During the period 1951–61 the total population of the region increased by 27·76 per cent, a percentage increase above the national figure of 24·46 per cent, the cities and boroughs of the region increasing at a rate more than twice the county rate. The population of Palmerston North city increased by 32·70 per cent during the decade, but Feilding with a 40·39 per cent and Levin with 67·52 per cent displayed the largest increases. In the pastoral sector the number of sheep and lambs shorn has shown a satisfactory rate of development, but an increase in cows in milk has been registered only in the three southern counties. The estimated labour force of the Palmerston North employment district (covering an area somewhat larger than the region) increased from 32,400 in 1953 (April) to 37,600 in 1961 (April). Significantly, the labour force engaged in manufacturing increased by 28·35 per cent during this period, a rate well above the increase of 16·04 per cent in the total labour force. Nevertheless, the importance of the primary industries in the economic life of the region is stressed by the fact that they employ 22·87 per cent of the total labour force, compared with the national percentage of 16·05 per cent.
by Samuel Harvey Franklin, B.COM.GEOG., M.A.(BIRMINGHAM), Senior Lecturer, Geography Department, Victoria University of Wellington.