NIUE GOVERNMENT TAKES HEAD COUNT

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ALOFI, Niue (Niue News, Sept. 10) – Niue's population figures have always been a bone of contention on Niue.

The total count can have a drastic affect on assistance grants from regional and international bodies.

Present population guesses have ranged from 1,200 to 2,200.

A government official said it was important to maintain accurate population counts for planning education, health, economic and social policies.

Last week, the Niue statisitics department carried out a village head count.

Residents and visitors were asked to fill out a form on the evening of September 7, giving their names, ethnicity, and residential status.

Those residents temporarily off island were also included in the count.

Results have yet to be collated.

About 50 persons on island at present are employed on construction of new homes, the fish processing factory and the nonu orchard.

Recent media reports have speculated that the island's population has been declining since Cyclone Heta but government's stance has been that there has been no change in the resident numbers.

September 13, 2004

Niue News: http://www.niuenews.nu/

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