Ireland`s Population Density

In my first blog entry I will present Ireland′s population density on a heat map based on collected data  in 2011 by  the Census of Ireland. Population distribution tables show  patterns of densely or sparsely populated areas. The primary purpose of a census of population is to establish how many people there are in a country. The collected result showed that the population in Ireland in 2011 stood at 4,581,269 a major increase(341,421)over the last census  in 2006.Densely populated areas are darker colored and sparsely populated areas are lighter colored.

Link to Fusion Table

Method of creating a heat map

First of all I exported the data(copy and paste) from the Central Statistics Office website into Excel. The data needed to be cleaned up and some part had to be removed.The result I got was the 26 counties with 26 different records.

Here is the link to the Central Statistics Office:CSO

The next step I had to download the kml file from here: KML File

With the two data set I opened google Fusion table and combined the two files together.

First clicked on File than Merge than  I selected the tables I needed from my Google Drive .When I merged the two data set I had to choose the columns with matching up values. For the merged table I selected the columns that I wanted to include in my data set.

To see the  population density in the 26 counties I had to customize my map by selecting Change future styles in my Fusion Table .On the side bar of the pop-up window I chose fill color  than Buckets. I divided my map colors into 5 different buckets and used the range that was provided. I had to change the range a little to make the populations density differences more visible on my map.When this was all done I clicked on File than Share.To make my map visible on the net I had to choose who has access to it so I had to change my settings to public and save.Finally clicked on Tools and Publish.Now I was able to copy the link into my blog.

What information could be gleaned from the intensity map?

What we can immediately see on the map is that Dublin ,Cork ,and Galway are the most densely populated counties. The most rural areas in Ireland located in the midland. Counties for example Carlow, Longford,Leitrim, Monaghan ,Roscommon , and Sligo has less than 65000 people.  The least populated county is Leitrim with just the total of 31798 people.

Some reasons for the lower population density in the West of Ireland include:

  • Mountainous land and poor soils, which are not good for farming
  • Distance from large markets like Dublin and the UK
  • Lack of third level colleges for education (just one university)
  • Lack of good transport routes (just one motorway)
  • History of emigration to Dublin, the UK and the USA
  • Lack of job opportunities, young population tend to leave in search for employment and a better standard of living.

We can also see Ireland′s infrastructure in terms of motorways connecting the major cities together. Dublin is fairly well connected to major cities. Links between other cities for instance Galway, Cork, Limerick and Waterford  needs to be improved.

Other ideas/concepts could be represented in the intensity map

I decided to make another map the same way as I made the population map.I looked for data on unemployment in Ireland by county from the CSO website and typed it into Excel.I merged my KLM file with the new data set and the result below is a heat map of Ireland`s unemployment rate by county in 2011.I compared the two map together to see if there is a correlation between population and unemployment and I noticed that where population is high unemployment rate tend to be lower.I presume some of the reasons could be that people tend to move to places where more jobs and opportunities are available mainly in or close to bigger cities.Other reasons could be universities are located in larger cities namely in Dublin(3),Cork, Galway, Limerick and Maynooth that attract the younger population and also many foreign students.The highest unemployment rates are in the Midland and in South-East regions where populations is the lowest.


Link to my Fusion Table

Heat maps are the perfect to represent and visualize data. There are many types of data we can display on a heat map.For instance we could use it to show median age by area, average income,ethnicity ,immigration etc.Basically we can use any kind of data in the right format and merge it with a KML or KMZ file and make our own map.

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