August 19, 2007


Ireland learns to adapt to a population growth spurt (Eamon Quinn, August 18, 2007, International Herald Tribune)

Findings from the April 2006 census, which are being published in a series of releases this summer, showed that in the four years since a previous survey, the Irish population swelled by 322,645, roughly split between immigrants and births. That lifted the total population to 4.2 million.

No European Union country has a younger population: statistically, the Irish have been barely aging at all, with the median age staying close to 33. The country will remain young for decades, say the experts, and escape the "graying" fate of the rest of Europe.

Further, demographers now predict that the population could rise to over five million in about a dozen years, and to six million within a generation. With a growing population in Northern Ireland, the island could match its largest population — more than eight million before the devastating 19th-century famine that prompted waves of emigration — by 2032.

Edgar Morgenroth, a member of a panel of experts who predict Irish population growth, said the famine started a diminishing of the population that lasted to the late 1960s. "It was only in the 1990s that our population stabilized and started to grow, rapidly," he said. The population might reach the 19th-century level, but it will look very different.

Note how close Ireland is to America in the World Values Survey:

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 19, 2007 6:35 PM
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