Life is a nonstop barrage of social engagements in which you are forced to conjure up topics to discuss with people of whose interests you are wholly ignorant. We're here to help. Here are 13 surprising and/or cool-seeming maps about America to fill the awkward silences.
1) More than half of America's wealth is in this circle
2) … and more than half its GDP is in these tiny orange areas:
3) America's schools are still very segregated
4) This is what America would look like if the states were even in population
5) California is as rich as Italy, with 11 million fewer people
6) The West, upper Midwest, and rural South are the happiest places in the United States
7) Stuff is cheaper in the South and Midwest
8) America spends eight times more on defense than Russia
9) The Midwest is three times as big as France
10) Delaware, Maine, North Dakota, and Alaska don't have any billionaires
11) Mississippi and North Korea have roughly the same land area
12) New Orleans has a similar homicide rate to Honduras
13) The US is the only country to not use the metric system other than Burma and Liberia
If you liked these, be sure to check out 70 maps that explain America and 22 maps and charts that will surprise you.
Correction: This post originally mistakenly said that New Orleans' homicide rate is similar to that of Nicaragua. It's not; as the map shows, it's close to that of Honduras.