Public hugely overestimate how much land in the UK is densely built up

New Ipsos MORI research shows the public are very wrong about the ‘UK Statistic of the Year’.

Public hugely overestimate how much land in the UK is densely built up

The author(s)

  • Bobby Duffy Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • James Stannard Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
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In December 2017 the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) released their ‘UK Statistic of the Year’. The statistic was 0.1%, the proportion of land area in the UK which is densely built up.

Following on from this, Ipsos MORI asked the British public what percentage of land in the UK they think is densely built up. The findings show the public hugely overestimate the figure with a mean guess of 47%.

Bobby Duffy, Managing Director of Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute, London, said:

People are way out in their estimate of how much of the country is densely built up, thinking around half the country is when actually on 0.1% is.  This will partly reflect the way we live – the majority of people live and spend their time in built-up areas and this will make up most of their mental image of the country.

Technical Note

Ipsos interviewed 1,125 adults aged 16-75 in the UK using the Ipsos Online panel system. Interviews were conducted online between 19-22 December 2017.

Data have been weighted by age, gender, region, working status, social grade and highest education level to the known offline population profile.

The author(s)

  • Bobby Duffy Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • James Stannard Ipsos Public Affairs, UK

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