Opinion: Is St. Maarten full?

POSTED: 05/23/12 1:22 PM

When is a country full? That question has kept politicians, demographers and ordinary people busy for decades. In the Netherlands, the first cry that the country was full stems from the early fifties.
Now we hear from down under that about half of all citizens in Australia think that their country is full. This is a place where kangaroos have so much space to hop around, it’s driving them crazy.
Figures about population density should give us an inkling whether the Aussies have a point. Turns out that on a list of 242 countries, Australia ranks number 236 with a density of 3 inhabitants per square kilometer of its territory. What are they talking about?
The Netherlands is on record as the country with the highest population density in the European Union. Last figure we got our hands on: 404 inhabitants per square kilometer. That sounds still rural compared to a place like Macau, where the number is over 18,500 per square kilometer.
Aruba ranks pretty high with 554 inhabitants per square kilometer, but that pales compared to little St. Maarten where we have 1,101 people per square kilometer, compared to 663 on the French side.
This is at least something we are good at: with its population density St. Maarten ranks number 10 in the world on a list published on Wikipedia.
But is St. Maarten full? Is the Netherlands full? If that turns out to be the case, we could always export our criminals to Australia. Wouldn’t be the first time the country receives immigrants with a less than impeccable reputation.

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