10 Mar 2009

Fiji's Indian population decreasing

9:46 pm on 10 March 2009

Fiji's ethnic Indian population is decreasing as waves of people emigrate from the country.

Data from last year's census show Indians make up 37.5 percent, or 314 000 people, of the total population of 837,000 people.

In comparison, Indians made up 51 percent of the total population in 1966, while there were 339 000 in 1996.

A bureau of statistics mapping officer, Sole Tubanaika, says eighty percent of the 5000 people leaving Fiji permanently last year were Indians.

Mr Tubanaika says fertility among the remaining Indians is declining and many seem to leave due to the political situation.

The data show indigenous Fijians make up 56.8 percent of the population, while other groups, including Europeans and Chinese, make up 5.7 percent.