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Mapping the U.S. by Property Value Instead of Land Area

Cartograms are fun tools for swapping out land area for some other variable. For certain figures, especially data that swing wildly at one of the end of the spectrum or another, cartograms are ideal. They’re great at showing systems that are out of balance—and nothing’s more out of whack than New York housing values.

Max Galka, founder of Metrocosm, has posted a series of cartograms over the past few weeks to illustrate just how messed up the city is. As Galka notes, New York City’s 305 square miles make up 8/1000ths of 1 percent of the land area of the United States. Yet New York City accounts for 5 percent of the nation’s housing value—more than every single state but four (one of which is, of course, New York state).

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