It may come as a surprise to learn that every world map that you have seen does not represent countries in their correct proportional size to one another. The transference of the features of the earth's surface onto a flat surface has been subject to interpretation and choice since the earliest days of world mapping. The world was for much of the twentieth century portrayed in Europe by the Mercator projection – in order to represent the world flat the Mercator projection treated the world as a cylinder. This method hugely distorted the area of countries.
In the mid-seventies Arno Peters marketed his vision of the world: The Equal Area Projection that he put forward sacrified the qualities of Mercator’s projection in order to represent countries in their correct proportional size.
In order to do this the lines of latitude had to be narrowed as they approached the poles to compensate for the missing convergence of the lines of the longitude. This gave an overall view that is similar to that as if you were looking directly at the equator line of a globed world map.