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Migration to New Caledonia cited

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 24, 2009) – Census figures from Wallis and Futuna show that between 2003 and 2008 the population has declined by ten percent to just over 13,000.

[PIR editor’s note: The French territory of Wallis and Futuna is a Polynesian island group between Fiji and Samoa. ]

The figures show that fertility has declined to two children per woman while the population has aged, with 11 percent of residents now over 60.

The declines is attributed to continued emigration to mainly New Caledonia, whose Wallisian population has soared to 25,000.

Education achievements are relatively low and economic development limited, which on Futuna has allowed only 28 percent of the population to be in paid employment compared to the 63 percent across all of France and its territories.

Last year, the territory’s assembly president, Victor Brial, warned that the population decline could spell the end of the archipelago’s Polynesian culture.


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