World “political” maps (emphasizing boundaries and country names) are so familiar that we tend to give them just a glance—- “Ah yes, Taiwan is NORTH of the Philippines!”. After all, we’ve seen such maps all our lives. But countries and their boundaries do change: Moldova or South Sudan may not be on that map that’s been on the wall for years.
And, beyond its geographic position, how important is a given country? The most basic measure is population. Raven’s Countries of the World map has always included population figures with each new addition, but the economics of lithographic printing meant updates only at long intervals. Fine-Art printing on demand now enables us to show the most current population figures. (see below)
Our newly-revised Countries of the World includes 2020 populations for all countries. We all knew the world’s population is growing, but the details are surprising all the same: Vietnam now has 97 million people, next-door Laos has 7.2. Benin has 12 million, but Nigeria, bordering Benin, has 206 million. Indonesia’s population has reached almost 270 million!
India and China (see below) each have close to 1.4 billion, with states and provinces (respectively) more populous than all but the largest countries. Our new map includes state and province names and populations for both, and for most countries of over 200 million, including the United States. This detail is included for Canada and Australia as well. The combination allows worldwide population comparisons at a glance.
Comparisons of area are trickier. No world map can show areas accurately without distorting shapes, so most world map projections, including the Robinson projection we use, compromise. Areas at high latitudes are greatly exaggerated. We include a set of scale bars in place of the more standard single scale, which help. For most purposes, just remember that north-south distances remain correct (the 15 degree graticule on the map measures about 1035 miles north-south, anywhere).
Countries at the same latitude are at the same scale.