DRIFT OF POPULATION
SUGGESTIVE FIGURES. [Special to the Stah/j WELLINGTON, January 18. One interesting and instructive feature, of the. polling at tho recent General Election is the light it throws upon the drift of population In 1891, on the basis of population, the. North Island sent 30 members to the House of Representatives, and tho South Island 40. Tho North Island representation gradually increased and tho South Island gradually decreased, till in 1905 Mr Seddon raised tho number of members of the House to 76 in order that tho two islands might have equal representation. Tho census of 1911 entailed afurther change, and now the North Island returns 42 members and the South Island 34. The recent election, assuming that the increase of the number of voters in the North Island is accompanied by a corresponding increase in the population, suggests that a still more drastic readjustment of representation will be required after the census of 1917. Last month 305.060 electors went to the polls in the North to return 42 members, and 209,441 in the South to return 34 members, giving an average of 7,287 electors to each member in the North, and of 6,160 to cacli member in the South. Tf this approximately represents the growth of population in the two islands the North is already entitled to 45 members, whilst the. South woukl have its fair proportion of representation with 31. That something of this sort has happened may be judged from a comparison between the increase in the number of electors in the rural constituencies in the North Island and in tho South. At tho election of 1908 4.221 votes were polled in the Bay of Islands constituency, which, at that time, was regarded as being so far out of the way as to be the end of nil things. At the recent election 6,120 votes were polled, an increase of 1,899 votes. During tho same period Ellesmere increased from 4,6.54 to 5",521, Ashburton from 5.670 to 6.2:25, Bruce from 4,927 to 5.475. and Wnkatipu from 4,141 to 4,653, increnses respectively of 867, 555, 548, and 512. H looks as if the rural population were increasing three times as fast in the North Island as it is in the South, and the evidence of the traveller's eyes bears out tha tale told by the'statistics. That Bay _ of Islands is not an isolated case of expansion may be seen by the fact that the increase of .the number of electors in Waikato ha; been 1,864. in Tauranga 1,571, and in Bay of Plenty 1,819. The further the compari son is carried, indeed, the more striking it becomes.
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DRIFT OF POPULATION, Evening Star, Issue 15704, 19 January 1915