Valeriepieris circle

The Valeriepieris circle[1][2][3] is a South China Sea-centered circular region on the world map that is about 4,000 kilometers (2,500 mi) in radius (roughly 6.7% of the Earth's total surface area) and contains more than half the world’s population.[1] It was named after the Reddit username of Ken Myers, a Texas English as a second language teacher who first drew attention to the phenomenon in 2013.[4] The map became a meme and was featured in numerous forms of media.[5][6][7]

Myers' original Valeriepieris circle plot, as posted to Reddit. The area highlighted with inverted colors is labelled "There are more people living inside this circle than outside it"
Danny Quah's repositioning of the Valeriepieris circle on a globe, which excludes Japan

In 2015, the circle was tested by Danny Quah, who verified the claim but moved the circle slightly to exclude most of Japan, and used a globe model rather than a map projection as well as more specific calculations. He calculated that, as of 2015, half of the world's population lived within a 3,300-kilometer (2,050 mi) radius of the city of Mong Khet in Myanmar.[1]

In 2022, the original circle was tested by Riaz Shah, Professor of Practice at Hult International Business School. Using data from the UN World Population Prospects of September 2022 he showed that 4.2bn people live inside the circle, out of 8.0bn total.[8]

The most common visual of the circle, originally used by Myers and also featured by io9[9] and Tech in Asia,[10] used the Winkel tripel projection.


  1. ^ a b c The world’s tightest cluster of people, Danny Quah, London School of Economics and Political Science
  2. ^ More Than Half the World's Population Lives Inside This Circle, Condé Nast Traveler
  3. ^ A Small Circle in Asia Contains More Than Half the World's Population, HowStuffWorks - Science
  4. ^ After seeing a recent post about the population of Indonesia, this occurred to me, Reddit
  5. ^ The Majority of the World’s Population Lives in This Circle, Visual Capitalist
  6. ^ 40 Maps That Explain the World, The Washington Post
  7. ^ Everybody Lives in Asia, Slate
  8. ^ Shah, Riaz (2022-11-10). "Half the world's population lives inside this circle". Medium. Retrieved 2022-11-19.
  9. ^ More than half of the world's population lives inside this circle, io9
  10. ^ If More Than Half the Population of the World Lives in This Circle, Asia is the Future of Startups, Tech in Asia