The world population is very normal


Statistics help to deal with problems of everyday business and operations efficiently. It can also be a sublime scientific discipline if you are trained to enjoy the power of mathematics. But do not get fooled by formulas; usually Statisticians use common sense and subjective interpretation in early stages of their work.

One of the examples of statistical analysis that usually do not require a calculator is determining whether a population has a normal distribution or not. Although there are tests that help make a decision about just how normal one distribution is, you can get away by plotting a graph and judging the shape of the histogram. If it is bell-shaped, off you go, you can safely assume you have a normal distribution.

A fresh look at histograms and world population was proposed by Bill Rankin, a cartographer in the US:
World population histogram by longitude and latitude

I am surprised to see just how densely populated are the tropical and subtropical regions, with India, China, Mexico and the US loading the central area of the latitudinal curve. Just how mind-blowing disproportionate is the contribution of India and China again to the world population in the longitudinal representation. Even if you abstract the peculiarities of our planet and its history, like the Gulf Stream that temperates Europe and the monsoons that penetrate Asia, for an alien interested in planetary biology, the distribution of one of the most extended species of the Earth, humans is, well, pretty normal.

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