2021 has broken the curse of real falls in the World Assembly population, despite a nominal fall of -3.6%. When adjusting for expected trends, however, January has performed 2.4% better than average.
The change has been felt relatively evenly across different region types. Feeders fared best, with a -3.0% in their collective World Assembly population. They were closely matched by User Created Regions (UCRs) on -3.6%, while sinkers marginally trailed on -5.8%.
Among individual regions, only four regions recorded positive swings. Forest led the pack with 5.3% growth, followed by The North Pacific – the only feeder that expanded – with a margin of 2.5%. Several smaller UCRs rounded out the bottom of the ladder, with The Land of Kings and Emperors, Enadia, and The Glorious Nations of Iwaku each reducing by more than 14%.
The South Pacific has once again jumped ahead of The East Pacific to become the second-largest region in the game. Second place is likely to become quite the statistical rivalry, as The North Pacific continues to be well beyond reach.
Another curious milestone is that no sinker is in the top eight largest regions for the first time in the history of The Shift; the five feeders, 10000 Islands, Europe, and The Communist Bloc have pushed them out. Though sinkers now make up 7.0% of the total World Assembly population, which is higher than the low of 6.2% they reached in May last year during the Drewpocalypse as nations flocked to feeders, that value does appear to be below their recent stable trend.
Perhaps this is a good sign for the year ahead, but 2020 cautioned us against being preemptive about just about anything. Positive growth will certainly be needed to recover from the second half of last year and ensure a sustained surge during the typical activity peak in just a few months’ time.