30th Anniversary Saroma

Statistical Saroma, 2010

March 31st marks the last day of the fiscal year here in Japan, and everything is being finalized and finished. As such, a copy of Saroma’s 2010 Mini-Stats landed on my desk this morning, hot off the presses. I previously translated and distributed the 2009 Mini-Stats to members of the Palmer City Council and travelers to Saroma. I thought that I would update that translation with the data from the 2010 publication, and post a quick look at Saroma’s 2010 Mini-Statistics.

Here are the numbers, complete with cute clip art, as compiled by the Planning and Finance Department:

One Year in Saroma (2009)

※Water use and alcohol consumption data are current to March 2010. All other data is current to December 2009.

Overall for the calendar year 2009 compared to 2008, Saroma Town has made some improvements! Births are up, deaths are down. Marriages are up, divorces are down. Trash and sewage held fairly steady as did traffic accidents and ambulance calls. Criminal incidents increased from 31 to 40 over the year. Perhaps because of the bad economy? Not so fast – alcohol consumption was down by over four thousand gallons from the year previous – not typically associated with a bad economy. Perhaps people decided they’d rather hold off on the drinks and drive home, rather than get sloshed and take the bus? It’s possible, as bus ridership was down by almost 20%. All in all, no statistical black spots for the town. I’m going to do my part to help out by next year trying to drink a lot more on the bus after fathering a few children and catching a burglar or two. In fact, I think some of those things might be in my contract of employment.

6 replies on “Statistical Saroma, 2010”

This is great Sean. Thanks for making this information available. We have rarely had this before. One statistic of interest would be the current population. Departures are significantly higher than new arrivals as are deaths over births. This means the school system will continue to loose students, not good. Since the sister city program is heavy into student exchanges, statistics about the school population at elementary, middle and senior high levels would be interesting.
Would it be possible to get these same town and school statistics for 10 years ago and possibly even 20 and 30 years ago??

Ryan, the image is from the data file produced by the Planning Dept; the images are standard clipart, albeit very Japanese. I have some more statistics-based posts in the pipeline.

George, I’m glad you like it. It’s something I really enjoy as well. The statistics are revealing but also mysterious in that they answer questions you didn’t know you had but raise other ones. I’ll do a follow up post about student levels. I believe the statistics paper lists student levels every ten years, but if not that is surely something I can find. Those number might not tell the whole story though. Hamasaroma Elementary stands to have less than 30 students in several years based on current preschool enrollment, while Wakasa could break 60. Just two years ago they were almost the same with about 40 each. It’s good news for Wakasa. I guess farm families need children more than fishing families?

Concerning the current population, the latest number is 6,002. I think it was 6,200 when I first moved here in September 2008. The 6,000 level is sort of a psychological barrier for the town’s vitality, I think. Mayor Kawane focused on trying to keep the population above 6,000 throughout 2010 in his year-end address to the town hall staff last December. It’s sort of sad to see simple maintenance of population become a policy goal, but every small town on this island is dealing with it and will be for some time.

Sean, isn’t it curious that the amount of sewage processed, in gallons, is only about four times as much as the amount of alcohol consumed, in gallons? Does that mean that one fourth of what is consumed in Saroma is alcohol?

James, it’s either a calculation error on my part from litres, or they measure sewage somehow differently than we are assuming. Look at the water consumption of several hundred million gallons. That excludes agricultural use, but it would seem it’s not part of the sewage number. My guess is that they measure only the solid sewage that needs to be separated and treated, not the wastewater that the receive. I will check when I’m back in the office next week. Good observation.

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