Top 60 Chinese Cities
Cities are one of the many phenomena that follow a long-tailed distribution. In simple terms there are a few big cities and lots of small ones. The classic way of showing a long tailed distribution (and the method from which the name is taken) is to produce as plot such as that below:
One method I have used in the past to demonstrate data with a long tailed distribution is the excellent Wordle tool. I have created a Wordle (below) for the same data (downloaded from Chinfographics). Whilst it does not compete with the Chinfographics infographic in terms of quality, I still think Wordles provide a very simple, and effective, method of displaying data with a “long tail”.