Population tree chart 

  • What story does it tell?

    It tells a story of how many people are living in each country and the globe, overall. The furthest year you can choose is 1950. I assume it is because it was almost impossible to monitor the population amount around the world during WW2. It is interactive where you can observe the population number by each year in the past and present whilst also providing numerical population growth and loss predictions for the future (up to 2100)

  • How does it tell it?

    It ranks them in both a chronological order and uses a tree map that uses square treatment to convey data. It also allows you to skip previously or ahead one or five years at a time. It also categorises the countries into their continents, which is illustrated by colour.
  • Does it allow for different levels of interrogation that can be seen or used on the part of the reader? E.g. can they drill down to discover more detail?

    To some extent, yes. As the tree map is quite complex and includes 201 countries, it doesn’t label every single square as it is too small to see. However, it does allow the option of hovering over a blank square where you are then able to view the country and the population amount of that year. It also displays a picture of the flag next to the name.

  • Are you able to create multiple stories from it? If so what are they?

    – China and India have been competing in population growth for a while
    – Ever since 1950, China has always been number one.
    – It is estimated that in 2021, India will take over China by having the highest population amount.
    – There are constant fluctuations in population ranks every year, whether minor or major. I believe this is due to political, cultural and social influences such as civil wars, new government policies (such as the one child policy). Furthermore, for example, in Japan, less women are settling down to get married and are instead, pursuing their careers and thus decreases the population.

  • What can you say about the visual design- layout, colour, typography, visualisation style?

    The layout is simplistic and direct. The tree map is the main element of the website and is the first thing the audience views when they open the link. The title ‘list of countries ordered by their population size’ and the total population amount on earth during the selected year are written in the top left corner, just under the website name. The option to choose which year to observe is located in the top right corner. To observe the list of countries ranked from the highest to the lowest population amount, the viewer must scroll down as this element is just beneath the tree map.

The colouring of the overall website only uses white and black. The flags and the tree map are the only elements that use vibrant colours that can be easily distinguished from one another. The tree map groups the countries together by organising them in continents. For example:

– Asia and the middle east are blue.
– Africa is orange.
– North America is red.
– South America is purple.
– Europe is green.
– Australia and New Zealand are pink.
– Oceania is grey
– The middle section between North and South America are brown.


The typography is simplistic, looks like a serif font.

Visualisation style:
– Tree map.
– List

  • What improvements would you suggest?
  • Implement a way that allows the user to navigate more easily between each year. It would be helpful if there were an option where you could just type the year in and the page would refresh to the population data of that year. Instead, you can only skip one or five years at a time. This can be confusing and if you want to compare data with a fifty-year difference, it would take too long without screenshotting.
  • There could be an option to compare two sets of data at one time.
  • Perhaps there could be a panel on the side that can provide information as to why there are certain fluctuations in ranking that year, so that there is context.
  • I think it would have been more effective to separate Asia from the middle east, as they are almost two completely different cultures and tend to experience different issues from one another.
  • Have a drop down option of ‘sort by alphabet or population ranking’

    Where does the data came from, and comment on its source?

  • United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision. (Medium variant)
  • United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2013). Trends in International Migrant Stock: Migrants by Destination and Origin (United Nations database, POP/DB/MIG/Stock/Rev.2013

United Nations are reputable around the world as an organization tasked to promote international co-operation and to create and maintain international order. Therefore, there sources are reliable.

Developing nations like India and some African countries tend to consume much less energy but add to the population crisis. India, for example, is almost the exact opposite of the United States on an energy consumption scale, using only 5 percent of the world’s energy. This has evidently been a pattern for some time and I assume we can estimate that by 2100, both India and Africa’s population amount will exponentially increase.

References in APA

Population Pyramid (2017). List of countries ordered by their population size. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from

Population tree chart [Image] (2017). Retrieved September 21, 2017, from