I had the misfortune of reading an article on the English section of ippmedia.com today. It badly hurt my feelings. To let you know what I mean, I will paste it below, with my comments liberally inserted in blue: =========================== Population of Tanzania now 39 million 2007-11-14 By Juma Thomas, Dodoma Assuming a contant population growth rate of 2.9% per annum, there should be 58 million of us in 2025. If that will require 42,000 nurses per dispensary, then, as we are 67% of the 58 million now, we must have a requirement of 28, 140 nurses per dispensary now! What about hospitals and doctors? What did you really want to say? On another level, let me assure Juma that we cannot sustain the current population growth rate. We are dying of AIDS, remember? Besides, the place is swarming with abortionists who maraud as family planners. The birth rate couldn't possibly be increasing at 2.9% It must be the population that is growing at that rate. Juma can surely distinguish between growth in birth rate and growth in population? Our birth rate has not grown. It has infact shrunk from 3.1% to 2.9%. Due to AIDS and the preponderance of anti life groups like UMATI, we are increasing more slowly than we used to. Still, it is not enough for them. Looks like they will not rest until we start to decline more rapidly. I doubt that a whole Director of Statistics would have said that. Do not put words into her mouth, Juma. It is possible to have no increase in birth rate and yet have a rapidly growing population. For example, a constant (zero increase) birth rate could still result, at least theoretically, in a 5% annual population growth rate. That would increase us to 94.8 million by 2025! You already said that, and it does not make much sense. We need people to develop. Who cannot see that it is the countries with large populations that are developing most rapidly? Look at China and India. Nobody has anything close to their populations. In Africa, look at Nigeria. They have more than a 100 million people there, in a land whose arable area is a lot smaller than that of Tanzania and they are developing rather fast. No, we need more people, not fewer. Juma, percentages mean nothing if you do not say what they are percentages of. So, we will increase from 64.5% to 86.5% of what? This statement of yours hurt my feelings. I expect our journalists and their editors to do better than this. It is not up to a government bureau to decide how many children each of us should have. God, and we, His cooperators, hold that right. I recall that Victor studied Biology at Mkwawa. I should know, because I was there studying Maths at the same time. Is that you Victor, or is your name shared by another? If it is you, then you are simply cracking a joke (as always). You know that Statisticians, particularly those of the variety that is to be found in the Bureau of Statistics, can give no such explanation.