How The UK Would Look Like Without Scotland

Tyler Durden's picture

One quick look at the map of the UK shows the biggest impact a loss of Scotland would have on the Divided Kingdom (f/k/a UK) of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, should the "Yes" vote in the Scottish referendum garner a majority in one week:

In case it's not obvious, the answer is territory. For better or worse Scotland is blessed with one of the lowest population densities in the developed world, with its 5.3 million citizens living spread across almost 79,000 square kilometers. This represents some 32% of the U.K.’s current land. As the WSJ compares, with about 165,000 square kilometers of land, the new U.K. would come close to the size of Tunisia—while currently it is bigger than Romania or Belarus.

But how else would a Scottish departure impact the UK? Here are the answers courtesy of the WSJ:

  • Fewer people, but not that many fewer. For starters, the new U.K. would lose 8.4% of its population, going from 64.1 million people to 58.7 million people. How would that affect its international standing? Well not much. The country would only go down two levels in the ranking of most populated countries in the world, to 24th from 22nd—just behind Italy, according to World Bank statistics.
  • More crowded. People would live, on average, closer together: The new U.K. would host 355 people per square kilometer, compared to the current 263—it would become the 29th most densely populated country in the world, up from the 44th.
  • Fewer mountains. And not as high. Just like popular culture would guess, a big chunk of all this Scottish land is made up of mountains. According to The Database of British and Irish Hills, an online project that classifies all mountains in Britain and Ireland, 63% of all mountains in the U.K. are in Scotland. As the Scots would also keep the tallest ones—the tallest non-Scottish mountain, Snowdon in Wales, ranks 109th—the new U.K. would lose in height: The average mountain would go from being 377 meters (1,237 ft) tall to 322 (1,057 ft).
  • More cars. Surprisingly, having more land to roam and steeper slopes to overcome doesn’t drive the Scots to buy more cars—the number of licensed vehicles person is smaller. Therefore, the new U.K. would have more automobiles per person.
  • Longer lives and fewer deaths. Life expectancy without the Scots would rise by a narrow 0.4 years for men and 0.3 years for women, but the mortality rate would be reduced by 1.7%. The reason is that Scotland has a very high mortality rate: 640 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 539 in the current U.K. as a whole.
  • Fewer Jacks and more Olivers. If baby first names in 2013 are to be any indication, the U.K. without Scotland will make the name “Jack” less popular: The name “Oliver,” which currently ranks second to it, would have been the most popular in 2013 had the Scots been taken out of the picture. Top female names would remain the same.
  • Good-bye Union Flag? The one “Jack” that could be affected the most is the flag of the U.K.—the Union Jack. Without Scotland, the blue saltire or St. Andrew’s Cross could be removed from the pattern, although authorities have stated that the flag should not be affected even if the Scots were to leave the Union.
  • No more curling medals. As Scotland has its own national team in most disciplines, the U.K. would not be severely affected. One notable exception is curling: A Scottish creation, this sport has so far given the U.K. 20 medals. Nineteen of them were awarded to Scottish athletes—including the Bronze medals won by the women curlers this year at Sochi.

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WayBehind's picture

Just as USSA & EU the UK is doomed

EscapeKey's picture

Well, I live in the South of England and can't wait for the improved weather as a result of Scotland's independence.

After all, the average temperature for England will increase as a result of this...

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Actually ancient cultural center of the Western World if you listen to my video you will witness. 

"Peace of the Monks and Druids, peace of the resting place of Kings".

All Scottish Kings were buried on Iona. Some of the earliest Celtic ruins are there as well as some of the earliest Christian symbols on the Isles.

CrazyCooter's picture

EscapeKey, that was priceless. It very succinctly highlights the absurdity of looking at events through the lens of averages.

Curiously, I haven't seen a good write up of the real financial impacts of this. Rates go up? Debt defaults? Euro-zone exodus? Need more red meat on this subject for the ZH dingo party ...

Lastly, what is missing is a topo map of Scotland which makes it look like Afghanistan. I have never been there, and perhaps I am wrong, but mountinous regions are very difficult to farm, transportation is much more complicated, etc. This explains the low population density. It might be outsized in natural resources though which could very well impact cash flows for the southern part of the UK.

Still spinning up on this subject ...



Skateboarder's picture

US standard for mountain is 1000ft. UK standard is ~2000ft. A 1000ft hill is hardly a mountain, lest it jut out like a butte.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Tyler, get your maps straight. It shows all of Ireland being part of the UK when only the 5 counties in the northern part are part of the UK. Rest is the Republic of Ireland.

Four chan's picture
How The UK Would Look Without Scotland

what The UK Would Look Like Without Scotland

Anglo Hondo's picture

No, you are wrong.  The whole of Ireland stretches down to the south of Wales.  ZH just shows the Northern Ireland counties.


Joe Trader's picture

If they had any sense in the UK - then they'd vote to get rid of the muzzlims

mjcOH1's picture

The UK will gain all sorts of diversity.  Scottish demographics:

96% white
2.7% asian (including sw asian, with pakistanis being the largest component)
0.1% carribean/black
0.6% african
0.4% arab/other

Headbanger's picture

Angus Podgorny for PM damn it!

Aye Curling!!   A drinking man's sport!

Not Too Important's picture

Scotland is where the Templars ran to. Hasn't worked out so well for humanity.

Bananamerican's picture

Yeah but it's where RBS has threatened to run FROM if an Indie "yes" vote occurs.
Keep in mind what RoyalBankScotland is now - it's a nationalised bank, and not nationalised by a Scottish government, it is now an arm of UK.

StandardDeviant's picture

Also Lloyds, Standard Life, Clydesdale Bank, and Tesco Bank(!), as of today.  I know bankers aren't popular around here, but that's a lot of jobs, and GDP.

Abitdodgie's picture

Scotland will still be under "The Crown" rule , you will still pay taxes to your owners , you will still not be allowed to own property, and still be a subject not a free Citizen so who gives a fuck.

Diplodicus Rex's picture

My understanding is that will indeed be the case. What is being voted upon is political independence. The monarchy will not change. We need to work on that......

Ghordius's picture

lol. and, of course, the average house price

Headbanger's picture

Just siiinging in the rain...

caustixoid's picture

The NWO'ers can't stand to have even one thread pulled from their tapestry, lest it all fall apart.  Thus Soros' comments.  Meanwhile the bastard is buying up pounds for the rebound that will come once the "no" side squeaks out a win.

Freddie's picture

LOL!  +1 for slightly older reference.

Dr Strangemember's picture

Put conversely, I see all of these as positives for Scotland!  Do it Scotland!  Do it!

sgt_doom's picture

I believe someone is forgetting about that offshore oil?

chistletoe's picture

Tyler is forgetting about oil.


Tyler, its ALWAYS about oil.


Get thee a map of the North Sea .... its not the land territory that they are arguing about, its the water ....

skbull44's picture

Empires come and empires go. A lesson the US should heed!

disabledvet's picture

Name one Empire that ever has...

Volaille de Bresse's picture

How about the financial aspects... "Tyler"?

CrazyCooter's picture


This could be much ado about nothing (i.e. he who counts the votes and all that), but I am much more interested in who is going to get their ass plastered when the Scots defect first.

Must be the Icelandic volcanic ash in the air ... gets the Northern folk all frisky ... send some our way Reykjavik!



Cacete de Ouro's picture

Less ski resorts, in fact probably no ski resorts in England, correct me if I'm wrong. At least 4-5 ski 'resorts' in Scotland. Resort may be a bit of a stretch, maybe 'ski area' is a better term.

A lot less distilleries, less golf courses per capita probably, more landowners (Scottish land is very concentrated in the hands of a few hundred lairds, a bit more so than in England, not counting the fact that the Queen technically owns the whole lot).

lasvegaspersona's picture

fewer...I believe 'fewer' is the word you are meaning...sorry to be a jerk...

American Dreams's picture

This is just not going to happen.  It wont be allowed to happen.  It is nothing more than mental masturbations at this point.

Know your enemy


N. B. Forrest's picture

It doesn't matter who votes, it matters who counts the votes. 

LetsGetPhysical's picture

agree 100%. They've been subjugated for too long and have learned to love their overseers. This is classic case of tradegy and hope.  

N. B. Forrest's picture

England would be more conservative.  There are way more Liberals in Scotland than Conservatives.  Therefore it would be good for the English economy.

Ghordius's picture

UKIP is conservative, too. without Scotland, UKIP would have a real chance of beating the Tory party. meanwhile, you are using the wrong party/ideology naming conventions. Liberals in the UK are the pro-biz crowd. What you meant is that the rUK would be less socialist/socialdemocrat, i.e. with a weakened Labour party

Diplodicus Rex's picture

Woah there Geordie. The modern 'Liberal' bears no resemblance to the 'Liberal' definition of old. As with all good propaganda, language is the first casualty. The modern liberal is just as marxist as Labour or the Tories. Where I think you may be getting confused is by the antics of a chancer by the name of Vince Cable. Again the propaganda machine would have you believe he's a business guru. Sorry to disappoint. He's just another collectivist in sheep's clothing.

Ghordius's picture

Woah there, Diplodicus Rex. You are right, at least in part. The UK party I was mentioning does not call itself liberal, but Liberal Democratic. Highlighting that it's an hybrid between liberals and social-democrats. yet calling them "marxists as the Labour or the Tories" is, imho, a bit off the mark

Dr Strangemember's picture

Hmmmm, without the free handouts from the UK, just watch how Conservative Scotland becomes as they fend for themselves.  Time to man up Scotland, and quit eating the gov cheese!!

intric8's picture

Sorry britain but scotland produced the best bond actor thus far, so there

Freddie's picture

George Lazenby is Scottish?

Anyway, Michael Caine as Harry Palmer was the best.  Bond and Mi6 are just stooges for the banksters.

Kreditanstalt's picture

NOT going to happen.  The in-your-face propaganda, "touch-your-heart" pro-centralization media and celebrity campaign blitz will sway plenty of waffling voters back to the "no change" camp in the next week.  Just like Quebec.