The cost of housing in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area is cripplingly expensive. But what does housing value look like across the whole of the country?

This animated map was created by Max Galka. It breaks down the total housing value held within each country across the U.S. using data taken from The Economist. He explains how he made it, and what it shows:

To create the map below, I took the total residential property value for every county in the U.S. (the contiguous 48 states), and substituted those values for each county’s land area. Aside from the Northeast, Property value in the U.S. is concentrated in a relatively small number of areas.

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The animated map morphs the geographic representation into a cartogram, where land area is substituted for the total property value. It really drives home that a small number of U.S. counties — and an incredibly small proportion of its land coverage — accounts for a dizzying amount of total housing value.

In fact, New York City, which covers 305 square mile and makes up 8/1000ths of 1 percent of total land area of the United States, accounts for 5 percent of the nation’s housing value. Sadly, the solution to that phenomenon’s effects on the economy is far from clear.

[Metrocosm]

Image by Max Galka

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