THE Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin) is dispelling the notion that a population boom is inevitable once more houses are being built across the island.
The view was shared by Statin's Director General Carol Coy, against the backdrop that late mayor of Portmore, George Lee, argued that there were more people living in the area than stated in the 2011 census.
The last census put the population of Portmore at just over 182,000 but officials believe that the number has gone past 200,000. Other officials have even suggested that the population is almost 250,000 presently.
"I know we had an issue the last time where the [late] mayor disputed the figures for Portmore but for me, I stand by the figures," said Coy during the recent Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange.
"I think sometimes I have had discussions with even politicians and they'll look at you and say so many houses have gone up, but what they don't realise is that what we have found in Jamaica is the size of the households is declining — so what will happen is that children of who were living with their parents, they've moved out in their own space," she added.
She also noted that more Jamaicans are owning houses, which has contributed to the scepticism about population growth.
"Because you see so many houses going up doesn't necessarily mean a population increase. And what we have found, too, is the number of persons who own houses in Jamaica is also growing. People move out of a rental situation and move into their own home," she said.
Meanwhile, Statin's Deputy Director General Leesha Delatie-Budair pointed out that boundaries for certain areas is another challenge.
"For example, in 2011 Caribbean Estate was not a part of Portmore — in our definition — so part of it has to do with the definition of the boundaries. You have to go behind the headline numbers and look at the metadata for information," she explained.
The 2022 Population and Housing Census will begin after September 12, which has been labelled Census Day, and will run until December according to Statin officials.