13 May 2004

Cook Islands' population falling

10:39 am on 13 May 2004

New statistics released by the Cook Islands government show the country's population is still falling.

The resident population at the end of December last year is estimated to be 13,200, a drop of 500 compared to December of the previous year.

All Cook Islanders hold New Zealand citizenship and the population has been dropping steadily since the economic crisis of 1996.

At that time the population was estimated to be about 20,000.

It had dropped to 15,000 five years later and just over thirteen thousand by the end of last year.

A correspondent in Rarotonga says plans to attract Cook Islanders back to the Cook Islands have been discussed but not put in place by government.