June 26, 2018 at 2:13 pm #1914DarenParticipant
What is the true population size of the USVI post Irma/Maria? Is this not necessary information for nearly every sector in the region?
It would be difficult for new businesses to plan, or even to survive without this critical data. How many people left the region owing to the hurricanes, how many returned and whether any new residents came, are all relevant information for the State, for several obvious reasons.
I tried to access this information for a pilot study I was doing but was unable to retrieve it and as such a feasibility study was rendered guesswork.
July 13, 2018 at 9:37 am #1936MPepcoParticipant
- This topic was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Daren.
There is an article in the VI Consortium that credits information from one of the federal government units, which suggest that Virgin Island employment dropped by about 4,500 individuals post the hurricanes. Employment is not population though there is a correlation. The inability to find work and address living requirements may result in moving to where employment opportunity exist. Equally important is what impact the storms had on businesses. Absent a productive private sector we are left with a government sector that will require a greater slices of the remaining business earnings to support its spending habits.
Anecdotally, we are all aware of families that left the islands at the beginning of the school year to enroll students in schools on the mainland. Those individuals may or may not return. I am personally aware of a St. Croix family whose kids attended St. Croix’s elite private school yet found that those children struggled to perform on par with their new classmates in a public school in a major urban area.
The large question is how many of those who were residentially or employment-wise displaced will see sufficient opportunity in a recovered Virgin Islands that will cause them to rejoin the community and workforce. Undoubtedly, over time, the population will recover and hopefully grow. The big questions are how long will that take, how much ground will the economy loose to its competition during the recovery period and what direction will future growth take in helping define what is the US Virgin Islands.
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