Are Nicaraguans disappearing?

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Can someone help me? 1.9 million Nicaraguans have gone missing — just from one trimester to the next!

In Nicaragua, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to have any confidence in official statistics…that is when the government decides to make them available in the first place.

For example, MINED (the Ministry of Education) stopped publishing school enrollment numbers in 2008. The numbers weren’t made available again until 2010, and that was when they were published by UNESCO. In 2012, school enrollment numbers were again made public when the Central Bank of Nicaragua published its report “Nicaragua by the Numbers.” But because the statistics showed a drop in primary education enrollment, the government didn’t publish any new numbers for 2013.

This raises enormous doubts over other government statistics. The government’s Continuous Home Survey (ECH) by INIDE is based on population statistics, broken down into urban and rural populations, by gender and age. It also looks at the working-age population, which is derived from demographic projections by INIDE.

For the third semester of 2012, the government’s home survey reflected a population of 6,078,632 Nicaraguans, of which 3,490,570 lived in urban areas and 2,588,062 lived in rural areas. The population of senior citizens was 483,174. The number of working Nicaraguans grew to 3,042,823, of which 964,251 were working in the agricultural sector.

However, the survey’s findings for the fourth semester of the same year — numbers that were published 20 months after the data was collected, despite a regulatory decree stating that survey results must be published no later than 12 months after data collection — shows that the total population of Nicaraguans is now only 4,150,930. That means from one semester to the next, Nicaragua lost 1,927,729 people!

According to the new statistics, there are now 1,016,844 fewer people living in urban areas, and 910,855 fewer people living in rural areas. The number of senior citizens dropped to 156,833. An additional 870,753 working-age Nicaraguans disappeared, as well as 269,522 farmers.

With the sudden disappearance of hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans in just one trimester, we have entered a new era of total incredibility regarding government statistics, and must ask ourselves whether or not the numbers reflect the reality of our country, or what that reality even is.

 

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