By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyna.com] – Guyana has recorded a marginal reduction of 3,339 in its population, according to a preliminary report of the long awaited Population and Housing Census 2012, which was released today (Monday, June 30), by the Guyana Bureau of Statistics.
Guyana’s population count now stands at 747,884 having been 751,223 when the previous population count was conducted in 2002.
When asked about the factors that contributed to this decline, Chief Statistician and Census Officer Lennox Benjamin explained that migration continues to be the major factor in this regard.
He recalled that the country’s population had peaked in 1980 and has never been able to regain that level despite increases in birth rate.
“The net migration factor remains the biggest influence,” Benjamin stated.
The 2012 census which marks the 17th National Census of Guyana exposed that the number of persons per square kilometre (population density) remains the same in comparison to the 2002 census which was calculated at 3.5 persons per square kilometre.
Demerara-Mahaica (Region 4), in which the capital city Georgetown is located, has the highest density of about 140.4 persons per square kilometre followed by Regions 3 and 5 with 28.6 persons and 11.9 persons per square kilometre respectively.
Deputy Census Officer Vanessa Profit told those present that the urban townships including the capital City recorded a population reduction of 18,182, with a total population of 191,810 at Census 2012, down from 209,992 in the 2002 census.
This number implies that 26.4 per cent (191,810) of the total enumerated household population reported in 2012 live inurban areas as compared to 73.6 per cent (535,193) rural resident dwellers.
The exceptions to the pattern of reduction in urban townships were New Amsterdam and Rose Hall which reportedly had 0.17 percent and 0.59 percent annual growth rates respectively. The overall reduction has obviously been influenced by the outward shift of the population of Georgetown.
Meanwhile, the Coastland regions which include the capital city comprise the higher percentage of the population (89.1 percent). Region Four which constitutes only about one percent of the land area has 41.9 percent of the population followed by Regions 6 and 3 almost in equal proportions of 14.6 percent and 14.4 percent respectively.
The Bureau team stressed that despite the delay and challenges compiling and subsequently presenting the preliminary report, the document remains accurate and current and will guide policy decisions until the next census is conducted in 2022.
The preliminary report outlined broad parameters and failed to provide details on ethnic composition of the population, unemployment rate and foreign born population among others which will the team promised will presented by the second half of 2015.
It was also announced that females slightly outnumbered males in the 2012 census. There were 372,547 males and 375,337 females, thus giving an estimated sex ratio of 99 males per every 100 females.
The national average household size has decreased from about 4.1 persons per household in 2002 to 3.6 persons per household in 2012 census. The highest average household size was recorded for the four (4) Hinterland regions (Regions 1, 7, 8 and 9) combined which yielded an estimated 4.7 persons per household, down by an absolute 0.7 person when compared to the 2002 census results.
Building stocks in Guyana has increased from 187,696 in 2002 to 219,509 buildings in 2012. This represents an increase of 16.9 percent during the intercensal period, while the number of dwellings was reported as 221,741 in the 2012 census, up by 16,624 dwelling units when compared to 2002 figure of 205,117 dwelling units.