18 Jun 2005

Fiji's ethnic Indian population forecast to drop to 20 per cent by 2022

8:36 am on 18 June 2005

An academic from the University of the South Pacific has warned that Fiji's ethnic Indians will comprise just 20% of the population by the year 2022.

Professor Robbie Robertson has told the FIJI FORWARD conference that 30 years ago Indians made up 49% of the population but would comprise just 37% next year if the current trend of emigration continues.

Professor Robertson says the effect of this is greatest at schools where indigenous Fijians already make up half of all students at Indian schools and 70% of the primary students.

He says Fiji has lost more than 100,000 citizens in the last 18 years since the Rabuka coups.

Professor Robertson has warned that politicians who remain fixated on the politics of race should take note because new dangers will be created if political violence is legitimised.