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June 26, 2022

Is the demographic curve changing?Is the demographic curve changing?

Overwhelmed each month by dozens of communiqués and millions of figures, the official statistics bodies find no respite in order to also emphasize the trends reflected behind these heaps of data. Maybe the most significant segment of national statistics is that of demography. Since Romania no longer has a specialist qualified in demographic statistics (like professor Vladimir Trebici was), the estimates and analyses in this domain are done by press and economic amateurs, or specialists (medical doctors in particular!) “morphed” into demographers.
I made these brief and relative parentheses in order to signal an event that has been taking place for two months in the National Statistics Institute communiqués. By the way, around 10 years ago when the statistical methodology was modernized by adapting it to EU norms, the former Central Statistics Direction of the communist era at one point changed its name into the National Statistics and Economic Studies Institute, based on the French model. Unfortunately, since our officials could not stand the truthfulness of figures, they found a way of “cutting” the statistic’s élan, the Institute being left without “economic studies.” These studies are being done by the National Prognosis Commission, which is almost obediently subordinated to the government, consequently being an institution that subjectively interprets the data…
Let us return to demographics. And we emphasize that Romania registered positive population growth in July and August this year. A small, a very small one, but it was there. In July a population growth of 43 persons and in August one of 203 persons. Population growth registered in two months in a row (live births surpassing the number of deaths) has not been seen for many years. It’s true it’s just a drop in the ocean. But it is. And yet nobody bothered to notice these figures. In July 2013 the population growth was negative (-514 persons), and so it was in August too (-425 persons).
These are very weak clues pointing to an invigoration of population growth, but they are there. It is the obligation of the INS and of the Romanian Academy’s Center for Demographic Research to assess these figures. Why they occur and what is their meaning. That is because until recently persons that are not professional demographers were presenting in detail a catastrophe in what concerns the future of Romania’s population. Maybe something is changing. Why? Gentlemen, come up with explanations and points of view. The phenomenon characterizes the whole former communist Europe, both because of the drop in living standards, of poverty, but also of the phenomenon of emigration and adoption of the nationality of the country of residence.

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