JAMAICA'S population grew by less than 100,000 during the decade 2001 to 2011, according to Jamaica Population and Housing Census 2011 data released yesterday by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin).
The figures showed that the population count is now 2,697,983, comprising 2,678,629 persons in private dwellings, 18,420 in institutions and 934 homeless persons.
The total represents a 3.5 per cent increase in nine-and-a-half years since the 2001 census, over the count of 2,607,632 at that census. This increase represents an average annual rate of growth of only 0.36 per cent since 2001, and continues the reduction in annual rates of growth observed since the 1970s .
In numerical terms, the addition to the population between 2001 and 2011 was less than 100,000. Average annual absolute increase over the period was about 9,500 compared to the 21,800 between 1991 and 2001, Statin said.
Population change must be interpreted within the context of the three components of population change — births, deaths and migration — events which add or take away from the population, Statin said. The components of change between 2001 and 2011 were additions of 438,818 due to births and losses amounting to 347,967, the results of deaths and migration.
Birth rates have fallen from an average of 24.2 per 1000 between 1991 and 2001 to 17.4 per 1000 between 2001 and 2011. At the same time there has been a small upturn in death rates from 6.4 between 1991 and 2001 to 7.1 in the most recent period. While additions to the population from natural increase (the difference between births and deaths) amounted to approximately 259,000 between 2001 and 2011, migration levels have remained high. Net migration of 168,700 over the period reduced the natural increment by approximately 65 per cent.
The census results also showed that of the total population of 2,697,983, females numbered 1,363,450 and males 1,334,533. Between 2001 and 2011, the male population grew faster (4 per cent) than the female population (3 per cent). The excess of women over men dropped quite considerably from 40,538 in 2001 to 28,917 in 2011. The result was an increase in the sex ratio (the number of males per 100 females) from 96.9 per 100 in 2001 to 97.9 in 2011.