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Census Figures

Statement by the Premier, the Hon. W. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP

On the Preliminary Results of the 2010 Census

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Preliminary results of the two month-long census exercise conducted by the Economics and Statistics Office last year, reveal that the Cayman Islands' population now stands at 54,878.

Estimates received back in 2008 projected a total of just over 57,000 and the expectation, then, was that the population would continue to grow.

But what we have been witnessing on the ground has been the opposite. And the preliminary 2010 census results now confirm that the Cayman Islands' population is declining.

This population downtrend has the potential to negatively impact local economic activity and is thus a matter of serious concern, one which needs immediate action.

The new census results accordingly compel government to continue pushing for policies that will promote sustainable population growth in the Cayman Islands. While we do not want a runaway population spiral, what we do need is sustainable growth that can spur healthy local economic growth.

The census results further reveal that population growth among the districts is uneven. We have a large gap in numbers for George Town, compared to West Bay and Bodden Town, the two other population-dense districts.

But we have to maintain sustainable growth in all our districts. Government considers this a vital requirement for progress and we want to address this actively.

The relatively slow population growth in the Sister Islands must also be addressed. Facilitating greater economic activity in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman therefore becomes vital to achieve growth in keeping with the environmental concerns that characterise those islands.

We don't want some districts to be left behind in Cayman's socio-economic development process; otherwise our progress will not be meaningful.

I expect to receive the final census report in the last quarter of this year. It will provide in-depth information on each district's socio-economic and demographic dynamics. We need those figures in order to take focused action.

I expect this data to guide my government's response, not only to the issues that exist at the district level, but equally importantly, to promote balanced growth across the country.

For further information contact: Bina Mani