Interrogating population density

April 16th, 2006 | by aobaoill |

Sascha notes that internet penetration does not correlate closely with population density, and asks what it does correlate with in this context.
Dredging up memories of my previous career, my sense is that population density has some impact, but so too does the variance in density. That is, two of the examples given by Sascha as having higher penetration rates than the US, despite lower population densities, are Iceland and Canada. Both of these countries are known for having populations concentrated in a small number of urban centers. So, despite having low overall density, most of their population is actually situated in a small area. In contrast, the US has several large conurbations, but large segments of the population are spread among smaller towns and suburban areas.
I seem to remember managing to drag up some data on this in the past, but I don’t have anything to hand at the moment. I’d suggest that some readily available online sources probably have some figures on patterns of population density that could help inform such an analysis. Suggestions (or actual analysis) are welcome.

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