Fun with Maps 195&196

Map 195 comes from a language-learning application known as Duolingo (I found it on Facebook via something called the Matador Network). The source article had a grammar error in the first sentence but that’s not representative of Duolingo’s English-teaching abilities (the author admits to learning three languages the old-fashioned, non-app way). Duolingo, which I had never heard of previously, has 120 million users learning 22 languages for free. According to their own advertising (and supposedly an independent study), 34 hours of Duolingo are equivalent to a full semester of language education at an average U.S. university. I cannot vouch for their product (mostly because I cannot find any description of how it’s different) but I do like the map they produced to show which language is being learned most in each country. Take a look.

Map 195.jpg

As you can see, English (in green) is the most popular language to learn throughout the world. Most of South America, and majorities of Africa, Asia, and Europe are learning English using Duolingo. The places where English is not as popular already speak English. The United States, for example, is studying Spanish (in yellow) along with the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Nepal. French is popular in Canada, Australia, the Middle East, and a large portion of Africa. French (in blue) is already a common language in Africa and Canada and it’s possible the people trying to learn it are just trying to make it easier to communicate with their neighbors. The top language being studied in Sweden is Swedish (in purple). The source article points out that 16% of the people living in Sweden in 2015 were not born there; additional credence to the neighbors theory. Language barriers are no fun and I cannot blame anyone for wanting to learn another language.

I’m not terribly good at learning other languages. I studied Spanish from 3rd grade through high school but didn’t really learn it as well as my classmates. I had to take Spanish for one semester in college as well when I realized I was five language credits short. It was weird to take it back up after three years off but my professor at the time was really good and I found new focus as I was paying for my own classes. I got pretty good and aced the class. The only reason I didn’t stick with it is lack of need and convenient practice. There are no Spanish-only speakers in my life necessitating my use of the language and the last time I had a good reason to use it was in 2010 when I worked at a Radio Shack in a Spanish-heavy neighborhood. Being immersed in the language was the only way I could maintain the skill.

Duolingo also provided a map of each country’s second favorite language to learn on their service. Enjoy.

Map 195B.jpgHave you learned a second or even third language? Did you train in a classroom the old-fashioned way or use an online product like Duolingo or Rosetta Stone? Let me and other readers know in the comments below what worked for you.

* * * * *

There are 69,560 people living in the United States who have a networth more than thirty million dollars each (lucky!). Map 196 informs us how many of them live in each state; something Business Insider decided we needed to know.

Map 196

This map is interesting but not perfect in my not-so-humble opinion. The shading differences between states are meant to show which states had greater increases in their $30 million-plus population (the darker ones had the most gains). If I had made this map, the shades would have represented the tiers of states with the most people meeting the wealth requirement. The top quintile would have been the darkest shade and each descending group of states would have been lighter so it was clearer which states were on the same level of hosting these wealthy lot. Another potential improvement would have been a comparison between the number of wealthy individuals versus the overall populations of each state. Wyoming’s number of $30M+ inhabitants, 350, is more impressive when you consider the state’s small population of 586,107 (just under 0.06%). Massachusetts, on the hand, has 1410 qualifying people within the overall population of 6,790,000 (0.02%). This map is still great despite my nitpicking. Business Insider also included a companion map to show the ranking of the richest cities in America. There are large concentrations of top-ranking cities in California and Florida but the top city on the list is New York City.

Map 196B

My hometown of Minneapolis ranks 14th in the country (41st in the world) with 990 people in this exclusive club. As much as I’d like to be, I am not among them. This blog hasn’t yet brought me the millions of dollars I had hoped it would when I started it a couple years ago. I am, of course, still open to opportunities for mutual financial gain if anyone wants to offer one or several. My skills as a writer are always available for hire unless you want me to slander something I love (like maps).


Until next time,


Bryan Signature 2





Bonus Map Link: Overlapping Courses of the Mississippi River













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