Nonsense below, I misread the post.
It would be much more useful, or sensible, if hash in a scalar context returned the number of keys:
As soon as you try to use it as a number, "2/8" will be numified to 2 so actually it does effectively return the number keys.
perl -le '%h = (a =>1, b => 2); print %h+0'
The number of buckets is some bonus info for free.
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