NOTE: This page (1) is the regular monthly instalment of The Shift. Jump to page 2 to see the special section, 2020 in-review.
In a span of 9 years between 2011 and 2019, 7 of those years saw gains from November to December, riding the expected festive surge of interest in online nation simulation browser games, of course.
The two exceptions were 2013 (-1.6%) and 2019 (-1.8%). Presumably out of pure spite for us, the devil of a year that is 2020 has delivered a -2.0% change in the total World Assembly population.
Factoring in expected variation, the real change sits at a disappointing -3.6%. Leading the charge into negative territory is the feeders, which recorded a -4.1% shift, while User Created Regions (UCRs) and sinkers performed marginally better at -1.4% and -1.0% respectively.
No regions had staggeringly good or bad months, though Conch Kingdom outperformed the next region by more than 6 percentage points with a 9.4% expansion in its World Assembly population.
Seven regions recorded decreases between -7.1% and -8.8%, with The Union of Democratic States, The Free Nations Region, and The Internationale rounding out the worst performances.
Especially notable is the substantial inconsistency among the sinkers, with The Rejected Realms (+3.3%) and Lazarus (+3.1%) having the second and third best results of any region respectively, while Osiris (-3.3%) sat slightly under average and Lazarus (-7.1%) visibly contracted.
Unlike this month, January had a negative trend throughout the 2010s, with only 2018 and 2013 seeing the year kick-off to growth in the total World Assembly population. Given the consistently underwhelming numbers of the second half of 2020, it certainly would not be surprising to see this seven months of consecutive real falls grow even more.