Although it was by no means a scientific poll, recent articles carried in the Coaster indicate that the majority of 2012 high school graduates plan to leave the area to build lives outside the region.
Eleven of the 18 students interviewed about their career plans said that they do not see themselves returning to live and work in the Coast of Bays.
At best, the remaining seven said that they might remain here providing they could find work in the area.
Eleven of 18 is about 61 percent which means, unscientifically, that most of the 2012 graduates, like their counterparts before them, will definitely leave this area while many of the remaining 39 percent will leave as well.
This trend of young people leaving small rural areas to work and live in larger urban centers is not unique to Newfoundland and Labrador.
The latest statistics show that 81 percent of all Canadians live in urban centers and this number is likely to become even higher in the future.
Rural areas all across this great country are losing their populations or struggling to hold on to those that they do have.
The number one reason people give for wanting to move to the cities is more job opportunities. They also talk about wanting to see the world, to travel, to experience new and different things and to enjoy the many services that a larger center can provide.
The trend of young people leaving rural areas is also not unique to the COB. In 1991, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador had a population of 579,00; by 2011 there were only 509,000 people here. Most young people are moving to other areas of Canada to start careers and build families.
As the exodus continues in the COB our communities are going to look very different in the future. Our ever-shrinking population will have a profound impact on our social and economic lives and our way of life in general.
Will some of our communities survive the exodus of young people to other areas? McCallum has less than 100 people, Gaultois has less than 200 and Recontre has a very small population as well. Is the writing on the wall for these communities?
So, what can we do to stop the trend of young people leaving our area?
To say the last, it’s going to be very difficult to stop the outflow of our young people. Most of them don’t want to stay, which means that the future will be very different for those of us remaining.