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Daily Archives: 11. February 2014 − News & Stories


Decli­ne of popu­la­ti­on in Lon­gye­ar­by­en

Against a long-term trend, the popu­la­ti­on in Lon­gye­ar­by­en fell by 47 to the num­ber of 2043 in 2013. This is indi­ca­ted by the annu­al report of the Sys­sel­man­nen for 2013. As Sval­bard­pos­ten reports, amongst the­se 47 the­re are 17 child­ren in pre-school age, which equals 36%.

Com­pa­red to pla­ces of simi­lar size on the Nor­we­gi­an main­land, the num­ber of inha­bi­tants in Lon­gye­ar­by­en can face stron­ger varia­ti­ons, as tho­se who are regis­tered as resi­dents usual­ly live the­re for a limi­ted peri­od of time, most­ly in accordance to their jobs. Working con­tracts are tem­pora­ry, rota­ti­ons amongst the employees are usu­al and often desi­red by employ­ers and many wish to return back home after one sea­son in the arc­tic. For the­se rea­sons, a high fluc­tua­ti­on is qui­te typi­cal for Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

Howe­ver, in the last years the num­ber of inha­bi­tants incre­a­sed per­ma­nent­ly. In 2010 the­re were 1966 peop­le regis­tered in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, in 2011 the num­ber was 2063 and in 2012 it was 2090. The­re­fo­re the local government is not con­cer­ned about the sin­gle decli­ne in 2013, it is not seen as a sign for a long las­ting nega­ti­ve trend.

Sval­bard­pos­ten dis­cus­ses pos­si­ble rea­sons for the cur­rent decli­ne of inha­bi­tants: Rest­ruc­tu­rings at the mining com­pa­ny Store Nor­ske are men­tio­ned, which led to staff reduc­tion. On the other hand the rela­tively high decli­ne among young child­ren leads to the assump­ti­on that many of the new inha­bi­tants came without fami­lies. As the refe­rence date for the eva­lua­ti­on of the num­ber of inha­bi­tants is the 31st of Decem­ber, it is pos­si­ble that the diver­gence equa­li­zes again during this year.

In his annu­al report the Sys­sel­man­nen publis­hes the num­ber of inhbi­tants for all sett­le­ments in Spits­ber­gen. The­se are, in addi­ti­on to Lon­gye­ar­by­en, the sett­le­ments of Ny Åle­sund (34) and Bar­ents­burg (419), the hotel at Kapp Lin­né (Isfjord Radio) (1), the four trap­per sta­ti­ons Kapp Wijk (1), Akseløya (1), Kapp Schol­lin (1) and Farm­ham­na (1) and the polish polar sta­ti­on at Horn­sund (10). The workers of the coal­mi­nes at Sveagru­va, Svea Nord and Lunck­ef­jell, are not regis­tered the­re, their resi­den­ces are in Lon­gye­ar­by­en or on the main­land. In 2013 the average num­ber of workers in Sveagru­va was 208.

Has cur­r­ent­ly a few pupils less: school in Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

school Longyearbyen

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