In the UK, we love nothing more than a good old argument about the North/South divide. Which is better? Who is more insufferable about their geographical allegiance? And where the bloody hell does that divide sit on the map, anyway?
Well, it turns out researchers have been puzzling over that last question just as much as your rowdy Manc mate has been. And new research from the University of Liverpool thinks that the North starts… in Leicestershire.
Chris Lloyd, Professor of Quantitative Geography at the University, says it’s all down to the UK’s population density, which has moved further and further south over the last 40 years.
A project, PopChange, has been mapping population density by square kilometre, providing what it says is a “new level of insight into changing population levels which has not been available before”.
And apparently Snarestone, a small village in Leicestershire, is the absolute centre of the UK, meaning everything above it counts as the North.
“Our study of population changes in Britain finds that the population centre for each Census has moved steadily further south from Upper Midway in Derbyshire to Snarestone in Leicestershire, as the population of the country has shifted towards the South East,” Lloyd explained.
“This reflects a north-south divide in population growth, with more rapid growth in London and the South East of England than elsewhere.”
So there we have it - an official answer. The North doesn’t start at the Watford Gap, or in Birmingham, or an the Scottish border - it’s everywhere north of a small village in Leicestershire.
I’m sure nobody will have anything to say on this matter at all, case closed, goodnight and good luck and please do not @ me.