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March 17, 2016updated 16 Jul 2021 11:27am

This dot map shows that there are really very few people living in Scotland

By Barbara Speed

Scotland is a great and wonderful, if not (yet) independent, nation. But today we were reminded of quite how sparsely populated it is. 

This “dot map” has, as you might be able to guess, plotted every single person in Scotland as a dot on a map using Ordnance Survey and National Records of Scotland data.

The zoomed out effect is basically “wow, look how empty Scotland is” (for reference, a dot map of London would basically look like a black blob):

On a micro scale, it lets you view the distribution of people on individual streets, like in this bit of Edinburgh:

Or this bit of the Highlands:

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According to the 2011 census, Scotland’s population is around 5.3m, of which around 1.1m live in either Edinburgh or Glasgow. If you include their whole metropolitan areas, it’s probably closer to 2m.

Greater London’s population is about 8.7m now. Where’s our Independent London referendum, eh?


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