Isle of Man Census results published today (Thursday 9 March 2017) are in line with Government’s expectations and underline the importance of growing the Island’s working population.
That was the message from Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK following information that the resident population on Census Night in April 2016 was 83,314 – 1.4% lower than the figure in 2011. The economically active population decreased to 42,777 from 44,609.
Mr Quayle commented:
‘There are signs that the population is now increasing again, but the decline between 2011 and 2016 shows that the numbers can slip even during years of strong economic growth and full employment.
‘The economy grew by more than 15% in real terms between 2011 and 2015, for example, but this was also a period of changing employment patterns and that may help to explain at least some of the movement in population.’
Government estimates indicate an increase of around 200 in the overall population since the Census was taken nearly one year ago.
Meanwhile, the January figure for registered unemployment this year was the lowest for ten years, at a rate of 1.3%, with 601 registered unemployed and 859 vacancies notified during the month.
The Chief Minister continued:
‘Government was aware that there had been a dip in both the resident and economically active populations, which is why we have such a strong focus on growing the Island’s workforce. In common with the rest of the developed world the Isle of Man has an ageing society, so we do need a bigger working population paying taxes to support services for the increasing numbers in retirement.
‘Our Programme for Government, approved unanimously by Tynwald in January, includes a commitment to grow the economically active population. A range of initiatives are underway to attract new businesses and new jobs, including the £50 million Enterprise Development Fund.’
Mr Quayle concluded:
‘The Isle of Man is indeed a special place to live and work, with the lowest crime rate in the British Isles and a quality of life and beautiful countryside that are reflected in our unique UNESCO biosphere status.’