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It has a population of 2000 people but every year its getting less.

This sentence came up in a text book but sounds strange to me. Any ideas? To me its getting less sounds unnatural - its getting smaller or its decreasing.
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Learning English | BBC World Service | News about Britain

Because, with young populations getting less here, they fear of decreasing in applicants for the school and are thinking of introducing both sex.

It has a population of 2000 people but every year it's getting less.
to get less means to decrease in number
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the population is getting smaller

the population is shrinking
That quote is ungrammatical.

The fact that it comes from a BBC English learning site does not mean it must be correct - this was a comment added by an English learner.
Hello Anon

1. It has a population of 2000 people but every year it's getting less.

The first "it" refers to something outside the sentence (a village, a prison, an ESL website – call it X), but the second "it" refers to "population".

However, there is a possible momentary confusion on the listener's/reader's part, if X is taken as the antecedent of the second "it" also.

Hence perhaps the apparent strangeness.

MrP
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Does "getting less" work with "population"? It sounds so odd to me.

Every year it's decreasing, every year it's getting smaller, every year it shrinks. But "less" seems an odd pairing with "population."
I'm with you, GG. The use of "getting less" sounds really strange to me in this sentence. Although "getting smaller" definitely would be better, it's not just the use in connection with "population" that bothers me here. When "getting less" is used, the word "get" usually has a meaning similar to "receive" or is followed by additional words. I think that's what irritates me the most about the usage in the sentence.

- Nowadays we're paying more and getting less.
- I've been getting less sleep than usual.
- He's getting less and less enthusiastic about the idea.
Grammar GeekDoes "getting less" work with "population"? It sounds so odd to me.

It doesn't work.
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