10 Boom Towns that Went Bust


Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is hardly a ghost town, but the worldwide economic downturn in the 2000s slowed down the amazing growth the city experienced in the 1990s.
Dublin is hardly a ghost town, but the worldwide economic downturn in the 2000s slowed down the amazing growth the city experienced in the 1990s.

In the mid-1990s, Ireland went from one of the poorer countries in Europe to the continent's shining example of how to attract new business.

Ireland, dubbed "The Celtic Tiger," and its capital, Dublin, boomed during a period of massive growth. Property values skyrocketed in the city, and gross domestic product was outgrowing that of the United States and the European Union, thanks to government initiatives like generous tax breaks [source: Dorgan]. Skilled laborers from across Europe moved to Dublin for work.

In 2007, the average Irish income was about $43,000, about three times the amount it was in 1984 [source: Lynch].

But the Celtic Tiger couldn't outrun a worldwide recession. Dublin's boom, tied to property values inflated nearly 500 percent over a decade, collapsed with the fall of Ireland's banks. What was once a model city sank back into troubled times, with experts still debating what will be the final outcome for the once-mighty Celtic Tiger.

To learn more about these boom towns and other related topics, take a look at the links below.

Related Articles


  • Burke-Gaffney, Brian. "Hashima: The Ghost Island." Cabinet Magazine. No. 7. Summer 2002. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/7/hashima.php
  • California State Parks. "Bodie State Historic Park." (Oct. 3, 2011) http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=509
  • City of Tombstone. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://www.cityoftombstone.com
  • DeKok, David. "Fire Underground." (Oct. 3, 2011) http://daviddekok.com/centralia-mine-fire/
  • De Leo, Maryann. "Chernobyl Revisited." Discover. June 8, 2007. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jun/chernobyl-revisited
  • Dorgan, Sean. "How Ireland Became the Celtic Tiger." The Heritage Foundation. June 23, 2006. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2006/06/How-Ireland-Became-the-Celtic-Tiger
  • Encyclopedia Britannica."Tombstone." (Oct. 3, 2011) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/598943/Tombstone
  • Etheridge, Elizabeth W. "Branch Mint at Dahlonega." The New Georgia Encyclopedia. Aug. 28, 2002. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-612
  • Government of Western Australia. "Wittenoom." 2008. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://wa.gov.au/wittenoom/
  • Huizing, Terry E. and Kampf, Anthony R. "A Namibian Diamond Adventure." Rocks & Minerals. Vol. 83. No. 6. pp. 486-500. December 2008.
  • Kirkus Reviews. "Review: The Day the Earth Caved In." Feb. 15, 2007. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/non-fiction/joan-quigley/the-day-the-earth-caved-in/#review
  • Lynch, David J. "Once a roaring Celtic Tiger, Irish economy now struggles." USA Today. Sept. 30, 2010. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/money/20100930/irish30_cv.art.htm
  • McQuillan, Dierdre. "Dunes, Diamonds, and Dolphins." World & I. Vol. 16. No. 12. pp. 122-130. December 2001.
  • Nesselson, Lisa. "The King is Alive." Variety. May 21, 2000. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117915844/
  • Perpitch, Nicholas. "Asbestos ghost town wiped off the map." Australian Associated Press. June 20, 2007. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://news.smh.com.au/national/asbestos-ghost-town-wiped-off-the-map-20070620-jg3.html
  • Piatt, Michael H. "What the Historic Record Reveals About Bodie's Peak Population." March 2010. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://www.bodiehistory.com/population.htm
  • Rubinkam, Michael. "Centralia, the Pa. village above burning coal seam, is down to 5 houses." Cleveland. . Feb. 5, 2010. (Nov. 6, 2010) http:// www.cleveland.com/science/index.ssf/2010/02/centralia_the_pa_village_above.html
  • SafetyLine Institute. "The Wittenoom Disaster." January 2009. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://bizline.docep.wa.gov.au/safetyline/media/The%20wittenoom%20disaster%20review.pdf
  • Stone, Richard. "A Radioactive Ghost Town's Improbable New Life." Science. Vol. 308. No. 5725. pp. 1106-1107. May 20, 2005.
  • Wiggins, Noel. "Desdemona, TX." Texas State Historical Association. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hld18
  • Williams, David. "Gold Rush." The New Georgia Encyclopedia. Jan. 21, 2003. (Oct. 3, 2011) http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-785


7 Warning Signs of a Looming Recession

7 Warning Signs of a Looming Recession

Good luck predicting the economic future; even the experts get it wrong. But HowStuffWorks has seven signs to look for when a recession is ahead.