Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I'm working on an article about the recently-published population figures, based on the 2009 census, for the next issue of the CBJ.
From my point of view, the interesting thing about these figures is that they give a very graphic indication of how few people live in Central Brittany at the moment. I've been tapping questions into Google and Wikipedia to try to get some context on the question, and I worked out today that the Cotes d'Armor has less than half the number of people per square mile than Devon.
I made the comparison with Devon as, historically, the two regions have a lot of links, and and they are quite similar in terms of industry, climate, etc. I am sure that up until quite recently the population density of the Cotes d'Armor would have been quite a bit higher than that of Devon - because the climate is milder and, overall, the terrain more hospitable.
The local press don't seem to see it as a particularly grave issue (its more a matter of counting heads to see how much money each commune will be entitled to in the coming year, than anything else).
In any other time and place, these figures would be taken as evidence of a cruel people driving people off the land through exessive taxation and harsh regulation. We are expected to believe that in this particular case, however, it is caused by the irresistable draw of the city luring everyone away.
I would be interested to know what people thought about the issue before putting the finishing touches to my article.