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Bonkers Map of Property Value Distorts US Beyond Recognition

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In what looks like both a distillation of the United States' stark geographic wealth imbalance and an incredibly painful medical emergency, data whiz Max Galka has created a set of maps that represent the size of each state county according to the value of its real estate. This style of infographic is known as a cartogram, a format that replaces the variable of land area with another metric, such as the population of software developers or, in this case, the value of all housing in each county. According to Galka's calculations, California is home to a whopping 23 percent of all the housing value in the United States, the most of any state in the nation, though we account for just 4.3 percent of total US land area. New York comes in a distant second (7.1 percent of housing value), followed by Florida (5.8 percent). Galka's map "looks like bad news from a gastroenterologist," quips CityLab, and we can think of a few more vivid comparisons that we'll spare you from. (Seriously, though, does it have to be red?)


To add up housing value in the lower 48 states, Galko used estimated property values (including home value, not just land) from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and information from the Census—except for New York, for which he used 2014 sales data. The total value of California's housing stock is, according to Galko's calculation, $7,563,076,568,258, or just over $7.5 trillion.

Animated GIF by Max Galko via Metrocosm]

· A Striking Perspective on New York City Property Values [Metrocosm]
· The Housing Value of Every County in the U.S. [Metrocosm]
· Mapping the U.S. by Property Value Instead of Land Area [CityLab]
· Redrawing the US Map Based on Where All the Developers Are [Curbed SF]
· Land Prices by State [Lincoln Institute of Land Policy]