Sunday Data: The Sparsely Populated United States

From sea to shining sea.

Even as coastal cities erupt into divisive arguments about rent prices and the shrinking square footage of their apartments, vast swaths of the country remain refreshingly free of human presence. Stephen van Worley, a data scientist and artist who blogs at Data Pointed, created a map of the United States using data from the 2010 U.S. Census.

The black areas represent every U.S. Census block with less than one resident per square mile. City dwellers who are getting tired of fighting for an inch of living space in places like northern California or Manhattan might consider moving to the nearly deserted (pun intended) Nevada. A down jacket costs considerably less than a month’s rent in San Francisco, which makes Alaska a viable option:

Or if the freezing temperatures and icy winds prove to be too forbidding, Hawaii’s sandy beaches remain mostly secluded as well.

The statistics seem a little outlandish: Only 0.05% of the American population is scattered over nearly 60% of the land. Of course, there might be other factors at play that determine whether or not someone might want to live in the middle of the country. Far from the ocean’s moderating influence on the climate, the middle of the country is suffering disproportionately from natural disasters caused, in part, by global warming.

Maybe we’ll just buy smaller refrigerators to fit into our tiny houses.

Images: Data Pointed.