Canada remapped as 14 provinces of (more or less) equal populations

Monday was a holiday in much of the country, so this week’s installment appears on Tuesday.

Last week, the U.S. political blogosphere was abuzz over a map that solved the inequities of the Electoral College system (and those of the U.S. Senate) by dividing the country into 50 states of equal population. The compiler, Neil Freeman, had some fun with it – people from Austin, after his reform, would hail from the great state of Big Thicket. (Which is in some ways no stranger than people from Seattle having to endlessly specify “Washington State,” but never mind.)

Canada of course has its own electoral distortions, also rooted in historical accident, some wired into the Constitution.

I started with the idea of redividing Canada (other than the territories) into 10 provinces of about 3.2 million people each, but, as many people who have drawn shapes on a map have found, it’s hard to be strictly equal with the population counts and also geographically coherent.

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Eventually, I ended up with 14 provinces of between 2.5 million and 1.85 million. The most controversial would be making all of Atlantic Canada, along with a chunk of Quebec along the lower St. Lawrence, one province. (I find it hard to think of a Canadian political project that, for various reasons, good or bad, is less likely to happen.) A union of Manitoba with all of northern Ontario would certainly bring its own issues. For the purposes of the exercise, I ignored the territories.

Click on the image below. A fully interactive version is here

UPDATE: I’ve shifted the Saskatchaberta border south so Edmonton isn’t bisected quite so painfully. The change is visible in the interactive map and the population table below. (About 300,000 people shift)

Canada remapped as 10 provinces with equal population.ProvincePopulationAtlantica2,549,040Outaouais2,518,110Toronto2,476,540Hydroelectrica2,437,370Yonge2,370,550Saskatchaberta2,340,955Huron2,276,485Montreal2,185,650Head of the Lake2,185,450Vancouver2,090,085Interior and the Islands1,978,885Upper Upper Canada1,970,820Southern Alberta1,868,585Manitario1,858,755Grand Total31,107,280. Patrick Cain, Global News