My wife (holy crap! I’m MARRIED!?!) and I will soon be going on our honeymoon. We are going to India. In preparation for the trip we have both read some books about India (she has read about 5 times more books about India than I have). In the TWO I have read (one fiction, A Fine Balance which is amazing and the other a travel journal sort of affair called Holy Cow) they have both mentioned the country being quite populated. Let’s talk about that.
One of the cities we are getting to visit is Mumbai. Our current home is in Houston, Texas.
- Houston: 2,197 people per square kilometer (I rounded) (Source)
- Mumbai: 29,650 people per square kilometer (I rounded) (Source)
FYI: There are 3,280.84 feet per kilometer.
Let’s say every person, standing up, is 2 feet for length (shoulder to shoulder) and 1 foot wide (the end of your belly to the end of your tush).
Given a square that is 3,280.84 feet by 3,280.84 feet … If everyone, measuring 2×1 feet, stood next to each other in this square kilometer then you have, essentially, 3,280.84 rows and 1,640.42 columns. Or, 3,280.84 people 1,640.42 times which is … 5,381,956 people!
column 1 (2 feet) column 2 … column 1,640.42
row 1 (1 foot)
In other words, 5,381,956 people would fit in if you were completely crammed. With that in mind, we’ve got some wiggle room!
I like to dance, and I have long limbs, so I’m going to need a bit of space for my flailing dance moves. Let’s figure out the amount of crazy dancing I can do. For this, each person will have their own block within that square kilometer. In Houston, we would have 2,197 blocks per square km, in Mumbai, there would be 29,650 blocks per square km. So each square in Mumbai will be much smaller – but what are the exact dimensions?
The area for a square kilometer is 10,763,911 feet. If you divide that, it means:
- Houston: 4,899.368 feet to work with or a square that is approximately 70 feet by 70 feet. That’s some good dancin’.
- Mumbai: 363.0324 feet to work with or a square that is approximately 19 feet by 19 feet. Plenty of space for dancing.
That’s all well and good. The dance check comes out with a green light. Now, what else? Oh right, the matter of public defecation. Both books have talked about that, and a friend telling us about his first trip to India mentioned seeing that happening right after leaving the airport.
I’ll just leave this chart here for you …