Marianas Variety Guam Edition – The Local and Regional Newspaper

12 23Wed11262014

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Guam population slightly up, latest census says

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SINCE 2000, the greatest gains in terms of population are in the central villages of Chalan Pågo, Mangilao and Mongmong-Toto-Maite, while the southern villages of Inarajan, Umatac, Agat and Merizo showed a population decline.

Dededo and Tamuning still remain Guam’s highest populated villages, said acting Director and Chief Planner Miki Leon Guerrero, Bureau of Statistics and Plans.

Leon Guerrero was commenting on the 2010 census numbers for Guam which was released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to the latest census numbers, as of April 1, 2010, Guam’s population totaled 159,358, representing an increase of 2.9 percent from the 200 census counts, or 154,805 persons.

“People are shifting to the center of our island,” Leon Guerrero said.

In the villages of Barrigada and Mongmong-Toto-Maite, homes are basically single-family, not huge housing developments, said Leon Guerrero.

The southern villages of Santa Rita and Agat saw a population loss. Leon Guerrero said this might be attributed to the loss of jobs at Naval Station.

Also, Guam fell short of its projected population of 180,000. “We’ve been completely short of that. We expected a higher population increase,” said Leon Guerrero. In 2010, the census states Guam’s population was 159,358. Leon Guerrero said from the years 1990 to 2000, Guam saw a 16 percent population growth.

But in 2000, Guam hit a massive outmigration, said Leon Guerrero, which could be attributed to the bursting of the Japanese economic bubble and the government of Guam-instituted early-out program for GovGuam workers, many of whom left the island and relocated to the states.

Leon Guerrero said Guam was the only island that gained in population. The U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands all decreased in population.

In the demographic profile, more detailed information on Guam’s population and housing is expected for release in Spring 2012. This profile will give a snapshot of selected demographic, social, economic and housing characteristics.