SOLOMON ISLANDS POPULATION JUMPS 20 PERCENT

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Malaita leads provinces with 130,000

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, Nov. 10, 2010) – In Solomon Islands, the much awaited 2009 National Population and Housing Census results point to an increased population of approximately 100,000 people bringing the total population to just over half a million.

[PIR editor’s note: According to the Encyclopedia of the Nations, the total population of the Solomon Islands was \ estimated to be 466,194 in July 2000, based on a census taken in November 1999, the first since 1986. Over that period, the population increased by 43 percent, corresponding to an average annual increase of 2.8 percent. This was a substantial decline from the average rate of 3.5 percent per year between 1976 and 1986, but the current rate is still high by world standards. The birth rate was estimated at 40.9 per 1,000 population in 2000, one of the highest in the Pacific. According to the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook, the current population is 559,198 – about a 20 percent increase over ten years.]

Officially launching the results at the Mendana Hotel yesterday, the Minister of Finance and Treasury Gordon Darcy Lilo revealed that the country's population has been increasing steadily since the last decade, posing serious policy challenges for governments.

The Finance Minister says that the census results are crucial in terms of giving all stakeholders a better understanding of some of the key social indicators of the country.

Mr. Lilo also highlighted the importance of the 2009 National Population and Housing Census results in helping the government carry out its reform policies under its policy statement and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

According to the newly released census data, Malaita province has the highest population of over 130,000 followed by Guadalcanal with over 97,000, and Western province in with over 77,000 people.

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