I recently came across a fascinating post from The Pudding visualizing the populations of cities around the world as mountains. (H/t to Naunihal Singh, who shares lots of other similarly interesting things as well.) Let’s check out how Kinshasa’s 13 million people look compared to other places with similar populations.
What really stands out to me about Kin is its extreme concentration. Population density drops off dramatically as soon as one leaves the city. I recall being struck by this on a trip to Matadi a few years ago, where hours went by without passing any settlement larger than 10 or so houses.
Conversely, London’s population is much more evenly distributed both within the city itself and across the surrounding area.
Bengaluru points to yet another model for distributing the population. The city itself is densely populated, and surrounded by a lot of fairly dense towns, but relatively few people in between the towns themselves. This presumably reflects the larger role that agriculture plays in the Indian economy compared to the British. London’s suburbs stretch on without being interrupted by fields quite so often.