LETTER: Life south of Worthing Moving centre of population

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D WHITING asks whether we forgot the laws of physics when suggesting that, given its current southward trajectory, the population centre of Britain would cross the coast at Worthing in AD2771 (Letters, 10 December). This was meant simply to illustrate the speed with which the population has been moving south rather than as a prediction. It is, however, theoretically possible because there is a sizeable amount of land south of Worthing: the Isle of Wight. Between 1981 and 1991 the prison population on that island rose by 23 per cent. Given the current Home Secretary's policies (and even allowing for a few escapes), perhaps our projection was not so fanciful after all.

Daniel Dorling

University of Newcastle