The recently concluded census came out with one surprise (not to me) which was that the estimate of people in Sri Lanka was found to be 20.3M as opposed to the estimated 20.9M. The report using these figures concluded that the growth rate in the population has therefore dropped to 0.7% from a figure of 1.1% . I beg to differ and conclude differently.
Please remember this is the population as counted in Sri Lanka today. It does not take into account the 2M Sri Lanka citizens still holding Sri Lanka passports who live overseas. Since the past complete census of 1970 there have been over an additional 1.5M people or more leave for foreign lands for permanent emigration or temporary emigration for work only. I obtained a copy of the census and read it from beginning to end and there was NO mention of the emigration of citizens anywhere let alone the fact that they have impacted on the why the estimate differs from the actual.
I would expect common sense to prevail and some indication made in the census that they are now attempting to find out how many family members live overseas at present. I cannot remember if that question was asked at the time of the census.
I will in a future blog entry discuss the regional parities and the loss of a huge number of citizens from the Northern Provinces due to emigration to other areas, death and emigration overseas. The latter will hugely impact on the number of MPs given to that province and will no doubt cause some friction amongst the people if that happens.
Sri Lanka has a relatively low growth rate in the population due to the success of family planning programs and also the level of education of its citizens as well as the comprehensive health care system in the country that encourages family planning even if it means talking with peer groups about supporting families.
With a relatively high workforce participation amongst females, it is also likely that they make a decision about the size of the family they would like to have that has resulted in this reduces growth rate in the population.
As I mentioned earlier the overseas emigration MUST be factored and accounted for if one is to make sense of the information just published.