More Than Half the World’s Population Lives Inside This Circle

When an astronaut looks at Earth, he will notice a strange phenomenon whereby most of the world really lives in a very small circle.

The Valeriepieris circle is a circular region on the world map centred in the South China Sea that is about 4,000 km in radius and contains more than half the world’s population. It was named after the Reddit username of Ken Myers, a Texas ESL teacher, who first drew attention to the phenomenon in 2013. The map became a meme and was featured in numerous forms of media.
In 2016, a Singapore economics professor named Danny Quah double-checked Myers’s math with more detailed population data and an exhaustive computer algorithm.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement in the Indo-Pacific region between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and five of ASEAN’s FTA partners—Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.


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