world, especially when compared to fellow rich nations, according to a survey by the World Health Organization.
The country-by-country comparisons from that story are plotted below.
Outsiders, like me, who are trying to understand how much immigration is driving the “Brexit” debate about the European Union might consider this fact: Britons are much more likely today to encounter people born in another country — both inside and outside Europe — than they were a decade ago.
In 2014, about 1 in 8 people residents were born outside the U.K. — up from about 1 in 11 a decade earlier, according to government statistics.
Immigration to the United Kingdom has risen sharply in recent years, and it’s fueling the debate about Britain’s looming “Brexit” vote on whether to leave the European Union.
Many supporters advocating a “leave” vote on June 23 believe it’s best the best way to control Britain’s borders, which under E.U. rules have been opened to workers from other member nations.
The Brussels-based union has in recent years expanded to Eastern European nations, and residents from the those countries have flooded the U.K., population 64 million, newly released data shows. That’s stoked fears that the its traditions and values are changing. Others say the influx of outside residents keeps Britain’s economy relatively strong.
Note: My family last year relocated to Seoul, where my wife is working as a foreign correspondent for NPR. This post is part of an occasional series profiling the peninsula’s demographics and politics.
This week I looked at the population of foreign residents in South Korea, charting national origin and geographic distribution around the country. But if you don’t live here (and even if you do) that geography can be quite difficult to absorb without maps.
So, after a year of procrastination, I finally got the courage to tackle the detailed census and geography files from the Korean Statistical Information Service (you try loading Hangul characters in a database!).