NewsDo we have enough people in Ireland?
Do we have enough people in Ireland?

Do we have enough people in Ireland?

In 1845, before the great famine, the population of Ireland stood at 8.5 million, which was exactly half of the 17 million population of the United States at the time. The US now has a population of 330 million, we have dropped from 50% to 1.5% of the US population. Today, in our near neighbour the Netherlands, over 500 people live at a high standard per square kilometre, here in Ireland it is 72 people per square kilometre.

While Ireland’s population continues to grow at just over 1% per year, population decline is a serious problem for many developed countries. The average fertility rate to sustain a population is 2.1 births per woman over the course of her life, currently the fertility rate in Ireland is 1.7 and even at that low figure we are the third highest in Europe. The total number of births in Ireland peaked in 2008 at 75,000. On the back of various economic crises and changing lifestyles we are now down to under 56,000 births last year.

Many developed countries try to solve their low fertility rates at least in part through immigration- Germany, Italy and the United States are examples. Countries such as Japan that have negligible immigration are planning their economy and social services not only for an aging population but for a declining population. Japan’s population peaked in 2007 and has been declining ever since. This can mean there will not be enough young people working to pay the pensions of the elderly.

The pandemic has meant that life expectancy has reduced in many developed countries. This may be temporary but there is evidence to show that life expectancy had been plateauing in many countries even before the pandemic. If death rates are higher, birth rates struggle to keep up and populations can decline.

Businesses generally want to see populations grow. From a business perspective it makes sense, more people mean more customers. A growing population usually means a growing economy and more opportunities for business to develop new innovations and services.

But not everyone agrees, some believe Ireland is overpopulated and want to save natural resources and the environment by moderating population growth. Others don’t want housing developments or infrastructure built near where they live and want to preserve things as they are. 

At an individual level, many would-be mothers are finding it harder and harder to juggle their careers, lack of housing, lack of childcare facilities and increasing bills. They are opting to start families later, if at all. They feel they are being neglected and don’t want to carry most of the burden of raising the next generation of consumers and taxpayers.

There are certainly many moving parts contributing to whether a population grows or declines, and the consequences are very far reaching for every society.

What do you think? Do we have too few or too many people in Ireland? Who should be responsible for deciding? What should we do about it?

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Do we have enough people in Ireland?

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Seamus from D commented:

we need a Switzerland system of government, regional control based on the four Provences incorporating referendums that put citizens in charge. All top public and civil servants and top judge to be elected. 

Someone from D commented:

We can't Kung look after and even house the people we have are present so give it abreak please ant try think of other ways to make mney 

Someone from WD commented:

Firstly the education and health needs updating, you can't even think about adding to a population without proper infrastructure to the above . There's no multidisciplinary medical team for those with multiple morbidity issues etc as for schooling , more special needs schools are desperately needed for the ever growing Nuroe diverse children being born ( 1box does not fit all , not all children are suited to the old teaching methods still carried out in main stream with special needs units) and those now adults were completely missed . Start at the grass roots then think about adding to the population because if you don't what have you to offer! 

Someone from D commented:

The population of the island of Ireland is c 7 million, which is 2.1% of U.S. population not 1.5%. I believe we can easily accommodate a greater population with integrated and planned development strategies. 

Chris from CE commented:

Too many people in a country that don't have any kind of proper infrastructure to accommodate. 

Someone from SO commented:

Our Planet is Overpopulated. We need Immigrants to keep our Society Functioning. We need to encourage people from Over Populated Countries to Move Here. 

Someone from C commented:

One of Ireland's greatest assets is its wide open countryside. The West of Ireland,Scotland,Iceland and Norway are beautifully free of "The Madding Crowd". If you want to live in crowded cheek-by-jowl places then go live in Hong Kong or the Netherlands. Anyway,Dublin has plenty of crowded streets....Go live there If you like that sort of thing. 

m from D commented:

Ireland needs to increase its population by 50% by the end of this century. We needs more migrants to improve our gene pool. Lets start building more houses to start with. 

Someone from TA commented:

Targeted Immigration needs to be encouraged to increase the population of working and productive adults to ensure the future viability of the country. However the Government need to get their heads out of the sand and provide affordable accommodation for all and rein in the price gouging which is rampant in Ireland. We are one of the most expensive places to live with some of the poorest services. 

Someone from WW commented:

There i s to much mixing of races,179 different races in Ireland. Mass migration to the EU has caused chaos and mayhem, and will only get worse. This mass movement of people is part of the Capitalist Globalists agenda, break down National borders, change cultures and Traditions and way of life that has taken centuries to develop. The mass movement of our species to the 4 corners of our planet whether it be for travel or emigration may have caused the present Covid 19 PandemiAc which is still causing deaths, economic hardship and suffering. Different culture's traditions, and way of life do not always mix and can create conflict housing and health service problems. All migration to our hard won Republic should be halted until we can house and give a decent health service to our native born citizens. The citizens of this country were never asked if they would like to have 179 different nationalities in our country, the political classes like acting the big lads on the World stage while ignoring the plight and economic hardship of so many of our native born citizens. 

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