Every four years, RWC draws twenty participating nations from around the world. As part of our research, we found that certain climates seem to be particularly favourable for outdoor winter team sports – such as rugby. Clearly, Rugby’s history is closely aligned to British Imperial history.
We found this Economic Globe from Yale very interesting. It basically charts economic activity around the world. Have a look and then relate it to the participating nations at RWC. Very few (e.g. Pacific Islands) are located in tropical regions. Consider where rugby is played regionally in Australia and South Africa. Look at where Japan is located. Look at the home of rugby in Britain. RWC’s evolution is part of a much broader story of economic geography.
The globe is sourced from the Geographically Based Economic Data project under Professor Nordhaus at Yale University in the US. For more background on their project:
“The purpose of this project is develop a geophysically scaled economic data set (hence, G-Econ). The result is a global data set on economic activity for all terrestrial grid cells. As of September 2009, version G-Econ 3.1 is available, which includes 27,500 terrestrial grid cells and includes four years (1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005). The G-Econ project is gridded data set at a 1 degree longitude by 1 degree latitude resolution. This is approximately 100 km by 100 km, which is somewhat smaller than the size of the major subnational political entities for most large countries (e.g., states in the United States, Laender in Germany, or oblasts in Russia) and approximately the same size as the second level political entities in most countries (e.g., counties in the United States).”