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Which is correct?

  1. 60% of the Bahamian population are concentrated in the capital city, Nassau.

  2. 60% of the Bahamian population is concentrated in the capital city, Nassau.

The first sounds awkward to me, but I have come to realize the odd sounding form is often the technically preferable one in English.

I have read some articles on the web and done some browsing on the forum, but it is still unclear to me which is correct.

The answers to Does a percentage quantity take singular or plural verb agreement? suggest that it depends on the countability of the item to which the percentage refers, but the guidance is not clear enough to answer this question. The word "population" functions grammatically as an uncountable noun, but it is easy to recognize that that it refers to multiple individuals.

Does "the Bahamian population" count as singular, or must I recognize that it comprises many individuals and consider it plural?

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Edwin Ashworth, jimm101, Drew, user140086 Oct 23 '16 at 14:14

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    I think I understand the concepts expressed in these threads... I am more so confused about whether or not to consider my noun singular or plural so that I can apply the rules discussed in those threads. Thank you. – Danielle Oct 22 '16 at 13:51
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    The AmE perspective may be different, but in BrE we're pretty flexible about the plurality of things like governments, families, majorities, and percentages. In your specific context I'd use the singular, because I don't think of individuals doing things like "concentrating" in cities. But if the relevant verb had been, say, employed, I'd use the plural because we're talking about a number of different people with different jobs, not one big workforce all being employed as a unit. – FumbleFingers Oct 22 '16 at 14:02
  • The duplicate didn't mention that how the [subset of the] population is being regarded (with the focus on either the individuals making it up, or the notional whole [subset]) makes a difference to the choice of verb-form, in line with related usages for collective nouns. Thus 'All were agreed that the jury was one of the best which ever sat in our court house' / 'The jury were still arguing among themselves'. Here, I think I'd prefer 'is concentrated', though I wouldn't consider 'are' a problem. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 22 '16 at 14:03
  • @FF I hope you were thinking about this longer than I have been. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 22 '16 at 14:05