Any of you who have watched my videos about driving down the M1, firstly between Brisbane and Sydney and then from Sydney to Melbourne will already know how quiet these roads are. Why were they so quiet?
I’ll take a guess. The population of Australia is about 20,600,856. The UK would fit into Australia approximately 31 and a half times. About three times as many people live in the UK than live in Australia.
So it really isn’t surprising that the Australian M1 is a great deal quieter and a few million times more enjoyable to drive on than the M1 in the UK.
When I still lived in the UK, there was an article in one of the papers, I think it was the Daily Mail, about populations and density. It was after we had decided to emigrate to Australia but long before we had been granted our permanent residency visas. The picture that went with the article pretty much explains the entire content and I tore it out and pinned it on my wall.
As you can see, according to the article, there are just over 1000 people per square mile in the UK, making it the 5th most densely populated country. But in Australia that figure drops down to seven per square mile. Do you think that would explain why the Australian M1 is quieter than the UK M1?
Mind you, if you think the UK is packed you will want to stay clear of (I can’t believe it’s a real country) Monaco. It would have over 43,000 people per square mile except the country itself is smaller than a square mile. So let’s ignore it.
That would make Singapore, according to my research, the most densely populated country in the world with about 17,000 people per square mile. To live somewhere less densely populated than Australia you would have to move to either Namibia, French Guiana, Mongolia, Western Sahara, the Falkland Islands or Greenland.
It’s not as bad in Britain as The Mail suggests. The UK, according to all the sources I checked, stands at around the 50th (not 5th) most densely populated country out of a list of 238 countries. These sources also suggests that the figure is 636 people per square mile and not the 1005 quoted by The Daily Mail.
Has The Mail got it wrong, or is it the fault of the CIA World Factbook?
I turned to the Highly Authoritative Times Concise Atlas of the World 10th Edition to check out the size of the UK.
Area Sq Miles: 94,058. (This figure is also agreed by the CIA World Factbook.)
Then I checked out the current population of the UK according to the CIA World Factbook as at July 2009.
Therefore, simple algebra and a calculator tell me there are 648 people per square mile. To have 1005 people per square mile, as The Mail suggests, the population would need to be over 94million.
Somebody has made a mistake.
But whatever the case, none of this matters to me. Whichever source you check, I still live in a country that has only seven people per square mile and I love it.