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Mapped: Countries With the Highest Flood Risk

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Population Flood Risk

Risk of Flooding Mapped Around the World

Devastating floods across Pakistan this summer have resulted in more than 1,400 lives lost and one-third of the country being under water.

This raises the question: which nations and their populations are the most vulnerable to the risk of flooding around the world?

Using data from a recent study published in Nature, this graphic maps flood risk around the world, highlighting the 1.81 billion people directly exposed to 1-in-100 year floods. The methodology takes into account potential risks from both inland and coastal flooding.

Asian Countries Most at Risk from Rising Water Levels

Not surprisingly, countries with considerable coastlines, river systems, and flatlands find themselves with high percentages of their population at risk.

The Netherlands and Bangladesh are the only two nations in the world to have more than half of their population at risk due to flooding, at 59% and 58%, respectively. Vietnam (46%), Egypt (41%), and Myanmar (40%) round out the rest of the top five nations.

Besides the Netherlands, only two other European nations are in the top 20 nations by percentage of population at risk, Austria (18th at 29%) and Albania (20th at 28%).

RankCountryFlood risk, by population exposed (%)Total population exposed
#1๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands58.7%10,100,000
#2๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ Bangladesh57.5%94,424,000
#3๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ Vietnam46.0%45,504,000
#4๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ Egypt40.5%38,871,000
#5๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Myanmar39.9%19,104,000
#6๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Laos39.7%2,985,000
#7๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ญ Cambodia38.1%7,431,000
#8๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡พ Guyana37.9%276,000
#9๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ท Suriname37.7%233,000
#10๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ถ Iraq36.8%16,350,000
#11๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ Thailand33.9%25,431,000
#12๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ South Sudan32.5%5,437,000
#13๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ Pakistan31.1%71,786,000
#14๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต Nepal29.4%11,993,000
#15๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Republic of the Congo29.3%1,170,000
#16๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ Philippines29.0%30,483,000
#17๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan28.7%36,060,000
#18๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria27.8%2,437,000
#19๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India27.7%389,816,000
#20๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Albania27.6%771,000
#21๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China27.5%394,826,000
#22๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฉ Chad27.4%4,547,000
#23๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Indonesia27.0%75,696,000
#24๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia26.9%1,094,000
#25๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Slovakia26.7%1,401,000

The Southeast Asia region alone makes up more than two-thirds of the global population exposed to flooding risk at 1.24 billion people.

China and India account for 395 million and 390 million people, respectively, with both nations at the top in terms of the absolute number of people at risk of rising water levels. The rest of the top five countries by total population at risk are Bangladesh (94 million people at risk), Indonesia (76 million people at risk), and Pakistan (72 million people at risk).

How Flooding is Already Affecting Countries Like Pakistan

While forecasted climate and natural disasters can often take years to manifest, flooding affected more than 100 million people in 2021. Recent summer floods in Pakistan have continued the trend in 2022.

With 31% of its population (72 million people) at risk of flooding, Pakistan is particularly vulnerable to floods.

In 2010, floods in Pakistan were estimated to have affected more than 18 million people. The recent floods, which started in June, are estimated to have affected more than 33 million people as more than one-third of the country is submerged underwater.

The Cost of Floods Today and in the Future

Although the rising human toll is by far the biggest concern that floods present, they also bring with them massive economic costs. Last year, droughts, floods, and storms caused economic losses totaling $224.2 billion worldwide, nearly doubling the 2001-2020 annual average of $117.8 billion.

A recent report forecasted that water risk (caused by droughts, floods, and storms) could eat up $5.6 trillion of global GDP by 2050, with floods projected to account for 36% of these direct losses.

As both human and economic losses caused by floods continue to mount, nations around the world will need to focus on preventative infrastructure and restorative solutions for ecosystems and communities already affected and most at risk of flooding.

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Misc

Mapped: U.S. Mineral Production Value by State in 2022

U.S. mineral production value increased by 4% YoY in 2022 to reach $98.2 billion. Which states contributed the most to domestic mineral production?

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U.S. States Ranked by the Value of their Mineral Production

The U.S. produced $98.2 billion worth of nonfuel minerals in 2022, but which states made up the majority of the mining?

This map uses data from the USGS to map and rank U.S. states by the value of their nonfuel mineral production in 2022.

The ranking takes into account the mining of nonfuel minerals that are split into two main categories: metallic minerals (like gold, copper, or silver), and industrial minerals (like phosphate rock, various types of clay, and crushed stone).

The Top Mineral-Producing States in the U.S.

Arizona tops the list of mineral-producing states, with $10.1 billion worth of minerals which account for 10.3% of the U.S. total, largely due to the state’s prolific copper production. The state of Arizona accounted for around 70% of domestic copper production in 2022, and as a result also produces large amounts of molybdenum as a byproduct.

The state of Nevada was the next top mineral producer at $8.9 billion worth of minerals, thanks to its longstanding leadership in gold mining (accounting for 72% of U.S. gold production in 2022) and by having the only operating lithium project in America.

States in the Western region of the U.S. dominate the ranking of top mineral-producing states, holding the top two spots and making up half of the top 10 when it comes to total mineral production value.

RankStateMineral Production Value (2022)Share of U.S. total
1Arizona$10.1B10.3%
2Nevada$8.9B9.1%
3Texas$8.0B8.2%
4California$5.6B5.7%
5Minnesota*$4.8B4.9%
6Alaska$4.5B4.6%
7Florida*$2.8B2.9%
8Utah$3.6B3.7%
9Michigan$3.4B3.4%
10Missouri$3.2B3.2%

*The value of these states is a partial total which excludes withheld values by the USGS to avoid disclosing company proprietary data. Rankings remain unaffected which is why some states may rank higher than others despite having a lower value.

Texas rounds out the top three at $8 billion worth of minerals produced in 2022, largely thanks to its dominant production of crushed stone. The state of Texas was the top producer of crushed stone in 2022 at more than $2.8 billion worth, nearly double that of the next largest producer, Florida, which produced $1.5 billion worth.

What Minerals is the U.S. Producing the Most of?

Nonfuel mineral production is categorized into two main categories by the USGS, metals/metallic minerals and industrial minerals.

While not as shiny, the produced value of industrial minerals far outweighs that of metallic minerals. While $34.7 billion worth of metals were produced in 2022, industrial mineral production value was nearly double at $63.5 billion.

Construction aggregates like construction sand and gravel along with crushed stone made up almost half of industrial minerals production at $31.4 billion, with crushed stone being the leading mineral commodity overall at $21 billion of production value.

Following crushed stone, the next top minerals produced but the U.S. were (in decreasing order of value): cement, copper, construction sand and gravel, and gold.

Although the value of metals production decreased by 6% compared to 2021, industrial minerals production increased by 10% year-over-year, resulting in an overall increase in America’s overall nonfuel mineral production of 4%.

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Visualizing the Opportunity Cost of Unrecycled Metals in the U.S.

Exploring the quantity and dollar value of recycled metals in the U.S. by visualizing metal recycling ratios.

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The Opportunity Cost of Unrecycled Metals in the U.S.

Metals are an essential resource for modern society, used in everything from construction and transportation to technology and medical equipment. As the demand for these minerals continues to grow, so does the amount of waste generated by their production and consumption.

Recycling this metal waste is not just a win for sustainability; it also has huge economic benefits. In the visual above, we explore the ratio of recycled vs. unrecycled metals in the U.S. using 2020 Recycling Statistics by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Metal Recycling in the U.S.

Opportunity cost is a concept that refers to the benefits that are forgone when choosing one option over another. In the case of unrecycled metals, the opportunity cost is the potential economic and environmental benefits that could have been achieved through increasing metal recycling ratios.

Below are the recycling rates for select metals in the U.S. in 2020.

Metal% of supply recycled
Aluminum54
Chromium25
Copper36
Iron & Steel52
Lead77
Magnesium55
Nickel52
Tin36

The above recycled metals represented a dollar value of $26 billion in 2020. Their unrecycled counterparts, on the other hand, represented $28 billion.

Metals can either be recycled from scrap that results from the manufacturing process (known as โ€œnew scrapโ€) or scrap from post-consumer products (โ€œold scrap.โ€) Regardless of the source, many of them, especially chromium, copper, and tin, have the potential to reap further sustainability and economic benefits by recycling a larger proportion of their scrap supplies.

The Case for Metal Recycling

When compared with the mining, processing and transport of new metals, recycling metals can provide a significantly less energy-intensive alternative, saving enough energy each year to power millions of homes in the U.S.

Recycling metals can also save natural resources, create more green jobs, and reduce a country’s dependency on mineral imports by supplementing its supply of raw materials.

Overall, the potential for metal recycling is vast, and taking steps to increase the amount of recycled metals in the U.S. can lead to even greater sustainability and economic benefits.

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