Friday, September 10, 2021

The Urbanization of France

Calum Loftus has created an impressive animated map which visualizes the dramatic urbanization of France since the middle of the 19th Century. In France: Population Density Through History Calum uses historical census data to map population density in France in every year that the census has been held from 1876 to 2017. The result is an animated map which dramatically shows the urbanization of France, as a huge percentage of the population moved from a rural way of life to living and working in cities. 

Industrialization came later in France than it had in England. Until 1850 population growth in France was seen mainly in rural areas. However in the second half of the 19th Century the railways and growing industrialization led to a steady growth in urbanization. However even by 1914 40% of the French population still worked in agriculture. Urbanization in France was largely a 20th Century phenomenon. By the end of the 20th Century around 80% of the French population lived in towns and cities. 

Calum's animated historical population density map clearly shows the rapid urbanization of the French population during the 20th Century. As well as this animated map 'France: Population Density Through History' includes a small multiple visualization in which a series of individual population density maps also visualizes this urbanization trend in France over the last 150 years.

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