U.S. 2010 Census

Demographic Foam

Foam can be seen in various places, from cream on top of Cappuccino to largeā€scale structure of the Cosmos.

When you redraw U.S. county map, scaling the area of each county in proportion to its population while keeping adjacency, You can observe mixture of a few large megalopolis and many small counties in-between.

What dynamics work behind these "Foam"s ?

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Why Cartogram ?

Geographical map painted in proportion to the data, Choropleth map, is often misleading when the data is non-geographical, such as population growth or economic activities.

Continuous Area Cartogram is a "redrawn map", to avoid misleading visual image, by deforming each area little by little while keeping neighbouring relationship, so as to represent data by its size.

Here are points, as far as I noticed, cartogram can show clearly.

Hispanics : In geo map, you can see highly dense Hispanic area along the Mexican border. But in cartogram you find two large hispanic cores on the both end of the border; Hidalgo county (McAllen) and Los Angels. Miami-Dade gets much bigger than in geo map.

Asians : Concentration of Asian in California is clear in geo map. However in cartogram, another large core of asians emerges around New York and Washington DC. Their concentration on both coasts is extraordinary. In Queens of NY and Santa Clala of California, they are going to outnumber Whites.

Population : In geo map, in the western half of the Central time zone and the eastern half of Mountain time zone (blue), you can see population there decreased from 2000 to 2010. However these areas are sparsely populated. The big decrease of population is remarkable in cartogram; Wayne county (Detroit) is the Hometown of U.S. Automobile industry and Michigan is the only state which shrinked this decade. Orleans Parish (Louisiana) was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Your Table of Census

YearTotalnon LatinoLatino
WhiteBlackAsianNativeMultiracePacific IslanderOther
Geographical map above is drawn in the Mercator projection.


U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census and Census 2000


The map transformation method, used to make this continuous area cartogram, is being developed by Associate Prof. Ryo Inoue at Tohoku University and Prof. Eihan Shimizu at the University of Tokyo. Transform error of each county is below 0.01%.

Visualize by Isao Matsunami(Twitter)
If you find something wrong, I wish you to tell me that.

See other visualizations in my portfolio: UNDP Report 2010, UN Global Pulse SMS survey, Rescue effort in Japan, Unequal pair of Dice, WEF GAC interlink survey

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