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On the night of 30th November/1st December,  2006, a snapshot of the Cook Islands and its people was taken through the once-every-five-years census.  Preliminary results were issued last year, and the Government Statistics Office has now produced its final, detailed report on the results from the Northern Group of islands (Penrhyn, Pukapuka, Nassau, Rakahanga. Manihiki and Suwarrow) and also Palmerston which is the most northerly in the Southern group.   Pictured left: Statistics office staff who crunched the numbers
IN SUMMARY
1,367 people are resident on the seven most northerly islands, which is just under 7% of the total Cook Islands population
They live in 323 private homes
Pukapuka is the most densely populated (390 people per square kilometre)
Penrhyn is the least densely populated (26 people per square kilometre)
36% of those living in the Northern Group are on Pukapuka
There are 113 men for every 100 women
Gross average income is NZ$8,000 (UKĀ£3,604, US$5,712, 3,929 Euros)
1% of households have no electricity
1 in 5 homes have their own phone
93% of all homes are involved in fishing, mainly for subsistence
62% of employed people work for the government
Households have an average of 7 pigs and 12 chickens each



iPods
THE MARCH OF TECHNOLOGY
A radio and/or cassette player is the most common entertainment appliance (313)
There are 294 televisions and Manihiki has the most (107)
14 homes have their own TV dish
Video recorders are also popular (217), but the DVD player is catching up fast (215)
iPods are making inroads.  There are 9...four each on Manihiki and Penrhyn
There are only 40 computers and half of those are on Manihiki.  Nassau has none
Only 5% of homes, mosty on Manihiki and Penrhyn, have internet access
Playstations are the only games consoles....there are 71, including two on Nassau


LIFE WITHOUT CARS
There are no cars or vans on any of the islands
Motor cycles are the most common form of transport (397) and Pukapuka has the most (126)
Bicycles are nearly as ubiquitous (214)
There are 16 trucks and 8 utes (utility vehicles)
Suwarrow (population 2 from April to October) has no form of transport, not even a bicycle!



Motorycles are everywhere
WAKE UP...AND DON'T SMELL THE COFFEE!
Freezers and gas cookers are seen as "must haves", closely followed by electric drills
Gas Stoves and freezers are in 98% of all homes
92% own an electric frying pan
84% have an electric drill
Less than half (48%) have a washing machine and only 1 in 5 has a microwave
The only coffee percolators are on Palmerston (1), Manihiki (6) and Penrhyn (4)





Cigarettes
UP IN SMOKE
Islanders were asked for the first time in a census about their smoking habits.  More than a third (35%) of over 15s smoke.  Fifty per cent of smokers are between 23 and 54. 
Cook Islands statistics office staff
Very free range livestock
Fishing at Palmerston
EVEN THE PIGS AND CHICKENS WERE COUNTED!
Fishing and farming are key to life on the Northern Group islands.  87% of homes are involved in agriculture, mainly for their own use; only 2% are involved in commercial farming. 
 
At least 87% owned pets or livestock, and even they were counted for the census.   There are 2,404 pigs and 3,938 chickens - the equivalent of 7 pigs and 12 chickens per household. 

93% are involved in fishing, but again for subsistence.  Just 1.8% said they were involved in commercial fishing.  
Click on the underlined name to find out more about the island..   Each opens in a new page or tab of your browser
Aerial photographs are courtesy of Ewan Smith, Air Rarotonga.  The photo of Nassau is public domain

RAKAHANGA
Population: 127
16.6% down on 2001
31 households
63 male
64 female
Most populous part:
Numahanga-Terua Kiore (80)



NASSAU
Population: 75
4.2% up on 2001
16 households
44 male
31 female




SUWARROW
On census night, there was no one on Suwarrow.  The Island is only occupied by a caretaker and his wife from April to October.



Nassau
PUKAPUKA
Population: 507...
23.6% down on 2001
96 households
258 male
249 female
Most populous part: Rotu (214)

MANIHIKI
Population: 353...
35.1% down on 2001
96 households
199 male
154 female
Most populous part:
Tauhuna (191)


PALMERSTON
Population: 63...
31.3% down on 2001
 18 households
 32 male
 31 female
Southern Group island



PENRHYN
Population: 254...
28.9% down on 2001
66 households
138 male
116 female
Most populous part:
Omoka (203)



ISLAND BY ISLAND FACTS AND FIGURES
 
Cook Islands census header
Life in the most Northerly islands
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