Journalism at its finest, again

Why would the Times & Transcript run an article about the latest migration numbers (and mistakenly call it population), then quote the Minister of BNB talking about the ‘strong’ population growth and never mention the significant net out-migration of people from NB during 2007?

First of all, they rammed together the quarterly population estimates for NB with the migration estimates for SJ and Moncton. Those are two different things.

Second, why would you have a story talking about annual ‘migration’ in and out of Saint John and Moncton and then have the Minister comment on the quarterly population numbers?

For your edification, here is the data you should have read about in the newspaper this morning:

Migration 2006/2007

As you can see, we have had another round of out-migration. I think this is the 15th straight year? Something like that.

Population, is another thing altogether. Migration is only one component of population growth/decline.

Population Estimates Q2 2008

New Brunswick’s estimated population did increase by about 400 people – or the second worst growth rate in Canada but reading the T&T, you would think these are numbers to be proud of.

Secondly, the population estimates get adjusted eventually and these residuals tend to bias these numbers upwards. Also, the Minister is forgetting to mention the thousands of people who moved West to work but are showing up as living in NB (many of them at least).

This is a recurring theme for me and I just don’t understand why the T&T doesn’t want to put out in the public domain the data. They can spin it up or down or sideways but to just ignore the figures doesn’t serve the public very well.