07 July 2008

The challenge of demographic change (3)

Trip, click, stumble or otherwise magically teleport yourself to labradore for a couple of commentaries on the latest population stuff from Statistics Canada.

You'll find gold.

The first one notes that natural population decline - the excess of deaths over births - hit Newfoundland along the northeast coast about 10 years ago, then set in around Stephenville, and went along the south coast before hitting Humber Valley in 2004.

Natural decline is just one of the elements making up the population figures.  Even without outmigration, in other words, only Labrador, St. John's, and the Avalon have sustained  enough births to outpace the number of deaths.

Someone needs to track where the bootie call cheques are going.  Odds are the grand per live one is hitting the Avalon, St. John's and Labrador rather than where there needs to be a change in fertility levels if we want to kill off the natural population decline.

There are two things about that:  first, as a matter of public policy, the bootie call will likely only reinforce existing trends rather than counteract them.  Second, it would be interesting to see what impact the bootie call announcement had on votes last time out.  Heaven knows there were enough people calling from all around bitching about not getting the cheques.

The second post at labradore looks specifically at natural population decline trends over 20 years for four areas.