Chart of the Day: Extreme Poverty in Senegal

So, technically Senegal is not in Minnesota. But a reader passed this map along to me, via the science blog, and I thought I’d share it!

Here’s the problem: the vast majority of “mega-cities” in the world are located in the Global South, where rapid growth and a lack of equitable economic development has meant extreme rates of concentrated poverty. Traditionally, these less-developed areas, both rural and urban, are very hard to account for, but a new methodology might be changing that.

Here’s the map:

And a bit of an explanation of the research, from the study, which links social outcomes to GIS available data:

Food security is mainly described by agrometeorological measurements (temperature, precipitation, slope, elevation, soil type) that drive agricultural production (crop production), one of the most important inputs, along with livestock and fishing, of food availability in the country. On the other hand, access to staple food can be approximated by the average millet prices observed in the markets (retail prices in 56 local markets). Millet serves as the main local staple food crop in the country, making it a potentially good indicator of poverty. In addition, proximity to main road and urban centers was also computed to describe the connectivity to major markets.

The economic activity corresponds to the intensity of urbanization. Among the studied features, the nighttime lights are the most frequently used to describe poverty using remote-sensing data (20). Moreover, a clear link between household wealth and the level of night light emissions has been shown before (32). The underlying hypothesis is that economic activity and urbanization are strong indicators of living standards. Finally, the access to services can help to predict some of the individual indicators of poverty. In particular, the proximity to school, water towers, and hospitals can be used to determine the deprivation in education, water, and health, respectively.


Again, not Minnesota, but interesting nonetheless.


Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.