Islands of Vanuatu

Here is an experiment in simple data visualisation – the larger islands of Vanuatu, plotted by area and population density (on logarithmic axes, so that lines of constant population are straight). Santo is the largest island, while Efate (where the capital, Port Vila, is located) has the highest population density. The mean population density for the nation as a whole is 22.3 people per sq km.

The islands on the plot are drawn to scale, using the maps package of R. For the islands shown, the population varies from 322 (Hiu) to 86,250 (Efate). Area data is from this table, while population data is from the 2015 Vanuatu National Population Estimates.

The plot sheds some light on local issues: the high population density of Tanna makes land particularly precious, while the lower population density of Santo – comparable to Mali, NSW (Australia), or Nevada (USA) – makes infrastructure more expensive.

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