Passport

How flags explain the world

Via Lee Sigelman, a brilliant collection of maps used to display quantitative information:

United States

Burkina Faso

European Union

The artist is Icaro Doriaa, a talented young Brazilian with the magazine Grande Reportagem in Portugal.

UPDATE: Tim Ogden of Beyond Philanthropy writes in with some questions about the data behind these flags:

I thought the flags were really cool too -- then I started thinking about the numbers behind them. While I have not doubt that some are accurate several flags caught my attention as being dubious:

1) Brazil: the flag indicates that a huge percentage of the population is living below $10/month, which would be well below the $1/day threshold. According to Globalis sourcing the "UN Common Database (WB)" the population of Brazil living at that level in 2001 was 8.17%. Since Brazil has experienced quite rapid growth since then, one can only presume that this figure has fallen since then. The flag would indicate that the figure would be above 30%.

2) Burkina Faso: According to the WHO, the under-5 mortality per 1000 live births is 192. A tragically high number to be sure, but nowhere close to the figures that one would guess at from the flags. [...]

Just looked up the numbers for Angola to determine that there really is a problem:

According to WHO, malaria infections is 2002: 1.5 million
According to UNAIDS, HIV infections in 2005: 240,000

According to flags, 1.5 million = 240,000

It's still a cool idea, though.

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