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Is the number of cases due to population density aswell?

(42 Posts)
Teacher12345 Thu 30-Apr-20 18:23:41

I have been listening to the news and we are on track to be the worst hit country in the EU. This is partly due to a slow response by our government, but surely alot to do with our population density too which seems to be overlooked alot of the time?

I googled France, Spain and UK and France has the largest landsize, with over 65 million in population. Spain has the next biggest land size with 46 million in population and UK has the smallest land mass but the biggest population at over 66 million! So surely we were always going to be at a disadvantage?
I am not denying that after looking at spain and Italy, we should have locked down a week or two soonerand prepared better (althought they were right when they said if they did it too soon, people would give up and start ignoring rules when it mattered most) but why is this never mentioned? Does it not matter that we have half the last mass than other countries and the same population squished in living so close to each other?

OP’s posts: |
aerosocks Thu 30-Apr-20 18:26:35

You've got a point there.

H1978 Thu 30-Apr-20 18:27:19

It’s a very valid point 👍🏼

frasersmummy Thu 30-Apr-20 18:31:05

Well of course it is.. The breakdiwn across the UK alone proves that..

Big cities.. Big numbers.. Glasgow has the highest numbers in Scotland.. Orkney the lowest

London has huge numbers Cornwall not so much

BahHumbygge Thu 30-Apr-20 18:37:13

To an extent yes. But don’t forget the majority of people in many countries are clustered in towns and cities. So take Sweden for example... most of the landmass is forest wilderness. So the crude mathematical population vs landmass is somewhat irrelevant as it doesn’t take into account the clustering distribution of the population, and the degree to which land has human use and activity on it. Distribution of human settlements and humans within them is an important factor.

B1rdbra1n Thu 30-Apr-20 18:40:30

of course it's a factor in disease transmission

Waterdropwort Thu 30-Apr-20 18:40:51

Yes, spread depends on two things,
1 how dense the population is
2 how dense the population is

2outof3Mightbebad Thu 30-Apr-20 18:49:46

It's not that clear cut though it will have an impact.

There are some large cities e.g Bristol that are relatively unaffected.

2outof3Mightbebad Thu 30-Apr-20 18:51:21

Oh, and London is a city...Cornwall isn't.

Focalpoint Thu 30-Apr-20 18:55:43

My view is that the exponential growth in virus transmission in the months / weeks before the lockdown is by far the biggest factor and that all these other factors that people post about are second order in comparison.

ElizaCrouch Thu 30-Apr-20 18:57:50

Population density does have an impact. The UK is a small country with a lot of people packed into it.

Mrsmorton Thu 30-Apr-20 18:59:18

This is why the US has the stats it does. NYC absolute disaster. Overall numbers, quite favourable. It's not comparing like with like.

Timeslikethese2020 Thu 30-Apr-20 19:01:26

I’ve thought this all along but I’ve never seen it flagged up as an issue or explanation.

woodlandwalker Thu 30-Apr-20 19:06:24

It seems obvious that population density means more cases of Covid but there are some anomalies. I live in an outer London suburb with a lower population density than most city areas and it is also quite affluent but we have a high rate here.

Teacher12345 Thu 30-Apr-20 19:07:16

So if we all agree it is an issue, why is it never discussed?
Are we happy to look like the fools we are or should we at least try to defend ourselves when the data comes out?

OP’s posts: |
P1nkHeartLovesCake Thu 30-Apr-20 19:09:34

Yes I think it definitely plays a part.

The smaller the area the harder it is to social distance etc even with simple exercise.

Deaths were always going to be higher in more populated areas of the world

Like anything the spreading of this virus has a lot of factors

WinterIsGone Thu 30-Apr-20 19:11:35

I feel a lot of it is using crowded public transport. People working in London often have long commutes. One of the first people in our village to come down with it works in London. He gave it to his family.

Focalpoint Thu 30-Apr-20 19:11:42

They talk about the R-0 measure - the number is people that an infected person passes it on to. I haven't seen anything either that says this was higher in more densely populated countries that other. To actually measure it, they'd have had to be doing testing and contact tracing - which hasn't been done if testing is only in hospital and healthcare workers.

On one level, it makes sense that population density would impact but if you think about it, does an average person in London come into close contact with more people on a day to day basis that the average person in Belfast. Apart from being on a packed tube train I wouldn't necessarily think so. It's family and workmates mainly.

If you look at those charts of exponential growth, then the biggest factor has to be how high up the curve a country or region was before the lock down.

runrunrunrunt Thu 30-Apr-20 19:14:42

*So if we all agree it is an issue, why is it never discussed?
Are we happy to look like the fools we are or should we at least try to defend ourselves when the data comes out?*

Defend ourselves against who? It's hardly a face saving exercise. We were fools. It's been handled exceptionally badly.

Derbygerbil Thu 30-Apr-20 19:20:40

The key factor is the extent to which people come
into contact with either other. Density of population facilitates this.

Alex50 Thu 30-Apr-20 19:22:23

I live in a city in the UK which is very spread out. You can go for a walk and keep metres away from people as we have so much space. It must be very difficult in London just going for a walk and keeping your distance. A lot of people live in house shares and flats, in highly populated cities, it must be so hard to self distance. Every time you touch anything in a communal area, you are more likely to catch something. I’m so glad I live where I live with lots of space around me.

planningaheadtoday Thu 30-Apr-20 19:25:50

@Waterdropwort grin

raviolidreaming Thu 30-Apr-20 19:33:18

So if we all agree it is an issue, why is it never discussed?

It is being discussed. We're just not privy to everything that is being discussed.

SabrinaTheTeenageBitch Thu 30-Apr-20 19:36:12

@waterdrop - haha exactly that.

Im in Sunderland, the number of cases we have is shocking and I can guarantee its density as in stupid enough to not follow the rules thats causing issues up here

SquishySquirmy Thu 30-Apr-20 19:40:46

Yes population density has an effect.
But it is not as some as dividing the population of Spain into the area of Spain - it depends how people are spread within the country itself.
Eg a country could have a very large amount of sparsely populated areas, but most of the population concentrated in densely populated cities. Parts of Barcelona are incredibly densely populated but much of Spain is empty.

France, Spain and the UK all have densely populated cities.

Other European countries are more densely populated than the UK (but again, it is not as simple as total population/total area).

And UK population density is of course lower than population density for just England.

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