31 January 2013

Demographics in pictures #nlpoli

If you look at nothing else this week, take a look at a comment by  Matthew Kerby called “’Representative’ by population in Newfoundland and Labrador”. 

Before Kerby was a political scientist at the University of Ottawa, he practiced the craft at Memorial University.  He still takes an interest in the goings-on down this way and the population growth strategy caught his attention.

He’s got a good handle on the problem, noting the financial implications for the provincial government.  To illustrate the population trends, Kerby took the provincial government’s own forecasts and produced a set of animated graphics that show changes in the population over time.

The pictures show the population in five year age groups.  Males are on the left and females are on the right of the centre line.  The length of the bar horizontally shows how many men or women are in each age group.  Watch any one of the charts over time and you can see all those dimensions change simultaneously.

As Kerby notes, the changing demographics will have impacts on everything from government revenues from taxes to the demands for spending.

Go to Kerby’s commentary and you can find all the regions.  Just to illustrate what he’s done here, let’s take a look at the one for Grand Falls-Windsor, Baie Verte and Harbour Breton.

[Original disappeared from the provincial government website]

The numbers start in 1986.  Notice that the population is shrinking as it gets older.  Note that this trend starts right from the beginning. 

Not last week. 

27 years ago.

Now Ross Reid has to come up with some brilliant ideas to cope with this trend.

We should wish him good luck.

He’s gonna need it.