# At what latitude 1% of humans are north of you?

How far north do you have to go for only 1% of human population (about 75M) to live north of your current location? How about on southern hemisphere, where’s the equivalent 1% line?

I don’t know the answer but I think it will be somewhere around the latitude of Moscow. However it’s going to be hard to work out precisely, as once you go south from there you’re going through some of the most densely populated areas in the ‘western’ world. So, even going a few miles south may add several million to the number of people within the circle.

I think for the southern hemisphere it will be somewhere in South Africa, but again hard to compute as moving just a short distance north or south brings in some very large cities in 2 other continents.

There’s some good data here, for those with tools and time to play with it, it seems: Downloads » Population Count, v4: Gridded Population of the World (GPW), v4 | SEDAC

A good visual for this may be obtained here:

Move the slider at the bottom to 2017. Each dot is 1 million people.

And looking at that, I’d guess that right around Moscow is about right. In the South, somewhere in the south of Brazil. Sao Paulo and population centers to the south of it add a very large number, and you start including South Africa, too.

It’s a tossup - Most of Argentina (including megacity Buenos Aires) and Chile, all of New Zealand and the most populous parts of Australia are all south of Cape Town (our southernmost city), but the biggest city in Chile is just north of us.

Using the polygon tool on their map and following lines of latitude as well as I could, I checked various latitudes and got the following results:

North of 60: 11 million
North of 62: 7.6 million
North of 64: 4.2 million
North of the Arctic Circle: 2 million

So if that map can be trusted, it looks like the result is just about 62 degrees. That’s quite a bit farther north than Moscow which is about 56 degrees north. It’s also north of Anchorage, St. Petersburg, Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki, but south of Fairbanks, Arkhangelsk, and Murmansk.

For the southern hemisphere the result seems to be somewhere around 38 or 38.5 degrees, so well south of the African continent, south of Auckland, Buenos Aires and Santiago and just south of Melbourne.

Bibliophage - it’s 75m we’re talking about, not 7.5m.

While this isn’t what I asked about since 1% of current world population is indeed around 75 million at the moment, it’s interesting to see that less than 0.2% of the current world population lives north of me.

Nevertheless, the methodology probably yields a good guess, though it’s REALLY sensitive in that area. A hand drawings of a rectangle on my part suggests that going right through the center of Moscow is pretty close, but the number is very sensitive to minor changes. I’d safely say somewhere between 55.5 and 56 north, including parts of the area around Moscow and Copenhagen.

Oh, drawing the southern one suggests that you want to go a good bit north of Capetown, Buenos Aires and Montevideo, crossing just the very southern tip of Brazil. Getting near Porto Alegre pushes you over. I’d say somewhere near Cordoba, Argentina.

Cordoba is about 31.4 south. (Don’t google "Cordoba Latitude, and not notice either the “north” or that it just gave you Cordoba, Spain.).

Well, you know what they say. There are three kinds of people in the world: those that are good at math and those that aren’t.

If only 0.2% of the human population lives north of you, it sorta seems to me that northness is probably *the *defining characteristic of literally everything you encounter outside or do inside.

It strains my mind to think you’d forget that. You thinking :smack: Wow, that reminds me. I guess I don’t live in the tropics. :smack: just doesn’t seem real credible.

Although I suppose humans can get used to damn near anything. So all that northness just seems to you like ordinary workaday reality. Ho hum.

I live around 58 degrees N. As you say, for us here it’s the centre of the world. Other than the usually colder weather, what you would notice here would be a different quality of light, much longer days or nights for much of the year and different vegetation. So when we go south it’s all strange. I’ve still never seen the northern lights properly though, even on nights when everyone here is on facebook showing spectacular pictures they’ve just taken.

Thing is, I live in southern Finland. Going “up North” for vacation to Lapland is common enough and even our old summer cottage is north of me. It’s not all polar bears and harpooning whales for sustenance quite yet at this latitude thanks to the Gulf Stream. There’s plenty of big cities south of me that get a lot harsher winters than we do. This winter I think the highest official snow depth was well under 1 ft / 30 cm.

Anyways I thought I was living around 63 N but when I checked it it was 61.03’ N which is about exactly as north as Anchorage. Day length is going to be 14 hours in a few days and it will go up all the way to 20ish hours for summer.

Cool. Thanks for sharing. Visiting the far North is something I’ve always wanted to do and haven’t yet done.

The Dope at its best - an interesting question, promptly and capably answered.

BTW, when I was poking about and drawing rectangles, I also ran across these histograms of population at each degree of latitude / longitude:

Also, there’s a published factoid that 40% of the world’s population lives in the tropics, and the percentage is going up - by 2050, it’s projected to be over 50%.