With islands across Europe having experienced years of population decline, many now face an uncertain future.
According to projections, swathes of rural Europe will continue to experience shrinking, ageing populations – none more so than island communities. Throughout the continent, governments and communities are trying to answer the same question: can island depopulation be reversed?
For a community to function, there must be enough people to fill roles in sectors such as education, transport, food provision – as well to provide general support and friendship. This makes maintaining a sufficient working age population one of the greatest risks to the wellbeing of islanders – and the future of many island communities.
If numbers dip below a certain level, there is a serious risk that some communities – or even entire islands – could be abandoned entirely. Complete abandonment is not unprecedented, and has occurred in many European islands.
While visitors may view islands as picturesque holiday destinations abound with natural beauty, for islanders, sustaining populations is not just favourable, but essential. For island depopulation to be reversed, crucial issues like transport links, housing, employment, and higher education shortages must be urgently addressed.
Photo by Angela Catlin
- High and Dry: Offshore islands a footnote in State priorities - Noteworthy 29 January 2023
- ‘Fragmented and unpredictable’: Healthcare services failing island communities. - Noteworthy 30 January 2023
- Housing constraints ‘causing serious risk’ for islanders trying to sustain populations. - Noteworthy 30 January 2023
- ‘On its knees’: Future of island fishers on a knife edge. - Noteworthy 31 January 2023
- ‘Always a battle’: Clare Island locals fight to improve ‘dangerous’ piers. - Noteworthy 31 January 2023
- Island depopulation: The battle on Bute - The Ferret 01 February 2023
- Island depopulation: Has Orkney bucked the trend? - The Ferret 02 February 2023
- Island Depopulation: Can a small island like North Ronaldsay turn the tides? - The Ferret 05 February 2023
- How can a small Scottish island turn the tides of depopulation? - The National 05 February 2023
- SPECIAL REPORT: Without proper housing, our island populations could disappear forever - The Southern Star 15 February 2023
- Arranmore ambulance brought to mainland for repairs six times in the last four years - Donegal News 17 February 2023
- In Europa le politiche per le isole arrivano troppo tardi - IRPI Media 08 March 2023
- Veneziani in via d’estinzione - IRPI Media 17 March 2023
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