How big is the Congo? Very big!

by | Dec 6, 2011

Few journalistic cliches are as irritating as the trope of describing some war-ridden country as “the size of Texas” or “three times the size of France”.  I recall being taught at school that an area of rain-forest “the same size as Wales” was being burned every year in Brazil.  Some wit asked if it would be possible to burn Wales instead.

Most of these comparisons are pretty meaningless because it’s reasonably hard to keep exact data on the size of France, etc., in your head.  Now, however, the BBC has come up with a useful graphic to prove that the Democratic Congo is “around two thirds the size of Western Europe.”  Nasty choice of color-scheme, though…


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    <strong><a href="">Richard Gowan</a></strong> coordinates the International Security Institutions program at the <a href="">Center on International Cooperation</a>, New York University. He is also the UN Policy Fellow at the <a href="">European Council on Foreign Relations</a> and an associate of the <a href="">Foreign Policy Center</a> (London).

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