Neil Freeman Redraws United States As Fifty States With Equal Population
Artist and urban developer Neil Freeman has redrawn the fifty United States in such a way that they represent an equal distribution of population.
The developers approach takes a radically different view on fixing the Electoral College by preserving its structure while at the same time ending the overrepresentation of small states and underrepresentation of large states.
Freeman created his new redrawn states by focusing on 2010 US Census data which changes boundaries to “more closely follow economic patterns, since many states are more centered on one or two metro areas.” In a letter that follows his redrawn states, Freeman notes:
“Currently, the population of House districts ranges from 528,000 to 924,000. After this reform, every House seat would represent districts of the same size.”
Each state on the map represents approximately 6,175,000 citizens. Most capitals were maintained in the redrawn United States, and, if they couldn’t be maintained, Neil Freeman chose large or centralized cities.
Names for the states were chosen based on geographical features such as mountain ranges, rivers, caves, peaks, and even plants. Freeman easily explains his methodology:
The map began with an algorithm that grouped counties based on proximity, urban area, and commuting patterns. The algorithm was seeded with the fifty largest cities. After that, manual changes took into account compact shapes, equal populations, metro areas divided by state lines, and drainage basins. In certain areas, divisions are based on census tract lines. The District of Columbia is included into the state of Washington, with the Mall, major monuments and Federal buildings set off as the seat of the federal government.
While Freeman published his map in 2012, it has been receiving more attention as northern Colorado prepares a vote to secede from the rest of the state. Freeman wants everyone to remember that this was an art project. Basically, back off the hateful emails about how he just destroyed your state.