Ireland in the 19th and 20th century was characterized by massive emigration. The most significant exodus followed the worst of a series of potato crop failures in the 1840s - the Great Famine. It is estimated that more than one million people died, and almost the same again emigrated. The famine increased the need for migration that was already there due to overpopulation. Although Ireland was hit most hard by the crop other European countries suffered from failures as well.