Yule love these Mappy Christmas stats

Recently we welcomed local student Rosie Newhouse Hill to the media team for a week of work experience. We really enjoyed having her with us, and we’re delighted to be able to share her Christmas-themed blog…

Christmas is drawing closer and people are slowly leaning into the festive spirit. Here at OS, we are ready to dive right into Christmas by tying it up with geography through these fun geographical stats. From sprouts to wrapping paper, fairy lights to Christmas trees, we’ve got it all.

Despite sprouts being a let down for many people at Christmas time, according to ONS supermarkets sell an average of approximately 750 million individual sprouts each year in the UK. In fact, enough sprouts are bought every Christmas that if you put them end to end, they would stretch more than the entire coastline of mainland GB – over a whopping 17,820 km of sprouts! Believe it or not, this is also enough to fill 133 double decker buses!GB's coastline mapped in sprouts.We wanted to know who the largest contributors were to this number and according to The Mirror, it seems Barnsley came in on top by consuming almost 1.4 million sprouts. This was followed closely by Malvern at 1.36 million sprouts and then Diss, Norfolk again at 1.35 million sprouts.

While we were researching what seems to be Britain’s secret love for sprouts, we also researched some other Christmas stats. To grow all the Christmas trees the UK buy every year, you’d need an area of 26 km2 – that’s an area the size of Shapinsay, one of the Orkney islands. Think about the fairy lights on all those Christmas trees – it’s a lot. In fact, the UK approximately use enough fairy lights to stretch round the Earth 2.5 times, that’s 100,000 km of lights!

A huge part of Christmas is the giving and receiving, and the GWP Group report the UK use enough wrapping paper (83 km2) to wrap the entire surface area of Southampton.

Southampton mapping covered in wrapping paper.

As reported by the Greeting Card Association, it also seems the UK sends 1 billion cards each year. Assuming they’re folded flat and are A4, lining them all up together could cover the area of the Loch Ness (56 km2). If we then draw our attention to the stamps used to send these Christmas cards, it would cover an area the size of the whole Eden Project!

Map of Eden Project filled with stamps.But what about Christmas themed addresses found in our GB mapping? It seems the festive theme is quite a hit throughout GB with 353 addresses containing the word Christmas, while a huge 13,428 addresses contain the word Holly both as a standalone name (‘Holly Lodge’) or as part of a name (‘Hollygarth House’). Another popular name is the standalone word ‘Angel’ in 386 addresses as well as 280 addresses containing the word ‘Mistletoe’.

From here the Christmas theme seems to fizzle out a bit, with 14 addresses containing the phrase ‘Christmas Tree’, 11 residential and 3 commercial, and 10 addresses containing the word Reindeer, 2 of which are commercial. The numbers then drastically reduce to 2 residential addresses containing the word ‘Bauble’ – ‘Bauble Stock’ in Leominster and ‘The Bauble’ in Colchester.

Finally, there is 1 address containing the standalone word ‘Tinsel’ – ‘Tinsel Cottage’ – and 1 commercial address titled ‘Tinsel Works’.

Through these geographical stats and addresses, Christmas seems to always be somewhere. Mappy Christmas from everyone here at OS!


Sources for statistics








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