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Small island of Niue losing population, tries to keep residents

Small Island Tries To Keep Residents

Fifty years ago, the island of Niue once housed more than 5,000 people, but today, it's losing its population, barely holding onto less than 1,600 residents.

Part of the shrinking numbers are due to the country's connection with New Zealand, where 24,000 Niueans currently live. Niueans are automatically New Zealand citizens, though the country governs itself.

The lush Pacific island is one of many hit by the exodus. The CIA estimates the population of the Cook Islands in the south is declining by 3% per year. It is also in free association with New Zealand.

On Niue, six schools used to stand, now there is only one. Other buildings once filled with people remain empty -- but Niueans remain optimistic. Last year, the tourism industry saw a boost with 7,000 people visited the island which is twice as many as six years before. On top of beautiful, quiet beaches, the island is said to have some of the world's best diving spots because of its marine life and underwater cathedrals.

It's also where Captain Cook attempted to land in the 1700s.

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onionson July 16 2014 at 6:12 AM

They need people, we have a surplus of illegal immigrants. That would be a tough place to sneak back here from too.

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6 replies
bailey.willie July 16 2014 at 6:56 AM

THEY HEAR OBAMA WAS COMING THERE TO PLAY GOLF AND FUND RAISE

Flag Reply +27 rate up
5 replies
cpowers9072 July 16 2014 at 8:52 AM

So, the article did not fully explain the reason for the exodus, other than because the island is "connected" to New Zealand.

Flag Reply +22 rate up
4 replies
crowland503 July 16 2014 at 7:44 AM

No wonder the population fled after Barack Obama imposed Obamacare!

Flag Reply +20 rate up
7 replies
fritolaye July 16 2014 at 6:00 AM

i would move there in a heart beat

Flag Reply +18 rate up
1 reply
ofleck fritolaye July 16 2014 at 10:42 AM

beat, beat beat....that's 3. Are you still here?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
THOM ofleck July 16 2014 at 12:03 PM

Me too....looks like paradise

Flag 0 rate up
chuck July 16 2014 at 7:23 AM

i wonder if oboma plans to move here if he cant be our dictator

Flag Reply +18 rate up
5 replies
Sundancer July 16 2014 at 8:52 AM

Did I miss it?? Nowhere did I see anything stating WHY they are leaving. Just statements about an exodus. Why?

Flag Reply +15 rate up
4 replies
TripleXKimberly July 16 2014 at 7:25 AM

You don't have to sell me! Sign me up. I would love to vacation there first to see how I like it.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
crowland503 July 16 2014 at 7:01 AM

Gillian, the Skipper, the Howells, Mary Ann, Ginger, and the Professor would love this tiny island!

Flag Reply +8 rate up
4 replies
pdbliz July 16 2014 at 9:46 AM

Move the Democrats there.!!!!!
DO THEY HAVE WELFARE AND EBT CARDS,,,IF SO,,,,DEMOCRATS,,,WILL BE WELCOMED.!!!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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