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SUVA, Fiji (April 27, 1998 -Sunday Times/Hulsen)---A complete report on Fiji’s1996 census will not be issued for another two to three months, but a preliminary analysis by Assistant Government Statistician Kishore Chetty says Fiji has experienced the lowest population growth rate between censuses since the 1901 count almost a hundred years ago.

At the end of 1991, Fiji’s population was estimated at 746,326, with almost half, 49.4 percent, indigenous Fijians. Fijians of Indian ethnicity totaled 45.6 percent, while Rotumans, other Pacific islands, Europeans, Chinese, and others accounted for some five percent of Fiji’s population.

The Sunday Times also reports that Fiji is becoming increasingly urban.

Suva, Nadi and other densely-populated areas, swelled by former mostly indigenous Fijian rural dwellers, now are home to 46.4 percent of the total population.

The preliminary statistics also indicate a decrease in the total number of Indo-Fijians, many of whom migrated to other countries following the 1987 military coups.

Statistician Chetty says a final census report will be made available in printed form, with about 70 separate tables and reports, in July.

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