The number of permanent residents in the north of the island over the past decade has risen by 36.5 per cent, Turkish Cypriot media reported on Monday.

According to a report by Ozgur Gazete, the data published by the ‘statistics agency’ in its “population and demography bulletin”, the number of permanent residents in the occupied territories increased to 104,488, representing a 36.5 percent increase since the last population census carried out in the north back in 2011, the Press and Information Office (Pio) said.

“The demographic structure is changing from day to day along with the cultural erosion that makes itself evident with each passing day due to the unchecked and un-inspected entry through the country’s border gates, the citizenships given by means and by grace of votes and Turkish Cypriots forced to migrate to the south or abroad for economic reasons,” it said, adding that the total population in the 2011 census was 286,257, while at the end of 2021 it was estimated at 382,836.

Of the 104,488 additional people recorded in the latest census, new births in the occupied territories during the same period amounted to 38,095. Deaths during the same period were 12,597.

However, there were questions raised surrounding the validity of the figures. “The 25,498 persons are subtracted from the 104,488 which is the increase in the number of permanent residents in the occupied territories, 78,990 remain, for which it is not stated how many were granted ‘citizenship’, how many of these ‘citizenships’ were granted by marriage, how many were granted by completing the ‘legal period’ of residence in the occupied territories, how many were granted by a ‘cabinet decision’, how many are for individuals under 18 years of age and how many are those who hold a ‘work or residence permit’,” Cyprus News Agency (Cna) said.

Cna also noted that according to the data available upto 1996, there was little difference between the male to female ratio, with women making up 50.4 per cent of the population in 1995 and men 49.6 per cent. But, it is noted that in the first comprehensive ‘population census’ conducted in 1996, the ratio began to change and the number of men increased compared to that of women, rising to 52.8 per cent of the population compared to 47.2 percent for women.