4 Apr 2011

Marshall Islands' census results could impact on funding priorities

10:13 am on 4 April 2011

Observers says the results of the Marshall Islands' first census in 12 years could have a significant impact on the way decision makers devise future plans for the country.

Lack of money meant the census, which was due to be carried out two years ago, was delayed until now.

Our correspondent Giff Johnson says identifying what the population trends are is quite significant because millions of dollars have been poured into infrastructure on remote outer islands, so planners may have to rethink some spending priorities.

He says there's already evidence that people are vacating some of the islands.

"The remote outer island folks are moving into the main outer islands then those folks are then picking up and moving into the two urban centres of Majuro and Ebeye and those folks are further jumping on a plane and heading to America."

Giff Johnson says census officials will rely on planes and boats to get to the remote places.