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Old 03-26-2014, 01:50 PM
 
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Russia is physically the largest country, yet about half is uninhabitable. Canada is second largest but it also has lots of uninhabilitable area. I wonder what the rankings of sizes would be, if you only included habitable areas.

I couldn't find lists of how much of each country is habitable. Australia sure has a huge amount of desert, and so does any country containing the Sahara.

The opposite end of the spectrum might be Singapore.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:27 PM
 
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I guess it depends on how one defines "inhabitable". For instance, in Russia, there are cities in places that probably shouldn't be habitable, but are, such as Yakutsk. The main issue with Russia is accessibility: There just isn't the infrastructure to reach many of those less-habitable areas. I would guess the same would be said for Canada. So, I think the vast majority of uninhabited areas in those two countries are actually habitable, just not easy to get to/live in.

Parts of Australia and Saudi Arabia (and parts of the Sahara), however, I would see as quite uninhabitable: Little access to water, difficulty in building infrastructure due to sand, etc.

All that being said, there are people living in almost all far-flung, seemingly uninhabitable areas. But if you specified an area where it would be most difficult to build a city, then I would guess one of the countries with a very large percentage of desert would have the highest percentage of 'uninhabitable' land. (Since Antarctica is actually a desert, that would fit, too.)
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpv View Post
I guess it depends on how one defines "inhabitable". For instance, in Russia, there are cities in places that probably shouldn't be habitable, but are, such as Yakutsk. The main issue with Russia is accessibility: There just isn't the infrastructure to reach many of those less-habitable areas. I would guess the same would be said for Canada. So, I think the vast majority of uninhabited areas in those two countries are actually habitable, just not easy to get to/live in.

Parts of Australia and Saudi Arabia (and parts of the Sahara), however, I would see as quite uninhabitable: Little access to water, difficulty in building infrastructure due to sand, etc.

All that being said, there are people living in almost all far-flung, seemingly uninhabitable areas. But if you specified an area where it would be most difficult to build a city, then I would guess one of the countries with a very large percentage of desert would have the highest percentage of 'uninhabitable' land. (Since Antarctica is actually a desert, that would fit, too.)
East St. Louis
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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In my opinion, we should talk about difficulty in sustaining large populations rather than uninhabitability. Anyway, I think of very mountainous regions with many steep areas as the hardest to be inhabited, as building cities there is very hard. For instance, Chile, with its ubiquitous mountains and numerous fjords, has many areas unable to sustain large populations.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Well America has large cities in the desert like Phoenix or Las Vegas that wouldn't be possible without large scale irrigation or re direction of water. The same could be said of ancient Mesopotamian cities. Mountains and deserts without large river systems to utilize present major barriers to settlement, along with arctic tundra with its harsh climate. Most of Australia is not suitable for permanent settlement. Most parts of the desert here were thinly populated by hunter gatherers prior to European settlement.
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jeffpv View Post

Parts of Australia and Saudi Arabia (and parts of the Sahara), however, I would see as quite uninhabitable: Little access to water, difficulty in building infrastructure due to sand, etc.
Actually, there is not much Sahara-like desert in Australia at all; most "deserts" here are simply dry and often very rocky terrain. Cities like Alice Springs and Mt Isa, and towns like Coober Pedy are located in "deserts", and some people really enjoy living in that sort of terrain. I find Alice Springs and surrounds quite beautiful; but you need to be comfortable with temperature variations of almost 55C through the year. Water is actually fairly easy to find anywhere in eastern Australia due to the Great Artesian Basin, and floods are reasonably common.

But most Australians enjoy living in mild, temperate regions with easy access to the coast, and for good reason: its a lot more pleasant.
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Old 03-28-2014, 02:47 AM
 
Location: Finland
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I would say that 99.5% of Finland is habitable, but I also understand why only 4% of the population lives in the northern 1/3 of the country.

If you consider land area only, not lakes.
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
East St. Louis
Interesting thought. Should geographical regions made uninhabitable by man also be considered in a statistic on what percentage of a country is uninhabitable. And don't forget Detroit and Camden, NJ as well.
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:48 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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Around 90% of the world's population is concentrated on only 20% of the land surface. Therefore, a large majority of Earth's inhabitants live on and occupy a small portion of Earth's total habitable land area.
One third of Earth's surface is desert which supports very few people and about 24% is mountainous. That makes about 57% uninhabitable land.

I think nearly 70% of Norway is uninhabitable and covered by mountains, glaciers, moors etc.
Half of China’s territory is uninhabitable.
Australia - 90% of the land is uninhabited.
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:54 AM
 
Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
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Originally Posted by drro View Post
Interesting thought. Should geographical regions made uninhabitable by man also be considered in a statistic on what percentage of a country is uninhabitable. And don't forget Detroit and Camden, NJ as well.


I'd LOVE to know what you know about Detroit, beyond the "ruin porn" you see on the internet.

My guess? You know nothing.
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