BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
THE 2019 Census Provisional count recorded an increase of 169, 930, a 30.8 percent increase to the 2009 Census.
The increase represents an average annual growth rate of 2.7 percent for the period from 2009 to 2019. This is an increase of 17,000 people per year.
During the period from 2009 to 2019 and across the provinces, Honiara recorded the fastest annual growth of 57,000 people, 5,700 people per year; followed by Guadalcanal with a population of 48,127 people, 4,800 people per year.
The province with the lowest population is Temotu where growth continues to slow down even from 1999-2009.
Changes in population size at the provincial level showed that Malaita has recorded the highest population of 173,347 followed by Guadalcanal with 154,150 and Honiara with 130,176 people. The least populated province is Rennell and Bellona with 4,091 people.
Speaking to launch the Provisional Results of the 2019 National Population and Housing Census in Honiara, Minister of Finance and Treasury Harry Kuma on Monday said the growth will likely reach one million people in the next 10 years.
Kuma said that it is now time for the government to take a proactive approach to address the trend.
He said that up-to-date census data and findings are important for effective policy, planning and decision-making that ultimately should lead to effective service delivery and improvements in livelihoods.
“Although it is costly to invest in a census in the Solomon Islands given the vast geography and scattered islands, and the logistics involved, the return to investment outweighs the costs.
“In the absence of accurate or updated data, it would be very difficult for the government to accurately plan for development such as in supporting schools and building roads in communities,” said Kuma.
Meanwhile Kuma said that with the rising demand for information in our age of technological advances and social media, it is important that government provide reliable official statistics and information on a regular basis for public consumption to counter unreliable and unofficial information which are often sources for ‘fake information’ or ‘fake news’ in our society.
ENDS///with Kuma photo census launching…