PAC – POPULATION : PACNEWS /SPC
PACNEWS 1: Thurs 05 June 2008 Pacific population increase to 9.5 million in 2008
05 JUNE 2008 NOUMEA (Pacnews) ------- The Pacific population will reach 9. 5 million this year according to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
SPC has just released its 2008 Pacific Island population estimates, with updated demographic indicators and trends for the period 2008–2030. “The population of the Pacific Islands will reach 9.5 million in 2008, and grows by 1.9 percent annually – which resembles a yearly growth of 180,000 people, or about 500 people per day,” said Gerald Haberkorn, Manager of Statistics and Demography at SPC.
The total population of SPC’s 22 Pacific Island member countries and territories is estimated to reach 9,498,900 people by mid-2008. The population of the Melanesian countries will be 8,310,300, the region of Polynesia will have 655,300 people, and Micronesia will include an estimated 533,300 people.
The largest individual country population is that of Papua New Guinea, which has an estimated 6,473,900 people, followed by Fiji with approximately 839,300 people. The smallest are Tokelau, with 1,200 people, and Niue, with 1,500 people apart from Pitcairn Island which has 66 people.
The region’s population grows by 1.9 percent annually, which is an increase of 180,000 people per year – the approximate size of the total population of Samoa.
The fastest-growing populations are those of Guam (2.8 percent), due to the influx of military personnel and their dependants, as well as migration from other countries, followed by Solomon Islands (2.7 percent) and Vanuatu (2.6 percent ), whose high growth rates are due to high natural increase (high birth rates).
There are also populations that are decreasing in size, such as those of Niue (–2.4 percent), due to continuous emigration of its people to New Zealand, and the Northern Mariana Islands (–1.7 percent), which suffered from the closure of many of its garment factories and a subsequent loss of employment.
The countries with the highest proportion of children aged younger than 15 years, comprising more than 40% of their total population, are the Marshall Islands (41.0 percent), Samoa (40.6 percent) and Solomon Islands (40.3 percent).
The countries with the highest proportion of people aged older than 60 years, comprising more than 10% of their total population, are Niue (15.6 percent), Tokelau (11.4 percent), the Cook Islands (11.2 percent), New Caledonia (10.5 percent), Wallis and Futuna (10.5 percent ) and Guam (10.2 percent )……PNS (ENDS)