Following census, PM says: “have more children”
APIA — The Samoa government released yesterday morning its first ever Population and Housing Census (2011) with the strong message to have more kids. Samoa’s population count for 2011 stands at 187,200.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi pointed out that having more children and having bigger families not only contributes to the brain trust of the country, but increases the village and national labour force as well as expanding the local consumer market.
“Also when young people go overseas, they send back more money to sustain their families here,” said the Prime Minister. “There is a lot more meaning to the old biblical proverb of going out and multiplying.”
The census itself — based on data collected from the national census last year — throws out some interesting information. Here’s a few:
• The total population (2011) stands at 187,200 with 38 percent under 15-years-old,
• Girls stay in school longer. While boys out number girls (19,629 to 17,774), girls outnumber boys at tertiary education (1952 to 1759),
• There are 16,787 matai-title holders residing in the country, 10 percent of the women,
• There are 538 teenage moms recorded in the census period, 30 percent in the Apia area, none in the district of Gagaemauga No II.
• There are 2182 persons with some form of physical and mental disability, 195 described as slow learners,
• There are 520 traditional tattoo artists, 5,104 traditional carvers and 28,591 weavers, seamstresses, tailors and elei-makers. Elei — for both men and women — is the formal and official garb in Samoa.
• There are 7,415 foreign citizens residing in Samoa, over half of them New Zealanders.
[Samoa News editor’s note: This story, first published in the Samoa government owned newspaper Le Savali, is republished by Samoa News with permission from Le Savali editor Tupuola Terry Tavita]