This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Wadsworth Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 11th (which came out in December 2010), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.
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Friday, November 19, 2010
The Irish Migration Turnaround (again)
Ever since the Irish Potato Famine of the mid-19th century, Ireland had been a nation of emigrants, until the government decided to lower the corporate tax rate in the mid-1990s, drawing in a flood of foreign investment and foreigners themselves searching for new work opportunities. A key to this was that, as a member of the EU, money and people from other parts of Europe could flow into Ireland pretty freely. The economic boom gave Ireland the nick-name of the "Celtic Tiger" and life was good. Or so it seemed. The boom boosted property values and developers borrowed heavily to cash in on the new prosperity. But the worldwide recession has brought all of that to a halt, and the debt--much of which was hidden by the state-owned Anglo Irish Bank--is now a national catastrophe. The predictable result is that people are once again leaving Ireland, although to be fair, most of the evidence thus far is anecdotal, not official.