16 May 2006

The old in-out, in-out

Census day has prompted some public discussion in Newfoundland and Labrador of out-migration.

Some think the province's population will be down owing to some economic problems in rural areas. The provincial government claims there will be a slight decline from last year.

Flip to the provincial government's economics and statistics website (www.stats.gov.nl.ca)and you'll find a population projection to about 2020. It shows a small but steady decline based on:

- In/out migration
- Mortality rates
- Birth rates

The provincial government position is based on the assessment of the population trends.


If one wanted to get a sense of the population effects of economic issues, one might look at this chart. It is an assessment of in-migration and out-migration for Newfoundland and Labrador, by fiscal quarter for the period from 1993 and 2005.

The net figures give a wider view of trends in migration over the past decade, but particularly highlight the dramatic increase in departures from 2005 compared to 2004.

A summary of the net figures (in- migration less out-migration) is presented below:

Year (Premier): net

2005 (DW): - 3442
2004 (DW): -1807
2003 (RG/DWilliams): -1103
2002 (RG): -3187
2001 (BTulk/RGrimes): -3914
2000 (BT/BTulk): -4884
1999 (BT) : -3916
1998 (BT): -7971
1997 (BT): -8522
1996 (CW/BTobin): -9026
1995 (CW): -6566
1994 (CWells): - 6204

Declines from 1994 to 1998 can be attributed in largest part to the aftermath of the cod moratorium announced by the Government of Canada in 1992. Federal support programs delayed some people from making a decision to seek employment in other parts of Canada.