Editorial on population decline

Editorial from March 12 issue of the Grand Forks Gazette.

There is a lot you can read into statistics.A lot that isn’t there, that is, and is likely just hearsay.In reference to the city’s population declining, a drop of less than one per cent is not something that needs to be focused on.Sure, it wasn’t a rise of one per cent, but there are many inconsistencies in the data gathering that could lead for much misinformation.The province’s statistical wing uses a regression model with symptomatic indicators, pulling the number of people in a certain community from such things as health client registries and residential hydro hook-ups to gauge population growth from one year to the next. Although these estimates assist in local and provincial government planning processes, they are by far an accurate way to gauge a community’s population.And in the case of Grand Forks, like the rest of the province, the “hidden” population of an area can account for a very large percentage of population.Populations designated as on the verge of decline could rise in summer and decline in winter as work becomes available. And not everyone who lives here can be tracked through the health registry or hydro.But rest assured, in comparing the health of the city’s population with the rest of the province—on economies of scale—the city of Grand Forks is a thriving place to call home, like several thousand already do.

Grand Forks Gazette

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