Are we really full-up?

The United Kingdom is the 53rd most densely populated country or dependency in the world. Since this list has 241 entries we can safely say that the UK is in the top quarter of the most densely populated places.

However, a look at who is first (Macao) and last (Greenland) will show that our position when ignoring what are city or small island states gives a different position, and is a fairer comparison.

The following list (at the foot of this post) only includes those countries or dependencies with an area in excess of a thousand square miles.

England is the most densely populated of the four parts of the UK, and is eighth in the list of the larger places, beaten in Europe only by the Netherlands.

However desirable (or not) it would be to have more people living in the UK, the argument that we are full up is demonstrably untrue – unless you can win the argument that other place are more than full-up.

The world’s population is growing, partly a feature of birth rate and partly a feature of better healthcare. Predictions are that later in this century the growth will peak. To stop growth in the UK now would either require large-scale repatriation, or a cull.

In the meantime, the best form of birth control appears to be money – declining birth rates are a feature of wealthy nations.

Country/region Population Area
(mi2)
Density
(/mi2)
 Bangladesh 142,319,000 56,980 2,497
Taiwan 23,069,345 13,890 1,655
Palestinian territories 4,100,000 2,320 1,764
South Korea 48,456,369 38,432 1,261
Puerto Rico 3,982,000 3,427 1,163
Lebanon 4,224,000 4,036 1,046
Netherlands 17,000,000 16,033 1,059
England 53,012,456 50,346 1,054
Rwanda 9,998,000 10,169 984
Israel 7,697,600 8,020 961
India 1,277,401,883 1,269,210 953
Haiti 10,033,000 10,710 938
Belgium 10,827,519 11,787 919
Japan 127,387,000 145,898 873
Sri Lanka 20,238,000 25,330 798
Philippines 92,226,600 115,860 795
Burundi 8,303,000 10,747 772
El Salvador 6,163,000 8,124 759
Trinidad and Tobago 1,339,000 1,980 676
Vietnam 85,789,573 128,066 671
United Kingdom 62,041,708 94,060 660
Jamaica 2,719,000 4,244 640
Germany 81,757,600 137,847 593
Pakistan 188,390,000 310,400 606
Dominican Republic 10,090,000 18,792 536
Kuwait 3,566,437 6,880 518
Italy 60,200,060 116,340 518
North Korea 24,051,706 46,540 518
Nepal 29,331,000 56,827 515
Switzerland 7,761,800 15,943 487
Nigeria 154,729,000 356,669 433
The Gambia 1,705,000 4,361 391
Wales 3,063,456 8,022 381
China 1,369,150,000 3,722,342 368
Uganda 32,710,000 93,065 352
Transnistria 555,347 1,607 344
Czech Republic 10,532,770 30,450 347
Northern Ireland 1,810,863 5,345 339
Guatemala 14,027,000 42,042 334
Malawi 15,263,000 45,747 334
Qatar 1,409,000 4,200 332
 Denmark 5,532,531 16,639 332
Cape Verde 506,807 1,557 326
Thailand 64,232,760 198,115 324
Poland 38,163,895 120,728 316
Indonesia 237,556,363 735,358 313
Moldova 3,567,500 13,067 272
Syria 21,906,000 71,500 306
 Togo 6,619,000 21,925 303
 Portugal 10,636,888 35,672 298
 France 62,793,432 212,900 295
 Slovakia 5,424,057 18,932 287
 Albania 3,195,000 11,100 287
 Armenia 3,230,100 11,500 280
 Hungary 10,013,628 35,920 280
 Azerbaijan 9,165,000 33,400 275
 Slovenia 2,139,920 7,821 275
 Cuba 11,241,894 42,426.45 264
 Serbia 7,800,000 29,913 262
 Ghana 23,837,000 92,098 259
 Austria 8,372,930 32,378 259
 United Arab Emirates 8,264,070 32,300 256
 Turkey 77,804,122 302,535 241
 Spain 46,087,170 195,380 236
 Romania 21,466,174 92,043 233
 Costa Rica 4,579,000 19,700 233
 Cyprus 801,851 3,572 225
 Malaysia 28,306,700 127,355 223
 Northern Cyprus 287,856 1,295 223
 Greece 11,306,183 50,949 223
 Republic of Macedonia 2,114,550 9,928 212
 Cambodia 14,805,000 69,898 212
 Sierra Leone 5,696,000 27,700 205
 Benin 8,935,000 43,484 205
 Croatia 4,443,000 21,829 205
 Ukraine 46,936,000 233,100 202
 Egypt 85,495,585 386,662 220
 East Timor 1,134,000 5,743 197
 Burma 50,020,000 261,228 192
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 3,843,126 19,741 194
 Ethiopia 79,221,000 426,400 186
 Morocco 33,388,613 172,410 194
 Jordan 6,316,000 34,495 184
 Iraq 30,747,000 169,235 181
 Brunei 400,000 2,226 179
 Kenya 39,802,000 224,081 179
 Swaziland 1,185,000 6,704 176
 Lesotho 2,067,000 11,720 176
Scotland 5,327,700 30,414 174
 Bulgaria 7,351,234 42,823 171
 Honduras 7,466,000 43,433 171
 Côte d’Ivoire 21,075,000 124,504 168
 Ireland 4,581,269 27,133 168
 Samoa 184,984 1,093 168
 French Polynesia 256,603 1,500 166
 Georgia 4,465,000 26,900 166
 Senegal 12,534,000 75,955 166
 Tunisia 10,327,800 63,170 163
 Uzbekistan 27,488,000 172,700 158
 Burkina Faso 15,757,000 106,000 150
 Mexico 107,550,697 756,066 148
 Ecuador 15,414,710 109,484 140
 Tajikistan 6,952,000 55,300 127
 Belarus 9,755,106 80,200 122
 Lithuania 3,053,800 25,200 122
 Fiji 849,000 7,056 119
 Tanzania 43,739,000 364,900 119
 Bhutan 2,162,546 18,000 119
 Afghanistan 29,863,010 251,770 119
 Panama 3,454,000 29,157 119
 Iran 74,196,000 636,372 117
 Montenegro 630,548 5,415 117
 Yemen 23,580,000 203,850 117
 Guinea-Bissau 1,611,000 13,948 117
 Nicaragua 5,743,000 50,000 114
 Eritrea 5,073,000 45,400 111
 South Africa 50,586,757 471,445 106
 Cameroon 19,522,000 183,569 106
 Guinea 10,069,000 94,926 106
 Colombia 47,890,568 439,737 109
 Djibouti 864,000 9,000 96
 Madagascar 20,653,556 226,658 91
 Latvia 2,248,961 24,900 91
 Zimbabwe 13,009,530 150,872 85
 United States 318,980,000 3,794,100 83
 Liberia 3,476,608 43,000 80
 Venezuela 30,881,831 353,841 88
 Estonia 1,315,819 17,400 75
 Democratic Republic of the Congo 68,692,542 905,355 75
 Mozambique 22,894,000 309,500 75
 Abkhazia 200,000 2,756 73
 Kyrgyzstan 5,482,000 77,200 70
 Laos 6,320,000 91,400 70
 Somaliland 3,500,000 53,100 65
 The Bahamas 342,000 5,358 65
 Equatorial Guinea 676,000 10,831 62
 Peru 29,461,933 496,225 60
 Brazil 201,239,065 3,287,612 62
 Chile 17,849,658 291,930 62
 Sweden 9,366,092 173,732 54
 Uruguay 3,463,197 67,574 52
 Vanuatu 240,000 4,706 52
 Solomon Islands 523,000 11,157 47
 South Ossetia 70,000 1,500 47
 Sudan 31,894,000 728,215 44
 Zambia 12,935,000 290,587 44
 New Zealand 4,315,800 104,454 41
 Finland 5,469,189 130,559 41
 Paraguay 6,349,000 157,048 41
 Angola 18,498,000 481,400 39
 Algeria 34,895,000 919,595 39
 Papua New Guinea 6,732,000 178,700 39
 Argentina 40,091,359 1,073,500 36
 Somalia 9,133,000 246,201 36
 Belize 322,100 8,900 36
 New Caledonia 244,410 7,172 34
 Norway 5,119,890 148,709 34
 South Sudan 8,260,490 239,285 34
 Niger 15,290,000 489,000 31
 Saudi Arabia 28,146,658 830,000 31
 Mali 14,517,176 478,841 31
 Republic of the Congo 3,998,904 132,000 31
 Turkmenistan 5,110,000 188,500 26
 Oman 2,845,000 119,500 24
 Bolivia 9,879,000 424,164 23
 Chad 11,274,106 496,000 23
 Russia 142,905,208 6,601,668 21
 Central African Republic 4,422,000 240,535 18
 Kazakhstan 17,010,000 1,052,100 16
 Gabon 1,475,000 103,347 14
 Libya 6,420,000 679,360 9.3
 Guyana 762,000 83,000 9.1
 Canada 33,740,000 3,855,100 8.8
 Botswana 1,950,000 224,610 8.8
 Mauritania 3,291,000 395,960 8.3
 Suriname 520,000 63,250 8.3
 Iceland 318,452 40,000 8.0
 Australia 24,373,336 2,966,200 8.3
 Namibia 2,171,000 318,261 6.7
 French Guiana 187,056 35,000 5.4
Western Sahara 513,000 103,000 4.9
 Mongolia 2,671,000 603,909 4.4
Greenland 57,000 840,000 0.067

 

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2 Responses to Are we really full-up?

  1. Pingback: Is the country full? | Outside the marginals

  2. However desirable (or not) it would be to have more people living in the UK, the argument that we are full up is demonstrably untrue – unless you can win the argument that other place are more than full-up.

    Agreed, but, being “full up” is no longer merely an issue of “number of people”. Pre-globalisation it may have been something to do with the balance of population and the resources (food, water, fuel) necessary to sustain that population.

    It is no longer shortages of the traditional resources (food, water, fuel) that are the causes of the “full up” claims. It is the availability of quality employment and essential services (education, health, housing) that are the most quoted problems. This is not purely a function of the number of people in a region but of the willingness of government to do anything about the situation.

    Government needs to do two things:

    1) To seriously address the high level issues that maintain regional economic and power inequalities – particularly in the availability of high quality secure work.
    2) Be willing to provide public services to match the population and to promote a housing policy that means that the availability of reasonable quality affordable housing to let and buy matches the population.

    But if you have a laissez-faire government that believes in minimum intervention and a small state with “the market providing”, you will get imbalances and a failure to ensure employment and services. But that is not because the country is “full up” it’s because the country (i.e. us) won’t or can’t do anything about inequalities in the provision of employment and services.

    Perhaps we should.

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