(CMR) Non-Caymanians make up a larger percentage of the labor force, the preliminary report of the 2021 Census has revealed.
The preliminary report gives details of the survey conducted from 10 October to 31 December 2021, with an additional three weeks in January 2022.
According to the report, the total employed population was registered at 44,635, with Caymanians accounting for 19,444 (43.6% of total employment), while non-Caymanians were counted at 25,097 (or 56.2% of the total).
Meanwhile, the unemployed reached 2,676 or 5.7 percent of the labor force. Unemployed Caymanians were counted at 1,795, while unemployed non-Caymanians were counted at 873, resulting in unemployment rates of 8.5 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
According to the preliminary report, the country's total population in 2021 stood at 69,656, comprising 69,350 persons living in households and 306 persons living in institutions (including prisons, dormitories, retirement homes, etc.).
The overall response rate to the Census was estimated at 96.8 percent, with a non-response rate of 3.2 percent, which amounted to 958 households or approximately 2,300 individuals.
The non-institutional population in 2021 (69,350) grew by 26.0 percent over the 2010 Census count (55,036). Caymanians made up 52.9 percent of the population, while non-Caymanians counted 45.9 percent. The remaining 1.2 percent of those surveyed did not indicate their nationality.
The majority of the non-institutional population lived in George Town (49.6%), followed by West Bay (21.5%), Bodden Town (20.6%), the Sister Islands (3.1%), North Side (2.7%), and East End (2.5%). Compared to the 2010 population, Bodden Town recorded the highest growth rate at 35.3 percent, and the other districts recorded double-digit population growth except for the Sister Islands, which saw a population decline.
The number of households in the Cayman Islands increased to 29,502 from 22,760 in the 2010 Census, while the average household size remained relatively stable at 2.4 persons in 2021.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Finance & Economic Development Hon. Chris Saunders urged all residents to read the preliminary report. Final 2021 Census numbers are expected in June of this year.
The Deputy Premier noted the importance of the Census data in matters of national importance, as most recently demonstrated by the COVID-19 vaccination drive mounted by the Government last year.
“Having accurate population data is vital in public health situations. I'm incredibly glad that we took a cautious approach and asked for a re-estimate of the population prior to determining our COVID-19 vaccination targets,” he said.
Saunders added, “It was important that we got it right to ensure our population was sufficiently protected prior to re-opening our borders and to meet the targets set by other nations when allowing Caymanians and residents into their countries.”
He explained that the higher updated estimate from the Labour Force Survey Fall 2020 was used, which is estimated within a five percent margin of error. The actual preliminary census population count of 69,656 falls well within this margin. If the 3.2 percent of households that did not respond to the Census survey for one reason or another is taken into account, the preliminary population will be slightly higher than the Labour Force Survey 2020 estimated upper band.
Deputy Premier Saunders also remarked on the growth in his home district of Bodden Town, which was the district showing the most population growth in the past decade, and noted how essential having accurate data is in public sector planning and decision making.
“We all knew that the populations in the Eastern districts – primarily in the Savannah, Newlands, and Bodden Town areas, had grown exponentially merely by observation, but to have this proven by the Census data is very important. Having this data is vital as we look at how the Government must plan and budget for the sufficient provision of public services such as schools, health clinics and policing, and infrastructures such as roads and hurricane shelters. We have to know where people are, in order that we meet the current needs and also adequately plan for the future.”
For more information on The Cayman Islands' Preliminary 2021 Census of Population and Housing Report, please visit www.eso.ky