About 47 percent of the country is unoccupied.

There are plenty of visualizations based on population data, but nothing quite like what designer Nik Freeman has created: a map of where no one lives.

Using data from the 2010 U.S. census, Freeman shades green the nearly 5 million census blocks with zero population. The resulting map highlights the 47 percent of the U.S. that remains unoccupied.


Green shading represent unoccupied census blocks. Just one inhabitant is precludes the block from getting shaded. (Image courtesy of Nik Freeman)

In a blog post, Freeman explains that the shaded spots are uninhabited for two (largely unsurprising) reasons. The first is where it’s just physically difficult for people to live, i.e. rivers, swamps, mountains, and deserts. And the second is where we’re not allowed to, i.e. national parks and military bases.

(h/t The Washington Post/Know More

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    How Baltimore Removed Its Confederate Monuments Overnight

    For a city dogged by violence and unrest, this was a big deal.

  2. Equity

    Meet the 26-Year-Old Mayor Taking On Jeff Sessions

    Michael Tubbs on being singled out by the DOJ, and his plan turn his city around.

  3. Transportation

    New York City Could Finally Try Congestion Pricing

    Here’s how a governor-backed plan could win this time around.

  4. Environment

    The Politics of the Dog Park

    Dogs are children for a growing number of Americans—and that’s putting new pressures on pup-friendly space.  

  5. Skyscrapers tower over Singapore's historic Chinatown.
    Economic Development

    How Do You Measure the Value of a Historic Site?

    Debates over historic preservation often run into a problem: There’s plenty of data to support economic arguments, and much less to address questions of cultural value. A research team in Singapore wants to change that.