Commonwealth’s Population Growth 1980 – 1990 – 1995
The Commonwealth’s population increased 35.8 percent to 58,846 by late 1995. This was an increase of 15,501 over the 43,345 people enumerated in 1990. The 1980 census recorded 16,780 people residing in the islands resulting in an increase in the population of 42,066 or 250.7 percent since that period. In 1995 males and females were about evenly split at 29,276 (49.8%) and 29,570 (50.2%) respectively. I have been told that in most populations the mix is generally 49 percent male and 51 percent female with the latter having the longer life span. So the current CNMI population falls within the norm. In an attempt to offer an explanation for the balance in a population such as presently exists in the Northern Marianas and one not otherwise ethnically homogeneous, the genders are in balance in spite of the fact that the Commonwealth’s population is largely influenced by migration patterns rather than being dependent upon meiosis of birth and the resulting selection of two groups of chromosomes, (X Y and double X) which would normally keep the two sexes in a 49 – 51 percent balance.
But then this same thing occurs in the American society at large where the ratio is 49 percent male and 51 percent female. Here, no doubt as a result of a coincidence in a society needing about as many male as female nonresident workers, one sees the ratio between sexes maintained. Returning to the characteristics of this society, United States citizens account for 46.7 percent of the inhabitants (with those born in the CNMI equal to 37.7 percent with the remaining 9 percent made up of other ethnicities). remember the term “American” is not an ethnic classification. Those of Chamorro ethnicity made up 23.5 percent of the population; the Filipino community equaled 33.1 percent followed by the Chinese at 11.5 percent; Carolinians registered 4.0 percent; Koreans at 3.9 percent and the Japanese only 1.6 percent. The remaining 22.4 percent consisted of other Pacific islanders and Asians, whites and blacks , (the two latter groups at 0.04 and 0.01 percent respectively). Several other ethnicities made up the balance of the population. In 1995, 11,525 students were enrolled in school. The work force consisted of 34,669 people 16 years of age and over, working 35 hours a week or more. The unemployment rate was 7.5 percent within a labor force of 35,664, (comprised of those between the age of 16 and 64 years of age who are either employed or unemployed) . This is in contrast with 1990 and that year’s working population of 25,965 within a labor force of 28,664 and an unemployment rate at that time of 9.4 percent. How the Commonwealth can have a nonresident work force of the size it currently sustains and still have unemployment is an interesting contradiction.
Per capita income information currently available reveals the following: whites $25,721; Chamorro $9,127; Palauan $6,029; Filipino $5,137; other Micronesians $3,656. The overall average per capita income for the islands was $6,986 with an average of 4.5 people per family. Per capita income declined somewhat from the 1990 level of $7,199 which is a result of an increasing number of low wage earners but it is up substantially from the $2,418 per capita income in 1980. Of the total of 12,058 occupied housing units in 1995, 4,038 were owner occupied with 5,219 renter occupied, 2,801 units were occupied without payment of rent by the occupants. These consisted of government provided quarters and housing provided by business owners for their expatriate staff. People inhabiting group quarters (barracks and other structures) numbered 9,703 down from the 11,489 so housed in 1990. Private sector employment totaled 28,732 with the government employing 4,993. Self employed people accounted for 856 with 88 people performing unpaid family work.