This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A New Country Emerging in Southern Sudan

Although the count is still unofficial, there are reports that the vote by the population in the south of Sudan has exceeded the required 60 percent in favor of succession from Sudan. The vote, which was completed this week, but may take several weeks to ratify, was part of a 2005 peace agreement that ended the worst of the violence between the largely Arab-speaking Muslim population in the north of the country, and the largely Christian or traditional religion populations in the south. The BBC news has noted that:

North and south Sudan have suffered decades of conflict driven by religious and ethnic divides. Southern Sudan is one of the least developed areas in the world and many of its people have have long complained of mistreatment at the hands of the Khartoum government.
There are an estimated 3.8 million registered voters in the south of Sudan, out of a total population in the entire country of Sudan of about 44 million. Thus, the south is considerably smaller demographically than the north. This is exemplified by the size of the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, which has a population of 5 million, compared to the population of Juba, the new capital of the new country (which has yet to be named), whose population is estimated to be no more than 250,000--a number that I have drawn from this intriguing (albeit not well documented) entry from Wikipedia:
In 2005 its population was 163,442. Based on analysis of aerial photos, the best estimate of several donors working in Juba calculated the 2006 population at approximately 250,000. The 5th Sudan Population and Housing Census took place in April/May 2008 but the results were rejected by the government of Southern Sudan. Juba is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, and is developing very rapidly due to oil money and the Chinese coming for work and development.

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