In any large set of data, there are bound to be some interesting outliers.
Today’s data visualization comes to us from Reddit user /r/mythicquale and it shows the population growth of every country using data and projections from the United Nations population division.
The graph is on a logarithmic scale, which ultimately groups together most growth rates even though they would be much further apart on a linear scale. This means the places outside of the middle range are the true outliers, gaining or losing many multiples of their original populations.
Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist
Visual Capitalist’s Jeff Desrjardins details the stories that are worth looking at in more depth.
How the population grows in any particular country is a function of fertility, mortality, and migration rates, and these outliers each have something anomalous happening at least one of these factors.
In 1995, a previously dormant volcano erupted in this British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, destroying the island’s capital city of Plymouth. People evacuated, mostly fleeing to the United Kingdom, and the population of the island dropped by two-thirds over the period of five years.
Interestingly, Plymouth is still listed as the territory’s capital city today, making it the only capital city of a political jurisdiction that is completely abandoned.
Dubai was once a fishing village, but now it’s an international real estate hub. Abu Dhabi had just 25,000 people in 1960, and today it’s a metropolis of almost 2 million people.
Oil wealth and significant investment is one side of the story, but the influx of foreign workers is an even bigger one. In fact, U.A.E. citizens only make up 11.5% of the population, and the rest (88.5%) is made of workers mostly from South Asia.
It’s also worth mentioning that immigrant labor in the U.A.E. has been the subject of scrutiny internationally, as there have been instances of human rights violations and accusations of forced labor.
Qatar is another Middle Eastern country that has shot up in population, and it carries a similar story to the United Arab Emirates. Only about 12% of the population is Qatari, and the rest consists of migrant works mostly from South Asia. Qatar, which has the highest GDP per capita in the world, also has faced similar allegations as the U.A.E. regarding the use of forced labor.
Back in 1950, Qatar’s population was just 50,000, but today the country boasts 2.6 million people.