The Story of the Maps

The Story of the Maps

The Birth Gap Maps are intended to emphasise that high levels of birth deficit are widespread across much of Europe.  Using both colour and overlaid ‘gaps’ allows the eyes to quickly identify where problems are most extreme, while the three adjacent maps for each country and region provide a perspective as to how things have progressed over the past two decades.

The dark gray overlaid ‘gaps’, or ‘holes’ as some have called them, are exactly proportional to the area of each region, so that if a region had a 50% Birth Gap, as many do, the gap would cover exactly 50% of the land surface of that region.  If there were no Birth Gap, there would be no overlaid gap at all , and if there were a region with zero births, the overlaid gap would cover the entire region. (Note that if a region includes islands, the island will have a similarly proportioned ‘dark gap’ overlay, however the Birth Gap is the overall average for the entire region, not specific to the island itself.)

From a technical perspective, all maps were generated using ReportLabs, a PDF library for the Python coding language.  Outputs are available in three vector formats: PDF (Vector only), EPS and SVG.  Please contact Retronomics for further information. Thank you to EuroGeographics for the provision of the co-ordinates from which the maps have been generated.