Tuesday, 13 May 2014

São Paulo in Statistics: Where People Live

In the so-called megacities such as Shanghai, Mexico city, Hong Kong or São Paulo we often talk about overcrowding but what does this actually mean?

Is all of the city overcrowded? How are people spread throughout the city?

One way or analysing this is to look at residential density. Below is a map from LSE cities which measure the population of each square kilometre of various cities around the world and attributes a column height in proportion to the number of people permanently living in that area.

Of course it doesn't account for movement but still it gives us an idea of where the greatest density of people is in each cities and it turns out it varies hugely between cities.


The shape of New York or Istanbul is clearly impacted by a geographical constrain i.e. the sea. Public transport can affect where people live as well as cultural traditions and historical urban planning.

In São Paulo's case we can see that there is a relatively high density spread almost evenly across a large part of the city. This is in fact uncommon. Most cities such as New York or Shanghai have extreme residential density in the central areas of the city and progressively fewer people living in the outer regions.

This possibly reflects the high rise buildings which have been allowed to be built irrespective of the region as opposed to London for example, which has very strict rules on multi storey buildings outside of its financial square mile.

Click here for more statistics on São Paulo.

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