New Zealand and the US: a comparison

As some of you may know (if you've read the About Dejal page), I was born in New Zealand, and moved to the US in 2001. I'm a citizen of both countries, and both have special places in my heart.

As a fun distraction yesterday, and to satisfy something I've been curious about, I superimposed a map of New Zealand (and a portion of nearby Australia) on one of the US, using the same scale for each. I lined up New Zealand's east coast with the US's east coast, being a similar angle.

The result is quite fascinating. It shows that New Zealand is about the same size as the small east coast states of the US, and where I am in Portland, Oregon is an equivalent distance from New York (say) as between Auckland, NZ and two-thirds of the way across Australia.

USA with NZ and Oz superimposed

Some interesting statistics (numbers from Wikipedia): New Zealand has a land area of 103,738 square miles and a population of 4,228,000. Compare that to the US's area of 3,718,695 square miles and population of 302,394,000... bit of a difference! Interestingly, the state of Oregon has an area of 98,466 square miles and population of 3,421,399 - both only a little smaller than the entire NZ.

I also did another comparison image, this time with Greater Auckland (NZ's largest city, actually a metro area made up of four cities) superimposed on Greater Portland (a medium-sized US metro area, Oregon's largest city). The size difference wasn't all that great this time, unsurprisingly; both Auckland and Portland have similar population sizes. In numbers, Auckland has a size of 419 square miles and population of 1,329,900, while Portland covers about 600 square miles with about 2 million people. Both have constraints on growth, too: Auckland has two harbors limiting growth, and Portland has very firm urban growth boundaries.

Portland with Auckland superimposed

What does all this mean? Nothing profound. The US is big. NZ is small. NZ is about the same size as Oregon. Auckland is about the same size as Portland. Whatever the sizes, they are both great places to live.

Oh, and I'm entirely too fascinated with maps. :)