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1 August, 2004

Love town

According to statistics reported by the BBC, I work in "the best place to look for love in England and Wales".  Analysis of the 2001 Census shows that 93% of adults in the 'Lancaster University' electoral ward are single.
It's a University.  All first-year and some third-year students live on campus, the staff don't.  Not so startling a statistic, then.

A related article, quoted in a 'Ten Things' round-up of the weeks news, states that:

According to the last census, anywhere with 1,500 residents or more, and bigger than 20 hectares, is an urban settlement.

As a letter to the BBC website observed, that phrasing means 'Wales' qualifies as 'urban'. Even rewording it to specify 'individual settlements' rather than 'anywhere', that's a strange definition. I grew up in a village with a population of around 2,000, and certainly wouldn't call that urban.

This may explain, and partially discredit, an earlier BBC report about the Census, which stated that:

According to the 2001 census, nine out of 10 people in England and Wales are living in urbanised areas.

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