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Well, honesty forces me to point out that, officially, France has 5 million more people.

Now, I realise that if you were to count the actual number of people in the country, things may be different. And anyway, a lot of the UK economy is boosted from the simple fact that they are native English speakers, and that British law is used a lot internationally, rather than from the excellence of their system.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 07:47:49 AM EST
UK census: In mid-2006 the resident population of the UK was 60,587,000 (...) The UK has a growing population. It grew by 349,000 people in the year to mid-2006 (0.6 per cent). The UK population has increased by 8 per cent since 1971, from 55,928,000.

French Census: Au 1er janvier 2007 (...) la population de la France est estimée à 63,392 millions de personnes dont 61,538 millions en France métropolitaine.

So less than 1m difference, and possibly less if you take into account all the UK expats throughout the commonwealth, who are often in and out of the country.

For practical purposes, the populations are similar enough for overall economy comparisons to make sense. In any case, it is the relative trends that matter (and these cannot yet be ascribed to the effects of one country being run by a "dynamic" president and the other by a "crypto-socialist" PM...)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 08:12:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, I trusted Wikipedia which seemed to overstate the difference.
And I didn't disagree with your assessment. I just meant that population size should not be ignored. And however much I'd like a conclusion to be made, I don't want to sacrifice analytical neutrality in the process.

On the official figures, it's still more than 1M difference by the way, the French economy is not the mainland France economy. But again, I suspect (and gather from articles) that there are many more illegals in the UK than in France.

Officially, per capita GDP is still higher in the UK. I don't think it will still be the case in 12 months time though. This despite having fewer holidays. So, yes, the figures do go against the dogma, and I won't complain. But I always though that they were not particularly useful when using exchange rates in any case. Fluctuations are much too high for the comparison to be significant between two countries that are of similar weight. Let's see in PPP. Looking at the London housing prices, it may not be pretty.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 08:35:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the official figures, it's still more than 1M difference by the way, the French economy is not the mainland France economy.

You have a point, however, look at the regional data at INSEE:

  1. the €1,792 billion final total quoted by FT seems to cover DOM-TOM incompletely,
  2. using €1.32 = £1 (the current price is even below that), Metropolitan France's €1,762 billion total for 2006 equals £1,335 billion, still well ahead of the UK's £1,304 billion.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 12:43:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On Britain's "actual" population, see Helen's London - Dying like a Dinosaur
Officially, the population of Britain is about 65 million, with estimates of increase suggesting that it might rise to 70 or maybe 75 million by 2030, or 2050 or some other fantasy time in the future we don't have to plan for.

However, even that may not be the end of the story, the Independent claims that the present real population may be much higher.

It is the statistic that dare not speak its name, though eventually it must. ......So don't forget you read it here first: the population of the UK is presently somewhere between 77 and 80 million.

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 onelunch and one dinner. I have a second, respectable, source. A major, non-commercial agricultural institution reckons there are 77 million of us in the UK. Again, its reckoning is based on what we eat.

However, whether the population is 65 million or 80 million, the reason why most commentators complain is that at least a third of that population, and probably the majority of that phantom population, are crammed into the south east. As that is where the commentators are also based, their impression is of a country desperately over-crowded.



We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2008 at 01:36:34 PM EST
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