Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fewer Salvadorans (in El Salvador) than projected

The census of El Salvador's population has drawn to a close, and according to preliminary figures cited in La Prensa, there are fewer Salvadorans in El Salvador than officials were projecting. The last official census was in 1992, right after the conclusion of the armed conflict. Calculations based on that census, using assumptions about birth rates, migration and mortality had come up with estimates that there should currently be about 7.1 million people living in the country. Now that 18,000 census takers have gone door to door throughout the country, the actual count appears to be no more that 6.7 million, and could be as small as 6.1 million, according to La Prensa's sources.

According to officials, possible reasons for the lower population figures include migration, fewer children per family, increased levels of education, increased coverage of health services, and increased participation of women in the labor force.

My prediction -- you can expect the ARENA government to spin this as good news -- it means a greater per capita income statistic when you divide the country's Gross Domestic Product by the number of inhabitants. You will hear little mention of the fact that the most likely reason for the under-estimation is that migration is greater than the government has been saying as Salvadorans abandon hope of being able to find jobs which can sustain a family in El Salvador.


inner-self said...

i agree with u tim. i mean, it's only natural for those who know about el salvador, to see arena as opportunists to make themselves look like a good, reliable, efficient and ethical govt, whereas we know how questionable they can be. anyway, do u know if there's any listings of the salvadoran wealthiest people and how much they're worth? just curious, kinda like forbes 400 or something. i'm sure they wouldn't publish those reports those, it would be like asking for abduction.
on a different note, i do think it's a positive that the population living in el salvador is not as numerous as it could be. it should be a bit less crowded, and the country could theoretically sustain fewer people better. what do u think?

Anonymous said...

Reasons for less population are obviously due to migration, intertily rates increasing, and crime. Not at all having to do with "increased education" and such. At least those are my two cents and as things keep going on the population will keep getting smaller as long as USA doesn't built a forcefield around themselves denying entry to anyone who wants to enter (like they've been doing with the 4 million Iraqi refugees after US continuees devastating that country). But you are entirely right, I can't wait to see what new spin ARENA gives to this news.

El-Visitador said...

Oh, come on, Tim, it is well known that demographers, and especially demographers associated to the United Nations, consistently overestimate population growth rates. Here is the Australian government saying so, for instance.

Fact is, El Salvador has finally returned or exceeded the GDP figures we had back in 1974, and there is no denying:

War 21 yrs. 1971-1992: we became poorer, worse fed, less educated

Peace 13 yrs 1992-2005: we became richer and recovered the ground lost due to the Communist guerrillas

If we had not had the Communist attack, we would be a richer, healthier, more educated country by now.

Anonymous said...

Without the communist attack, el salvador might still live under the boot of a military dictatorship...

El-Visitador said...

"el salvador might still live under the boot of a military dictatorship"

Yes. We might.

But Argentina, South Africa, Chile, Brazil, and about 15 countries in Eastern Europe became free democracies, like ours, in 1980-1992, with no bloodshed involved.

Fact is, in middle-income countries such as El Salvador, the time for dictatorships is over, war or no war.

Therefore, the most likely outcome of no war would have been free elections around 1985 (about the same time as Brazil).

Sorry, you just can't justify the communist attack. It ended up costing 75,000 lives.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry, you just can't justify the communist attack. It ended up costing 75,000 lives"

Yeap, of which 85% (of those 75,000) were direct victims of the right-wing government and their terrorism- the military, PCN and ARENA/Death squads at the end- and not of the "communist attack".

We wouldn't have had a war, if the right-wing terrorists had not been killing hundreds and thousands of innocent civilians.

And one more thing:

How many is 700 x 365?

"Diariamente vía terrestre 700 salvadoreños buscan llegar de manera indocumentada a Estados Unidos, pero en esa ruta 200 son detenidos principalmente en México", ARENA/Francisco Lainez, chancellor of El Salvador.


So, if the government's official voice is saying that 700 salvadoreans flee the country everyday, wel, how many is 700 x 365 x 15 years of "peace"?

El-Visitador said...

"And one more thing: How many is 700 x 365?"

¿See what I mean? The communist attack that began in 1971 cannot be justified: the loss of 35 years of economic development is what left us so poor that so many prefer to emigrate.

You do not see this in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, or most of the other former military dictatorship countries that did not suffer an armed communist attack like El Salvador did and are now peaceful democracies.

Anonymous said...

We would've been richer and more educated? I think you are completely wrong. If things kept going on as per usual with the officialist parties and the oligarchy in power, we be the same. An immense concentration of wealth at the top, and nothing at the bottom. The oligarchy controlled army would've eventually taken away every single poor campesino's land to increase their latifundios and their wealth. Fact is that life conditions for a large percentage of the population in the early 90s was terrible that it ended up in a war, 1932, and a subsequent slaughter. And by no means did you see the people in power "softening their hold", because eventually popular support for a second war due to various circumstances was high enough that we had another war in the late 90s. Fact is, that if there hadn't been a war, which unfortunately seemed to be the only way any opposition/dissent could finally be heard because any popular leader (clergy, syndicalists, teachers) who protested in peaceful means were disappeared, executed, exiled, jailed. So I believe anonymous is entirely right, if the war hadn't occured we'd still live under a military dictatorship controlled by the oligarchy, life conditons would remain the same for the lower classes, specially with the advent of cities and lack of productivity in the rural areas which would occurred with or without the war.

El-Visitador said...

"if the war hadn't occured we'd still live under a military dictatorship"

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion.

But there are some 30 countries south of the United States, and none except Cuba are military dictatorships, though most were in 1975.

Based on the empiric evidence, your assertion just does not hold. The chances of El Salvador being a military dictatorship today under an alternate non-communist attack scenario are nearly zero.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, but the living conditions of the majority would still be abyssmal in comparison to the small percentage of folks on top. And if wasn't a military dictatorship, it would be one like Colombia where the army and paramilitary have acted with total liberty to destroy any dissent. Not only that, but steal lands in favor of companies, have formed alliances with cartels in favor of money. Hey, that is the true story in practically all of Latin America. Corruption becomes institutionalized by the pro-business governments.


Friends, we are using some really curious logic here. First, this notion that an insurrection is historically unjustified because at the end nations with and without insurrections ended up similarly situated, is really disengenuous, because we have to judge people's actions by what THEY knew at the time, not what we know many years later. Pope Benedict has reminded us of this in his warnings about avoiding historical revisionism. Otherwise, we would say that England and the US are both democracies today, therefore the American Revolution was not justified.

Secondly, and I know we all know this, and we are probably just being cute for partisan gain here, but if in fact 85% of the 75,000 war deaths are attributed to the right, it just is not intellectually honest to blame "the Communists" for the 75,000 deaths. Please try to bear in mind that most of these dead were innocent civilians, caught in the middle or falsely accused of being "communists." It is therefore the more painful to say that "communists" are responsible, because you impugn the innocent dead, and it is painful for the victims, and it is wrong, to do this just to score some cheap political points.

Anonymous said...

remember visitador is a typical confused CIA spokesperson

he has NO CLUE

occasionally he says something of worth, but most is rhetoric for the right
forgive him for his total inaccuracies and nonsense

Beka said...

"But Argentina, South Africa, Chile, Brazil, and about 15 countries in Eastern Europe became free democracies, like ours, in 1980-1992, with no bloodshed involved."

Preguntá por todos los muertos en ARGENTINA, sUDÁFRICA Y Chile para hablar de que no hay sangre involucrada!

Te pasas.

Edwin said...

dang it tim. I didn't think you were an arena basher just like all the red guys that want to turn this country into another cuba. This is actually good news. Things are looking up for ES. I know that employment and security are a major issue but it is something that with great effor we can can overcome on the medium to long run.

El-Visitador said...

«because we have to judge people's actions by what THEY knew at the time, not what we know many years later.»

Amen! This is why we have to praise the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, who were persistent in their non-violent protests towards the military dictatorship. They knew peace begets peace and violence begets violence.

And we have to condemn the Communist torturers, kidnappers and murderers who started the war in 1971. They ignited a conflagration that ultimately took 75,000 lives. I don't consider them idiotic enough to expect that their violence was going to be returned with kindness and love: therefore, they knew they were starting a fire that would bleed their nation and cause widespread misery. ¿Do you?


Yes, we could blame the massacres of the 80s on people acting "in 1971." We could absolve from blame those who actually did the killing, financed the killings, and spread ideological venom, in order to inculpate "the Communist torturers, kidnappers and murderers" who were responsible for 4% of human rights abuses, and we can overlook the 96% of human rights abuses committed by the right. We could do that.

Or we could have a little self respect.