A blog posted on this website on 24 October ('Population indicators provide mixed messages') prompted today's Manx Independent newspaper front page article with the headline: 'Is population of island falling?' (Nikki Allan, Manx Independent, 27 October 2016). The same newspaper also carried a related editorial 'Comment' column headed, 'Dangers of a fall in our numbers'.

The article included the graphs from the blog and touched on the different perspectives offered by population estimates based on the number of people registered with a doctor and the information on the changes in pupil numbers at the start of the 2016-17 school year.

This coverage is hugely welcome as it contributes towards achieving some of the aims listed in the introduction to the Isle of Man Population Atlas:

  • To raise awareness of the importance of population in relation to the prosperity, sustainability and future development of the Isle of Man.
  • To maker population data visual and more accessible to the wider public and to encourage public debate and understanding.
  • To inform decision makers, both political and administrative, at local and national level, as well as in the business community, about the population issues that affect the Island.

The article and editorial comment are reproduced below along with a selection of some of the public comments made in response to the article. These highlight the need for awareness raising and wide debate on the issue of future population policy.