It is the statistic that dare not speak its name, though eventually it must. It has huge ramifications for the civil and political life of this country, the health of the equity markets and, most immediately, the residential property market. So don't forget you read it here first: the population of the UK is presently somewhere between 77 and 80 million.Europe's population is changing and growing, and its economy, far from contracting, is booming.
The 2001 census, already hopelessly out of date and easy to avoid for those who find filling in forms a trifle inelegant, numbered us at a little under 59 million. But as statistics go, that one's most definitely a damned lie.
My sources for the above statement are good, but scared of admitting the truth for fear of incurring the wrath of Whitehall. It's like the best way of monitoring illegal drug consumption: forget the pious statements from ministers – the foolproof method is to sample our water and the effluent in it. That's easily the best way of monitoring what the nation has been consuming.
Consumption – that's the thing. Based on what we eat, one big supermarket chain reckons there are 80 million people living in the UK. The demand for food is a reliable indicator; as Sir Richard Branson says, you can have all the money in the world but you can only eat one lunch and one dinner.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
A Statistic that Dare Not to Speak Its Name
The Independent reveals something I have been suspecting a long time. Last time I was in England I was surprised by its human masses. It certainly did not look like the aging, decaying, depopulating country the statistics were showing us. What is "really" going on?