I’ve plotted this with a log scale on the vertical axis, so the slope indicates the (exponential) rate of growth. The slope does not change very much over time, though it seems to become less steep as time goes on. 

Cosma Shalizi has one of the best blogs on the internet. He also has a tumblr.


“Never Forever Never for Now” is a quantitative visualisation of the transient nature of empire. The visualisation graphs all known empires, colonies and territorial occupations from 2334 BCE to the present day. Each empire occupies a slice of the pie graph with a known start (+) and end (×) date. Each slice is assigned a transparency value of 10% allowing for concurrent empires to be visualised – the more empires that occupy the same period of time in history, the whiter the graph.