Nobody Lives Here

Curious, right? We are so obsessed with where we are, and what we wear, or what we are doing, that most of human history has created maps of where people live. A cartographer, Nikolaus “Nik” Freeman, flipped this idea on its head by constructing a reverse population density mapping of the United States. Based on 2010 U.S. Census data, he found that “4,871,270 blocks totaling 4.61 million square kilometers were reported to have no population living inside them.” This is the same as saying that 47% of USA soil is not home to well, anyone – despite there being more than 310 million people! The map, titled Nobody Lives Here, is available for purchase on paper or can be used freely online as an interactive tool.

Given that there is so much space where nobody lives, we should definitely take advantage of our natural landscapes – while at the same time, working to protect these spaces.

If you are interested in reading more about Nik’s map, check out these other articles by Big Think and the Smithsonian!

Originally published Feb 21, 2019

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