Last week, I went to Nanjing to Suzhou by high speed train. In a little over an hour, I had been through five cities with populations of over 1 million. If I stayed on the train a little longer, I would have ended up in Shanghai, with a population of over 20 million. All in all, the ride from Nanjing to Shanghai is about 300 kilometers, and it passes through seven cities with populations over 1 million and four with populations over 3 million.
The first time I took that route from Nanjing to Shanghai in 2011, I was interested in looking out the window at all the buildings, amazed at how the city seemed to go on non-stop once you got to Wuxi. Now it’s a common experience, but it’s still pretty amazing to think about. I made a map to illustrate the huge population of just one 300 kilometer plane in Eastern China.
The route passes through Jiangsu province the entire way until it gets to Shanghai. Jiangsu is the most densely populated province, and the fifth most populous province in total, with 78 million people living in 102,600 square km. At 766 people per sq. km., it’s more densely populated than every U.S. state.Continue reading