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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (The Cook Islands Herald, Mar. 20) - By the year 2021, the resident population of the Cook Islands could be as low as 5,718, according to a worst case scenario predicted following the census in 2001

Provisional figures from the census conducted in 2001 show that the resident population of the Cook Islands fell from 18,071 in 1996 to 15,017 in 2001 – a drop of 16.9 percent

Meanwhile, a prediction that the country’s population will continue to fall until the year 2011 has heightened growing concerns.

Of three scenarios based on different assumptions relating to fertility, mortality and migration rates, one predicts an increase in resident population by year 2021 while two other scenarios predict a further decrease. 

Of the three scenarios which predict the size of the resident population by the year 2021, one scenario puts the resident population at 15,492. A second scenario puts the total at 10,387 and the third scenario has the total at 5,718 by 2021.

All three scenarios have some common assumptions, including:

Between December 2001 and November 2003, some19,912 residents departed and 18,191 arrived - A net migration loss of 1,721 residents, census figures show.

March 22, 2004

The Cook Islands Herald:



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