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How much of the UK is densely built on?

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Baryonyx
1269324.  Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:23 am Reply with quote

Have a guess at a percentage before you look.

Looks like the Great British public have strong misconceptions about their green and pleasant land.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42554635

 
crissdee
1269327.  Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:50 am Reply with quote

Well I was kind of right. I guessed under 25%. Makes me wonder what the figure is for Oz, given that my perception is about 1% for them.

 
GuyBarry
1269334.  Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:18 am Reply with quote

I really do wonder about these surveys sometimes. If 47% of the land area of the UK were densely built on, we wouldn't have enough agricultural land to feed the population.

I overestimated the true figure as well, but a glance at a map shows you that the vast majority of the land area is rural.

 
suze
1269340.  Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:23 pm Reply with quote

You mean all those people who told me that Britain was "full", and who said that we could not accept one more new citizen without "concreting over the countryside", were not telling the truth?

This is odd, because I got shouted down elsewhere when I suggested that their campaign was built largely on lies.

 
Leith
1269367.  Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:05 pm Reply with quote

Curious.
My first thought was that something must be wrong with the survey method, but I can't see anything obviously wrong with the question or figures:
IPSOS Mori survey data

GuyBarry wrote:
I really do wonder about these surveys sometimes. If 47% of the land area of the UK were densely built on, we wouldn't have enough agricultural land to feed the population.

Well we do import around 50% of our food (Government stats), though that's not to say we couldn't still be self-sufficient at a push if necessary.

Even so, you do indeed have to wonder whether a significant proportion of the survey correspondants have ever looked at a map.

As for Britain being "full" - well we are some way short of running out of space to build on for the moment, but equally "x% of the country has not been built on" is not the same as "x% of the country is available to build on":
https://fullfact.org/economy/has-92-country-not-been-built/

For what it's worth (maybe not much), I note that the IPSOS survey results show the Brexit-voting baby-boomer demographic being around twice as likely as any other age group to guess a percentage in the correct ball park.

 
GuyBarry
1269381.  Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:53 am Reply with quote

Leith wrote:

GuyBarry wrote:
I really do wonder about these surveys sometimes. If 47% of the land area of the UK were densely built on, we wouldn't have enough agricultural land to feed the population.

Well we do import around 50% of our food (Government stats), though that's not to say we couldn't still be self-sufficient at a push if necessary.


Except that if 47% of the land were built on, the population would be about eight times what it is at the moment!

Quote:
Even so, you do indeed have to wonder whether a significant proportion of the survey correspondants have ever looked at a map.


Or travelled from one town to the next. Haven't they noticed that it's almost entirely green space in between?

The best explanation I can come up with is that respondents were thinking about the proportion of the population who live in built-up areas.

 
Jenny
1269480.  Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:59 pm Reply with quote

When I asked Woodsman what he thought, he guessed 6%. I am well impressed because apparently if you use 'built on' rather than 'densely built on' as your parameter, it's 5.9%.

 

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