A few years ago, Malcolm Gladwell wrote an article about the “Irish Miracle”, and chalked the whole economic boom up to favourable demographics.
Now we know that was nonsense. The country had a banking bubble.
But now Gladwell has a story he write about Ireland and demographics, and how the country’s demographic situation is going to get wrecked. As we’ve been noting, there’s a lot of talk about how the Irish youth will flee the economically distraught nation.
The numbers are very ugly.
This is the key table from the government’s latest report (.pdf) on emigration:
Note the surge in the 14-24 and 25-44 groups. That’s the demographic wheelhouse that Gladwell was enamoured with, because those are the groups that support everyone else. The remaining population will, therefore, be paying massive debts to bail out its legacy banking system, but also be crippled by an unfavorable retiree-to-worker ratio. Bear in mind, too, that this isn’t capturing the number for the current year, as the wheels have totally fallen off the economy.