New Map Animates Devastation of the Great Hunger

Ireland's population density in 1841, 1936, and 2002. (Photo: Alan Fernihough / Twitter)

By Dave Lewis, Editorial Assistant
June / July 2018

Dr. Alan Ferinhough, a lecturer and economic historian at Queen’s University Belfast, recently created an animation of the evolution of Ireland’s population density from 1841 to 2012 showing how the population still hasn’t recovered from the effects of the Great Hunger. In 1841, before the famine struck, the population of Ireland was around 7 million, while today the population is around 5 million.

The map is part of the Irish Famine Project, developed by Ferinhough and research assistant Áine Doran with the financial help of U.K.’s Economic and Social Research Council. According to the project website, the map “examines both the contributing factors and outcomes of the famine” and relies on empirical research compiled from contemporary data sources like the 1841 and 1851 censuses as well as the Relief Commissioner’s reports. The project has developed another map on its website in which one can search their civil parish and can see the effects the famine had on the parish in subsections like the percent of population lost, household heads in agriculture, and literacy rates. ♦ Dave Lewis

 

2 Responses to “New Map Animates Devastation of the Great Hunger”

  1. Sean Curtain says:

    Two of the above maps show Ireland’s population density in 1941. This country would remain a single political entity under Westminster rule for another 80 years after that, as it had been for over 6 centuries prior to 1841.

  2. chris says:

    The estimate of 7 mil population pre-famine must be severely conservative. Many estimates have placed it at 8 mil.

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