"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Demo/graphics (I)(d)

Finally in this part of the series, the natural population change trends in Labrador (see the footnote in the first posting) and western Newfoundland:

The Northern Peninsula has seen a natural population decline, more deaths than births, every years since 2001. The switchover from natural population increase to decline was three years later in CD 5, which includes the Corner Brook, Bay of Islands, and Humber Valley areas, but as in the rest of Newfoundland, the same tendency towards accelleration is present.

Labrador, even more so than St. John's and the Avalon, has so far avoided natural population decline. However, the surplus of births over deaths is shrinking, even though, perhaps uniquely in the province, there is some sign that a plateau has been reached, at least for now: the natural population increase figure has held relatively steady at just over or just under 200 for seven years.

Indeed, Labrador would appear to have a critical role to play in any efforts by Williams Government to develop a population strategy — on a go-forward basis, of course — based on pronatality policies. Labrador is the seventh-largest (or fourth-smallest) of the geographical units under consideration here, yet, since the mid-1980s, has never ranked lower than fourth among all census divisions in the province in terms of natural population increase. And that's not just as a rate, that's as an actual number. In fact, in 1997, Labrador had the highest numerical natural population change of any of the eleven geographical units (10 CDs, plus the St. John's CMA), has been in the top spot for the past four years running, and has only slipped to second place (behind St. John's) three times in the past ten years.

Without the natural population increase in Labrador, the province as a whole would have seen natural population decline kick in in 2004, a year earlier than the trend actually shows up in the estimates. And, without the Labrador numbers, the natural population decline in the province as a whole would be almost double what it currently is.

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