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Henning

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4

How would you estimate the percentage of the world's population in the northern hemisphere?

I was asked the above question in one of my case interviews and am still uncertain how this would be market sized? Please could someone provide their thoughts on how they would approach this question...

(It turns out the answer was roughly 90, which quite shocked me due to my limited geography knowledge)

I was asked the above question in one of my case interviews and am still uncertain how this would be market sized? Please could someone provide their thoughts on how they would approach this question...

(It turns out the answer was roughly 90, which quite shocked me due to my limited geography knowledge)

4 answers

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I agree with Ian's approach. But here's a short cut: Take the total population (i think between7 and 8B, let's say 7.5B and subtract the countries on the south - much faster than trying ot estimate size of the countries on the northern HS.

And keep in mind, that Indonesia (certnainly among the top 10 largest populations) is mostly on the southern HS.

I agree with Ian's approach. But here's a short cut: Take the total population (i think between7 and 8B, let's say 7.5B and subtract the countries on the south - much faster than trying ot estimate size of the countries on the northern HS.

And keep in mind, that Indonesia (certnainly among the top 10 largest populations) is mostly on the southern HS.

(edited)

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Hello!

It depends a bit on the timing you are given to solve it.

If you have quite some time, I would go with countries, but in a normal interview, continents should be enaugh.

Split continent into hemispheres, particularly given attention to the super-populated ones (e.g., China, India), who are the ones that move the needle.

Hope it helps,

Clara

Hello!

It depends a bit on the timing you are given to solve it.

If you have quite some time, I would go with countries, but in a normal interview, continents should be enaugh.

Split continent into hemispheres, particularly given attention to the super-populated ones (e.g., China, India), who are the ones that move the needle.

Hope it helps,

Clara

I'd be very surprised if hemispheres segmented by continents is accepted as a reasonable response. That doesn't show much of structured thinking. — Nakul on Oct 26, 2020

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Hey Justin,

80/20 rule here. A few approaches to this.

1) Take the 10 largest countries you know and think about what % are above vs. below. You should basically only have Brazil below the equator, so 90%

2) Take the continents. I.e. 100% of North/Central America = North, 100% of Europe = North, 100% of ME = North, 100% of Asia - north, 100% of

S America = South, 30% of Afria = South

Then, because you know the populations of all the continents (you should), you can multiply it out!

Hey Justin,

80/20 rule here. A few approaches to this.

1) Take the 10 largest countries you know and think about what % are above vs. below. You should basically only have Brazil below the equator, so 90%

2) Take the continents. I.e. 100% of North/Central America = North, 100% of Europe = North, 100% of ME = North, 100% of Asia - north, 100% of

S America = South, 30% of Afria = South

Then, because you know the populations of all the continents (you should), you can multiply it out!

(edited)

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Hello

I'd build on some of the answers provided below. Think about why does any interviewer ask this question. They are testing your general knowledge and your ability to develop a structured response to a highly ambiguous question.

1) What is the world's current population? About 7.7 billion and ask if you can round it up to 8 billion people.

2) The hemispheres are separated by the equator which passes through Ecuador in South America splitting the Americas, through (almost) middle of Africa and through the Indian Ocean. That means majority of South America, slightly less than half of Africa, parts of Asia (Indonesia, PNG, a few islands etc), Australia and NZ are the Southern Hemisphere.

4) Now try to assign South Hemipshere a % of the 8 billion. Explain the reason you've chosen this route is the 'elimination' technique rather than a bottoms-up technique of building the Nothern Hemisphere calculation. You could try estimating this population or ask if you can use an average of population per country based on 8 billion divided by 180 countries. I'd personally like to see the former. A great way to approach this would be AUS + NZ + Indonesia + Brazil is almost USA + Mexico + Canada, so ~500 million. So now you have estimated the 'Elephants' of the Southern Hemisphere.

5) Ask what data points can be used now for remainder of South America and for the bottom half of Africa. You can say based on your understanding of the geography the land size and density is similar to it should be at least another 500 million, to a total of 1 billion.

6) 1 billion / 8 billion = ~12%. So 88% lives in Northern Hemisphere.

Hello

I'd build on some of the answers provided below. Think about why does any interviewer ask this question. They are testing your general knowledge and your ability to develop a structured response to a highly ambiguous question.

1) What is the world's current population? About 7.7 billion and ask if you can round it up to 8 billion people.

2) The hemispheres are separated by the equator which passes through Ecuador in South America splitting the Americas, through (almost) middle of Africa and through the Indian Ocean. That means majority of South America, slightly less than half of Africa, parts of Asia (Indonesia, PNG, a few islands etc), Australia and NZ are the Southern Hemisphere.

4) Now try to assign South Hemipshere a % of the 8 billion. Explain the reason you've chosen this route is the 'elimination' technique rather than a bottoms-up technique of building the Nothern Hemisphere calculation. You could try estimating this population or ask if you can use an average of population per country based on 8 billion divided by 180 countries. I'd personally like to see the former. A great way to approach this would be AUS + NZ + Indonesia + Brazil is almost USA + Mexico + Canada, so ~500 million. So now you have estimated the 'Elephants' of the Southern Hemisphere.

5) Ask what data points can be used now for remainder of South America and for the bottom half of Africa. You can say based on your understanding of the geography the land size and density is similar to it should be at least another 500 million, to a total of 1 billion.

6) 1 billion / 8 billion = ~12%. So 88% lives in Northern Hemisphere.

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