12 September 2016

Why does England have so many more people than Scotland and Wales?

It’s mostly a matter of physical geography. Take a look at this satellite image of the British Isles, without any borders.

Right away you can see where the hilly and mountainous terrain is – mostly in Great Britain’s north and west. Mountainous terrain gives you benefits as well as drawbacks:

The rugged land is more difficult to occupy and invade, meaning that their distinctive cultures survived longer as independent nations, in the face of Saxon and Norman expansion. By the time the Kingdom of Great Britain came about in 1706, Wales and Scotland were the last bits of Great Britain that hadn’t been fully Anglicized.

However, that same rugged land is less productive. Transportation is more difficult, climate is harsher and soil is less fertile. This means that the lowlands of England win out when it comes to supporting a large population.

— Answer via Quora.

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3 Comments on "Why does England have so many more people than Scotland and Wales?"

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The real question from this image is “Why does England have so many more people for its size than Ireland?” (424.3/km2 vs 77.8 /km2). This is not a function of rugged land.


The population density of England is 424 people per square kilometer. Going back to the recent seven years of England’s population, the growth rate is moderate yet steady, running from 0.2% to 0.50%. Contrasting with the population growth rate of UK, the population growth rate is underneath the UK growth rate.