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

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Demo/graphics (I)

Last Tuesday’s release of Statscan’s latest quarterly population estimates
led inevitibly to last Wednesday’s release of this bit of bumpf by the Chief Number-Cruncher:

“Continued population growth is a very important and positive measure of confidence in our province and its strong economic performance,” said Minister Kennedy. “After recording several years of strong economic growth, our province has recorded positive net in-migration in six of the last eight quarters. This success is due in part to major tax cuts and enhanced public services as a result of investments by our government, along with significant personal income gains and a continued positive economic outlook.”
“Strong economic performance… strong economic growth… positive economic outlook.”

There’s a bunch of indicators that would cast serious doubt on the Number Cruncher’s interpretation. (And that is to say nothing of an utter lack of evidence that the demographic trends of the last eight quarters have anything to do with either tax cuts or public services.)

For starters, then, an updated version of an observation from 2.5 years ago:

First, consider StatsCan's quarterly interprovincial migration figures. This chart shows net migration (in-migration minus out-migration) for Newfoundland and Labrador from 1990 to 2006. At the far left, during the recession of the early 1990s, there were episodes of net in-migration. (Just as there were during the recession of the early 1980s; there was less reason for people to leave, and in some cases, reason to pack it all and go home. This will happen in the next North American recession, too.)
This purty graph brings the net interprovincial migration stats up to the second quarter of 2009, and extends back to the dawn of data collection in the third quarter of 1961.

There are a number of take-away lessons lurking here, but for now, notice this: that net interprovincial in-migration to the province is trending upwards.

Contrary to Pollyana the Finance Minister’s bumpf, there are reasons to be worried about that.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home