Ireland has had a recession since 2008 but ended last year with a return to slow growth and during this time had high unemployment and high emigration. It's expected to be the fastest growing European economy by far over the next 12 months. Still Irelands prosperity, high minimum wage and generous welfare benefits are attracting immigration from Eastern Europe and North Africa in particular. This compounded with Irelands high fertility rate accentuates her population growth above her neighbours.
These trends are expected to continue even as Europe exits recession and returns to growth.
The images surprised me though - it suggests all of Ireland is growing somewhat evenly when the truth is that while most if is growing Dublin and her surrounding area and Cork are growing much faster than the rest and the picture doesn't indicate that though I'm sure the data will.
That reminds me of a section from the book "1493", discussing the introduction of the potato to Europe and later the potato-famine:
> Today Ireland has the melancholy distinction of being the only nation in Europe, and perhaps the world, to have fewer people within the same boundaries than it did more than 150 years ago.
Many here are probably aware that Ireland had in 1845 a population of 9 Million but only 6 Million today (all Island pop). The entirety of the UK at the time had a population of 22 Million people. This means the Britain (Scotland, England and Wales) was only 25% bigger than Ireland at that time which is completely different today with the UK having >60 Million people and Ireland (Republic) having 4.5 Million. Ireland had a similar agricultural output compared to Britain which is at least three time larger.
If the famine didn't happen Ireland could easily have a population of over 30 Million. However it did happen and alternate realities are hard to predict.
In a way it has, there are that many with Irish ancestry in America, not strange as emigration there cost Ireland much more people than the famine.
Would you really want to become Bangladesh? 30 Million seems an awfully high number for a country of such size and latitude.
And Southeast England is still considered a pretty beautiful, green part of the world. It contains the South Downs and New Forest national parks, the Chiltern hills, and about 60% of the land in the region is actively farmed. Of course, in the middle of it you've got London, which accounts for the overall density. So yes, a populated Ireland would be different; Dublin and Belfast would be vastly different cities; - but it wouldn't have stopped being the emerald isle if in an alternate history its population had reached 30m.
Why want Dublin faster grown and thus soulless?
Why want Irish spirit to be abolished and replaced with hive mentality?
I could totally understand you if Ireland would be declining, but it's thriving, attracting people, growing naturally when most nations struggle at that. You're in a perfect position and you want to replace it with something random?
Personally, I live in New Zealand (population: 4.5 million), and I'd strongly prefer it if we had twice as many people. A bigger population can sustain a healthier economy, with more opportunities for everyone. However, I'm well aware that I'm an outlier; most people think differently and I respect that.
> England has forests
Fjords in England? Where?
For reference Bangladesh sits at just above 1000/km^2 density.
But they never mention that Ireland was horribly overcrowded. Nine million is jam packed horror.
At six million today, Ireland should be closed to immigration and paying naturalized Eastern Europeans and North Africans to give up citizenship and leave. Even six million is dangerously overpopulated. Thirty million is pure nightmare.
And that's after concentrating a large population in Europe's largest city so that they can at least have a little open space elsewhere.
There's significant danger that rising oceans and a major storm could kill millions. That sounds like horror to just about everyone.
And Netherlands has adjacent countries not so dense as itself with forests and open space to adjourn to on weekends for sanity. Ireland is an island.
Wait, did I say interesting? I meant "horse manure". That is an empty country, with plenty of room and remarkably little need for the sort of xenophobia you've espoused in this thread (a xenophobia that no one I met in Ireland seemed into, either!). And I don't think HN needs it, either.
Ireland is almost empty of wilderness and has scant backcountry. Even the mountain ranges have a very few trails backed by industrial tree farms. Most of the supposed forest left is so tightly controlled that the wave pattern of regularity produces moire patterns in the trees. All the life, nature and interest is squeezed out.
There's certainly no place left to seek extended solitude or homestead cheap land. The youth of the countryside are leaving or escaping to cities. I'm glad the nearly-indoor controlled experience of the roads was nice for you, but Ireland is full and bursting at the seams. More people will only make it worse.
If it is any stronger in Ireland, it has much more to do with how bad the infrastructure is in Ireland and how Dublin-centric most investment is.
"A manufactured experience professionally landscaped by traffic engineers"? You give our government more credit than it deserves.
Your assessment is extraordinarily inaccurate.
Then why is the majority clamouring for more homes to be built? Property prices are climbing, not because things are too crowded, but because there aren't enough houses.. Surely if it were "insanely crowded" here there'd be more of a popular pushback saying "where are we going to put these new houses?". Let me tell you: it doesn't exist.
The Irish government is going to great lengths to encourage new house building to meet the demand.
Ireland is famous for for manufacturing land out of the sea? Really? Well you're going to have inform this Irishman what you are referring to. The only things I can think of is the creation of Bull Island -- which was an unintended side-effect of the building of the Bull Wall, a successful project to dredge Dublin Bay undertaken in the early 18th Century  -- and various land reclamation projects around Dublin Port over the past 300 years, which a quick google search will inform you were more to do with planning permission than overcrowding.
For a country which is "insanely crowded", someone forgot to tell the population that. Add to this the population density facts which other commenters have provided, which you disregard and I can tell you that your information sources are lying to you.
However the birthrate is far outstripping any emmigration losses so they continue to have a largely positive population growth.
As far as I could tell, the darkest red colour represents '> 2% population growth,' so that graphic is not much good at breaking down areas that are all experiencing more than 2% growth.
I think you can probably explain the two red blobs near Aberdeen on oil and the wealth it has brought to that area but at least one of the other red blobs further west must be the Aviemore/Strathspey area which has become incredibly popular for outdoor sports and general high quality of life.
Amusingly, although Aviemore is described as a "boom town" it's population only grew by 36% in the decade to 2011 adding an extra 956 people :-)
As you know, you can't tell that from this picture. An area that has had large annual population decreases for the first 5 years, and slower growth for the second 5 will still show up as red.
Also, quite a bit of the population decreases in the countryside will be of people moving into the cities.
Because of differences in population density, that can give the impression of population decline where there is none.
Looking at Germany, for me the picture 'confirms' that their population is shrinking (no growth in the west, apparent decrease in the east) that makes the strong growth of their economy in the past years even more of a miracle.
Mostly that's why the population is shrinking, people who live in the better economies, mostly have less kids, mostly due to the fact that they don't have the time and mostly working harder than others.
Also our economy grown mostly cause of the fact that our strong export got a huge increase since we had a european currency ("Deutsche Mark" or "DM" was just too good for the export market), while the Euro is / was way better since other countries brought it to a lower level.
If the population shrinks, keeping the economy flat already requires productivity improvements. Growing it at a time where other economies with growing populations can't is a bit of a miracle. Those increased exports still have to be produced.
First, enter a monetary union with weaker economies with dubious credit, at a really advantageous rate for these economies but effectively substantially depressing the new Deutsche Mark.
Second, lend like crazy to these countries whilst markets believe Greek paper to have the same default risk as German.
Third, as the neighbouring countries are using the newly available borrowing and their strong new euros to go on a spending binge, provide the products.
With both guaranteed demand in Europe guaranteeing large volume, and an effective 40% discount on German exports vs where they should be with the Deutsche Mark, you can take market share from the Korean and Japanese let alone Americans and even avoid having your manufacturing sector destroyed by Chinese competition. In Europe it's even worse, VW thrives as Rover goes under.
The best part is that when Southern European credit finally catches up with where it should be trading, you get to brag about your wunderbar Mittelstand values and insult those pesky lazy Southerners, whilst reinforcing the very actions that guarantee you the continuation of de facto devaluation policies without being responsible for them (and therefore getting booted out of office by an angry German electorate annoyed at being underpaid on a global basis). Invisible tax FTW. Even those Germans who might have pieced it together will hesitate before putting any real pressure towards, say, a Grexit, because their pension fund is invested to the neck in Greek paper. Meinen Kinder will sort it out, but I arbeit so hard all my life, surely I deserve to enjoy my pension...
So, not a miracle, it is by design, a rather magnificent one too. One that, long term, seems to beat sending the Fallschirmjaeger on Kreta.
I think the map show no major city in eastern Germany actually losing population.
Seeing a map that combined both percentage and magnitude to compute the colors (perhaps similar to the Tf–idf calculation?) would be much more interpretable. 50% of people leaving the middle of a forest doesn't really tell me much, versus 50% change in a dense city.
Another obvious trend is people moving to large cities.
Also we need to see how the illegal French occupied population of Clipperton Island is changing.
Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis-et-Futuna are rarely included in such stats as they are not part of the EU and not geographically part of Europe either, unlike French Guiana and the others which are part of EU, so at least part of Europe in a political sense.
(Symbiote, all of these territories are very much part of France though, just under different rules for some of them.)
I don't know where you're going with Clipperton though, it's sometimes illegally visited and trashed by fishers and such, but they can't be considered a population in any sense.
Madrid and all surrounding cities (Toledo, etc.) are a big shade of red. Barcelona and in fact the entire densely populated Mediterranean coast (Valencia, etc.) is also lipstick-red. Sure, let's look at the Basque Country. Also red.
The only blue I see is in the mostly rural Extremadura, Leon, etc. (close to Portugal).
So even if pop. decreased, not everyone moved from e.g. Madrid to Germany. Many people moved to smaller cities or rural areas, so if you just see the map without pop densities it looks that way.
Also worth mentioning, Spanish people are still regarded to be religious to some extent and so are the Greek. So, I'm a bit surprised to see the divergence here where Greeks shun marriage and raising children while their Spanish counterparts still hold to these traditional values.
Looks like South Europe has abandoned having enough children to replace themselves simultaneously. One cannot blame them: those countries are horribly overpopulated, even more so than the USA.
And what few babies there are are significantly being born to Middle Eastern and African settlers attracted by gullible immigration policies that overcrowded countries can ill afford.