Ireland Leads the Way in Europe–More Babies

Reading the New York Times on Cindy’s patio, I found a story about the fast growing population of The Republic of Ireland. It’s Europe’s Number one country for population growth–a mean feat on a continent with such stagnating growth rate that no one knows who will change the sheets and take out the trash in twenty years. Italy is the worst, with the 1.2 birthrate that means older and older average age citizens and few babies seen on the streets. In my travels there it was a marked contrast with Denmark and Colombia, where babies are everywhere.

Yet in a suburb of Dublin called Swords, the principal of a local school reminisced about the old days, back in 2001, when there were 21 kids enrolled. “Next September, we will have 340. We have children from 40 countries.”

“Demographers predict that the population could rise to over five million in about a dozen years. With a growing population, the island could match the number eight million–and that was how many people lived in Ireland before the devastating 19th century famine.”

The other phenomena about Ireland is the average age–only 33 years old. There are many Poles, Lithuanians and Nigerians, and they’re all allowed to vote. “This has helped immigrants win seats in local councils.” One city has a mayor from Nigeria. It makes a lot of sense to allow voting, because this is how immigrants become a real part of a society.