United Kingdom - 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
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- ‘On its knees’: Future of island fishers on a knife edge. - Noteworthy 31 January 2023
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- 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
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- Primary school closures threaten Scotland's rural communities - The Herald Scotland 10 June 2023
- Impact: Rural Schools (Viability) – in the Scottish Parliament - They Work for You 15 June 2023
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