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Legion. An amalgamated journal.

Citius, altius, fortius, populace

(Reprinted from The Exile 1.2, here in color for full effect)

The graph to below indicates the size of the populations of the cities in which the Summer Olympics have been held since their inception in 1896. The area, rather than the radius, of the circle is presented proportionately to the population living within the host city’s boundaries taken from the nearest census data to the year in which the games were held. Some interesting observations can be made. While the obvious trend is towards a chronological increase in population, early games were just as likely to be in a European city of Western historical signifiance but demographic insignifiance, like Helsinki or Antwerp. No doubt the U.S. pattern of demographic clustering within ‘metropolitan areas’ rather than city boundaries proper contributes to the deceptively small sizes of Los Angeles and Atlanta (in 2000, the census year nearest 1996, Atlanta had a population of only 416,476, while the Atlanta metropolitan area had a population of 4,112,198). Also shown on the graph is the aesthetic evolution of the visual identity of the Games, ranging from the Beaux-Arts imagery of Paris 1900 through the psychedelic modernism of Mexico City 1968 and towards the cutesy logographic representations of Sydney, Athens, and Beijing.

Olympic Populations

Garrett Dash Nelson

April 8th, 2008 at 9:09 pm