Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where were you in 1500?

The Irish sure have scattered. Of the descendants of people living in Ireland in 1500 only 12% are in Ireland today. 76% are in America.
Using the McEvedy and Jones (1976) estimates of populations in 1500, the Penn World Tables 6.2 population estimates for 2000, and the matrix’s estimates of origins, we find that there were 31.6 million descendants of the Irish population of 1500 alive in 2000, with less than 12% of these living in Ireland, 76% in the US, 5% in Australia, and so on. In contrast, the vast majority, although not all, of the descendants of China’s year 1500 inhabitants live today in China.
Not earth-shattering, but kind of interesting.