Ruelle (Repellers for real analytic maps. Ergod. Th. & Dynam. Sys.2 (1982), 99–108) used results from statistical mechanics to show that, when a rational function $f$ is hyperbolic, the Hausdorff dimension of the Julia set, $\dim J(f)$, depends real analytically on $f$. We give a proof of the fact that $\dim J(f)$ is a continuous function of $f$ that does not depend on results from statistical mechanics and we show that this result can be extended to a class of transcendental meromorphic functions. This enables us to show that, for each $d \in (0,1)$, there exists a transcendental meromorphic function $f$ with $\dim J(f) = d$.