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The little country that could (Korean geography)

Size.

I’m from Texas. It’s true - everything in Texas is bigger. I wonder if the reverse is true for South Korea? Let’s take a look.

South Korea encompasses a skant 38,492 square miles - which makes it slightly bigger than the state of Indiana but slightly smaller than Kentucky. Woah~ that is small. What about population? Kentucky has roughly 4,500,000 residents while Korea has just under 50,000,000. That makes Texas roughly half the population of South Korea. So, Kentucky has 40,411 square miles of land with about 111 people per square mile. Texas fares a bit better with 268,601 square miles - that’s roughly 93 people per square mile. Korea? 1300 people per square mile. Shall we have a chart? Oh man I love charts:

  • Korea - 38,492 square miles - 50 million people - 1300 people per square mile
  • Kentucky - 40,411 square miles - 4.5 million people - 111 people per square mile
  • Texas - 268,601 square miles - 24 million people - 93 people per square mile

That means that even if we kicked everyone out and put Korea’s population within the borders of the Lone Star state, there would still be 186 people per square mile. Nuts to that!

Texas South Korea Geography Size

Speaking of Texas, one could fit seven South Koreas into one state of Texas. But remember, Korea has twice the population. In 1/7th the space.

Ecological Footprint

Notice that even though China is slightly larger in land mass and more than four times the population, they have a much smaller ecological footprint. I wonder where Korea ranks? I couldn’t find any pertinent data. I’d imagine it’s comparable to either Japan or China. Sacrilegious! :

The most obvious reason for this discrepancy is how much America is consumer-driven. We buy a lot of stuff. Also, we like our space. We like a little bit more space than our East Asian friends. We also don’t build up as much - more of a side to side motion. I’m sure eventually we’ll start building up.

I’m certainly not an expert (they don’t teach much about nothing here in college) and I’m also not trying to get into a eco-battle over who is better, but I wanted to write about the sheer size difference between these countries. It’s also kind of mind boggling just how many of us are learning Korean - a language that is from a country that is easy to miss on a world map… “Isn’t that little Florida looking thing part of China?” .

Thoughts?

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