"You have presented a decent counter argument, except one might say that a large part of Africa is inhospitable desert,.."
The population of the Sahara might be inclined to disagree with you on the desert's inhospitability, as they are also included in the bean counters' statistical calculation of Africa's population.
Unlike the inhabitants of the Mojave, those outside Las Vegas, who have probably "fallen" off the statistical scale whether by accident or design. China also has a large desert area.
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