…Region Four remains population hub
The Guyana Population and Housing Census 2012 which marks the country’s 17th National Census, has recorded a continuing decline in the population size according to the preliminary report released by the Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Finance yesterday.
A presentation which was held at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara, revealed that as at Census Day September 15, 2012, the population recorded a marginal reduction of 3,339 persons from the population count of 751,223, last done on September 15, 2002.
As at September 15, 2012, 747,884 persons were recorded. The decline from 2002 to 2012 represents an annual negative growth rate of 0.04 percent, the report stated.
The findings also proved that the Coastland which includes the capital, Georgetown, remains the holder of the highest percentage of the population which is 89.1 percent. The population of the Hinterland -which comprises of more than two-thirds of the land area- continues to grow but only constitutes 10.9 percent of the total population. Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) has 41.9 percent, followed by Regions Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) which holds 41.6 percent and 14.4 percent respectively.
The population density of Regions Two, Five, Six and Ten declined while the other six Regions experienced growth. This growth includes all the Hinterland regions which, according to Chief Statistician and Census Officer, Mr. Lennox Benjamin, could be attributed to the growth in the mining sector which has witnessed an influx of persons into the mining regions.
It should be noted, also, that for the Census, Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine are deemed hinterland regions, while the others are seen as coastland regions. The Coastland regions had 679,869 persons and the Hinterland has 71,354 persons.
The gender population report showed that the number of women continue to surpass the men. Nationally the ratio of men to women was 49.8 per cent to 50.2 per cent. This translated to 98 men to every 100 women. Along the coast there were 96 men to every 100 women.
However, overall, in Hinterland regions men continue to outnumber women, which Deputy Census Officer Mrs. Vanessa Profitt expressed, could be as a result of the number of men involved in the male-dominated field of mining.
Region Eight was the only location to see a decline in the male population.
The number of households –which is one or more persons, related or not, living together- according to the Census, highlighted that there was a gradual increase in the number of households over the years. For 2012, there were 210,124 households recorded including 4,732 others which were not available for interviewing. This number shows an overall increase of 15.1 percent in comparison to what was recorded in 2002. It was highlighted however, that while the national average household size was 5.1 persons per household in 1980 and 4.1 persons in 2002, it continued to decline in 2012 to be 3.5 persons per household.
Buildings increased from 187,696 in 2002, to 219,509 buildings in 2012. This represents an increase of 16.9 percent during that period. This growth was attributed to government policies of making land available for home construction, as well as increase in the development of both government and private housing schemes.
Also, the number of dwelling units increased by 16,624; 2002 recorded 205,117 units while by2012, there were 221,741 units identified. The dwelling unit is a subset of a building, and since several units can be found in one building, the dwelling units would outnumber the buildings. Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) witnessed the highest rise in dwelling units.
Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, highlighting the importance of the Census, expressed the part the information plays in the area of decision and policy making. He said the richness of the information plays a critical role, “As a government, we regard this periodic of exercise as important… because of the very important nexus between the picture that emerges and the policy making functions….
“We believe that understanding the dynamics of the population is critical to formulation of policies, particularly social policies.”
The Census is conducted to provide information on the population and housing from the smallest to the largest administrative areas of the country, to provide detailed information regarding demographic parameters and to meet the needs of policy-makers, businesses, non-profit organizations and the public among other things.
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