Mapping the World's Proximity to Urban Areas
Jessica Stewart shares news of a new mapping project by the University of Oxford's Malaria Atlas Project, published by the journal Nature, by citing the oft-quoted-but-largely-misleading statistic about 50 percent of the world's population living in cities. The study's findings are more nuanced than that lede-friendly nugget: in 2015, 80.7% of all people lived within an hour of a city.
Other findings of the study including insight into the geography of poverty:
In some areas, like sub-Saharan Africa, access to the city is also a large indicator of wealth, with only 50% of people living in low-income areas residing within an hour of the city. This is in stark contrast to people living in high-income areas, as 90.7% of these individuals can reach the city in less than an hour.
The Malaria Atlas Project made its findings public as an interactive online map and data explorer.