Is Belgium the Most Popular Country for Measuring Areas?

How often is Belgium used in this way?
Is Belgium used more than other nations?
One (admittedly unscientific) measure is to count the Google results for the phrase “size of Belgium” and compare it with other countries. [These results were taken in 2005]

Google search for Size of xxxxxx Number of Google Hits
France 114,000
England 33,300
Belgium 32,800
Wales 30,200
Canada 26,600
The American State of Delaware 26,100
Iraq 20,100
Japan 17,100
Germany 17,000
Scotland 12,100
USA 10,100
Sweden 1,120
Spain 875
Italy 853
Chad 270
Paraguay 156
Chad 149
Paraguay 70

A few interesting conclusions can be drawn:

  • We might expect to find that the phrase “taille de la Belgique” appears frequently on Belgian web sites. After all, Belgian writers would use Belgium as a reference area for their Belgian readers. But it is remarkable that so many English writers use Belgium also.
  • Armenia and Lesotho are the same convenient size as Belgium but they are used even less often than Chad.
  • Wales is also a surprisingly popular unit of measurement. Indeed, it also has its own web site as a tribute.
  • Actually there is one country more ubiquitous than Belgium, and that is France. However, just does not sound as amusing so we’ll leave it at that.

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