It’s a Small (Densely Populated) World

More than half the world’s population lives inside the shaded circle — and I live 700 miles from its center. While versions of this informative graphic have been floating around the internet for a couple of years, I didn’t discover them until I had moved to Vietnam, where the reality of this mind-blowing fact begins to hit home. To give you an idea: California is the United States’ most populous state, with about 39 million people. Vietnam is smaller than California by approximately 46,000 square miles (about the size of Ohio), but has more than twice the population (89 million people).

Though a slice of peace and quiet can be found in the countryside, hermits beware: in Southeast Asia, true solitude is a pipe dream.

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