Notes from West London · On writing

More about readers in distant places, and population

A few months ago I wrote, in this piece, about readers in places like Nepal, Palau and the Falkland Islands, thousands of miles from West London where these words are being drafted. I noted that more than half of the countries in the world appear in the basic statistical information provided by WordPress about Visitors and Views. Pages on this site have been viewed by people in over half of the world’s independent nations, and in many other territories that do not classify as countries in their own right.

Earlier this week I noticed that there have been recent Views registered in Iraq and “Kinshasa – Congo”, neither of which appeared in the stats up to June 2019. Kinshasa is capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo for short), the country with the 16th largest population on earth, estimated to be around 87 million. Until this month it was the most populous nation not to have registered any Views on this site. Not for the first time, I played around with figures in Excel, specifically to list countries by population size and match them up with the number of Views.

Of the world’s 40 most populous countries only two have no registered Views on this site: Iran (18th on the list, around 83 million inhabitants) and Sudan (34th, with a population of around 42 million). Otherwise, from China and India at the top the list (combined population of 1.375 billion) down to Saudi Arabia in 40th (a nation of 34.2 million people), there has been at least one Visitor from each of the remaining 38 countries (total population: 6.17 billion).

Outside the top 40, there are plenty of nations where this site has not been seen even once, places like Uzbekistan, Angola, Yemen and Mozambique. They are all between 41 and 50 in the list of countries by population size. All of this fooling around with data has improved my knowledge of that list. I didn’t know for sure that Indonesia has the fourth largest population (268m), in between the USA (around 330m) and Brazil (210m) but now I do. I have also learnt that in the last year or two Mexico has overtaken Japan to become the world’s 10th most populous nation, but it has a long way to go catch up with Russia in 9th let alone Bangladesh, Nigeria and Pakistan (at 8, 7 and 6 respectively).

If anyone from Iran or Sudan should search for “Notes from West London”, “tenable questions”, “Strictly 70s crumpet” or the word Breakonium they will be directed to this site, but I will not know which specific search term led them here. If either country does appear in my list of Views and Visitors, I’ll let you know.



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