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163852.  Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:13 am Reply with quote

Why has North America always been empty? Of humans, I mean; it looks like the one continent more than any other that has an abundance of available resources for human civilization, and yet it has always (as far as we know) had a very small population. (The contemporary figure unreliably lurking at the back of my mind is that the USA, for instance, has 30x the UKís population in an area 300x the size.)

Why havenít humans (yet) bred, or immigrated, to fill the available space? Is a lot of it uninhabitable?

163858.  Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:41 am Reply with quote

Would you want to live in flyover country?

163861.  Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:50 am Reply with quote

Five times the population in forty times the area, in fact. (Three hundred million people as against sixty million; ten million square kilometers as against 250,000.)

For sure there are parts of the USA which are scarcely habitable - deserts, forests and so on - but one need only look at the amount of farmland to realise that there are huge swathes which absolutely are habitable, but no one lives there.

Canada is about 4% larger than the USA in area and has just over half the UK's population - so little more than a tenth of the USA's. That said, large parts of Canada are practically uninhabitable, and the oft quoted fact that over three quarters live within 100 miles of the US border is actually true. Of the major cities, only Edmonton AB and St John's NF are further.

163879.  Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:38 pm Reply with quote

Thanks, suze. So, the puzzle is the USA, rather than North America. Any idea of the reason?


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