Map #74: January 22, 2018

Difficulty Level: 5

Click here for a full-size version of this week’s map.

This map is a cartogram of the countries of the world. (Do you need a refresher on what a cartogram is? Visit our “Basics” page for a quick primer.) On this cartogram, the size of each country is proportional to a particular statistic. As with our previous cartograms, the colors on this map are irrelevant; they are only there to help you distinguish one country from another. As always, your job is to figure out what this cartogram represents.

Stumped? Check back Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for hints about where to focus your investigation. The answer will be posted on Monday, January 29, 2018. Good luck!

Tuesday’s hint: On this map, you should probably focus on the countries that are not represented at all (you will learn much more from the absence of certain countries than from the enlargement of others). A good first step would be to make a list of these countries, then try to figure out what they have in common.

Wednesday’s hint: Many predominantly Muslim countries are completely missing from this cartogram. For example, you may have noticed that, while India is well represented, Pakistan and Bangladesh aren’t on this map at all. Neither is Iran, the Arab world, and North Africa. The only countries with large Muslim populations that appear fairly large—Malaysia, Indonesia, and Nigeria—are all countries that also have substantial non-Muslim populations. Having recognized this trend, you will have to figure out a solution to this map that accounts for the almost total lack of representation in the Islamic world.

Thursday’s hint: This map is about an agricultural topic.

Friday’s hint: One country that is particularly enlarged on this map, at least relative to its usual size, is Denmark. Why don’t you read up on what Danes like to eat. Is there anything on their menu that wouldn’t be popular in the Islamic world?

Answer: Click here to see an explanation of the answer to this week’s map question.

Next map: Click here to try out our newest map question.