Britain is full

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Front page of the self-proclaimed "World's Greatest Newspaper," 23rd September 2009. If Posh gets any thinner we might have room for one more.
Ravishing guide to
U.K. Politics
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God Save the King?

"Britain is full!" is the cry of the media of Great Britain. It is a phrase that calmly and eloquently explains why Britain can't possibly take on one more immigrant, otherwise the island will sink for some reason, or that we cannot build on the countryside because there is little left of it. Emotive terms have been formed and liberally used such as concreting over the countryside and urban sprawl. With only about 7.7% of the land settled, we can’t concrete over the countryside even if we wanted to. About two thirds of all new housing is built within existing urban areas with the remainder mainly built on the edge of urban areas. Very little is built on open countryside.

So, full of shit, more like.

The facts reveal that Britain is actually empty of people, with a surplus of land. Facts show us that we are living in crowded and dense cities, not a crowded and urbanised country. Cramming the population into a small percentage of the land ratchets up land prices by creating an artificial land shortage. The 1947 Town & Country planning act maintains this imbalance of land usage. There is clearly propaganda given out by the British media of immigration and running short of land.

Oh, it is, is it?[edit]

Britain's emptiness can be simply demonstrated by reference to the following handy statistics:[1]

  • Only 7.65% of the land mass of the United Kingdom is settled, including gardens and open green spaces.
  • The UK has 60 million acres of land in total.
  • 70% of the land is owned by 0.66% of the population.
  • Just 6,000 or so landowners - mostly aristocrats, but also large institutions and the Crown - own about 40 million acres, two-thirds of the UK.
  • A building plot, the land, now constitutes between half to two- thirds of the cost of a new house.
  • 60 million people live in 24 million dwellings.
  • These 24 million dwellings sit on approx 4.4 million acres (7.7% of the land).
  • Of the 24 million dwellings, 11% are owned by private landlords and 65% privately owned.
  • 19 million privately owned homes, including gardens, sit on 5.8% of the land.
  • Average dwelling contains 2.4 people.
  • 77% of the population of over 60 million live on only 5.8% of the land, about 3.5 million acres of a total of 60 million acres.
  • Agriculture only accounts for 3% of the economy.
  • The North West of England is densest with 9.9% settled.
  • The South East of England, only 7.1%, less than the national average.
  • The Home Counties are underpopulated.
  • Woodland cover is at its highest level since the 14th century and continues to increase.[2]


In 2006 there were 75,000 empty homes in London,[3] 11,000 in the Bristol area,[4] and 87,000 in Scotland.[5] In 2013 there were an estimated 845,000 empty homes throughout England.[6]

Population density[edit]

The UK is only ranked in the 50s worldwide; if you count states with at least 9 million people they miss the top 10[7] (beaten by both Belgium and the Netherlands). This poor showing is largely due to Scotland and Wales letting the side down. England particularly beats out Belgium although the Netherlands remains ahead.

But the schools and hospitals are full![edit]

Something that is often linked to this sentiment is the problem of demand outstripping supply for public services such as schools and hospitals, even though this is from cuts, failure to invest in new schools and hospitals, and insufficiently rapid responsiveness of central government funding levels to migration trends, and not to immigration. Indeed, the NHS would collapse overnight without the immigrants who form an essential part of its staff.

Immigrants are scary and dangerous[edit]

Please bear in mind that contrary to popular belief, not every single British person is xenophobic.

We're just doing what we've always done, which is to say that Britain is full, it's the most overcrowded country in Europe, it's time to shut the doors, to persuade and get to leave, all the illegals, the bogus asylum seekers - the foreign criminals. And for the people who are legally here, legitimately here, they would have all the rights that everyone else has in this British society.
—British racist patriot Nick Griffin, on his party's new manifesto[8]
Jill Matheson, the National Statistician, predicts that within less than 20 years, the population will rise from 61 million to 70 million. Nearly three quarters of that increase will be made up of immigrants. Already one in 10 of those living in Britain was born abroad. These are all whacking great numbers, which tell us that if one strips out the momentary effects of the downturn, immigration continues to outpace our capacity to cope.
—Benedict Brogan, The Telegraph[9]
While some reports said the French would use British taxpayers' cash to offer the migrants financial incentives to go home, most experts believe they will simply disperse to smaller makeshift camps around the Calais docks and continue their attempt to enter Britain illegally.
—"Keep out, Britain is full up", The Office for National Statistics Daily Express article[10]

Data on land usage[edit]

The British Isles as seen from space, with the lights being a pretty good indicator of population density.[note 1] As can be seen, there's still room.

The land cover of Great Britain is 23.5m hectares. Taken from the Office of National Statistics, in 2002, usage was as follows[11]:

  • Settled land - 1.8m hectares. 7.65% of the land mass.
  • Agricultural land - 10.8m hectares. 45.96% of the land mass.
  • Semi-natural land, with much uses as agricultural land - 7.0m hectares. 29.78% of the land mass.
  • Woodland - 2.8m hectares. 11.91% of the land mass
  • Water bodies - 0.3m hectares. 1.28% of the land mass.
  • Sundry, largely transport infrastructure - 0.8m hectares. 3.42% of the land mass.

Note 1: Many question the accuracy of the above figures as government departments present differing figures. Nevertheless the figures are a good guide.

Note 2: The settled land figure includes gardens and other green spaces, which are estimated at around 5%. When adjusted a figure of only 2.5% of built upon land emerges.


  1. If you're wondering why there are lights in the middle of the ocean, those are oil platforms.