Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Okay! I should say up front that I have absolutely no statistic to prove or disprove my belief in the real size of our population ... just a certain amount of skepticism and common sense. You see, for at least the last 20 or so years politicians (and everybody else for that matter) have been saying that we are a nation of about 1.3 million people. But that just can't be true! Look! The Elections & Boundaries Commission (EBC) said in the elections last year that there were more than 900,000 people on the electoral register (I can't remember the exact figure, which isn't important any way, for I am not dealing here with completely accurate figures). So, if that is the case, what percentage of the adult population do you think is not registered to vote? Ten percent? Twenty percent? Thirty percent? What? Most people that I ask this question say that they think that the percentage of the adult population that is not registered to vote is somewhere between twenty and thirty percent! (You see now why I said that I wasn't concerned with absolute accuracy of figures!) So, let's take the lower figure of twenty percent, and rounding it off we would say then that there are about 300,000 people who are not registered to vote. In other words, there are about 1.2 million adults in this country (900,000 registered voters plus 300,000 unregistered adults).

Now, if there are 1.2 million adults in the country, how many children do you think there are? (And by 'child' I mean anybody under the age of 18). Do you, for example, believe that the ratio of children to adults is one child to every adult? More? Less? Most people tell me that they think the ratio is about one and a half children to every adult. So, assuming (though not accepting ... but it sounds right) that this is so that would mean that there are about 1.8 million children in the country. Add this to the 1.2 million adults that we calculated above and you come up with a figure of about 3 million people living in this little twin island Republic.

Why is this important? Because if all of our plans, financial and otherwise, are based on a population of 1.3 million and the reality is that the population is more than double that then it must follow that all of our plans are useless! Our statistics as regards GDP would be wrong and the fiscal plans to prevent a further worsening of the recession would be totaly inadequate. We need to get a firm fix on where we are as regards poulation size ... and we need this information like yesterday! A census was done sometime ago. Its results need to be published ... now.

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