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2016 Population and Housing Census Preliminary Report

Friday, February 9, 2018
The Hon. Lovita Foggo

Ministerial Statement by the Minister of Cabinet Office with Responsibility for Government Reform, The Hon. Lovitta F. Foggo, JP, MP

Good morning Mr. Speaker,

I rise to share with the Members of this Honourable House and the people of Bermuda the highlights of the results of the 2016 Population & Housing Census Preliminary Report.

Mr. Speaker, the 2016 Census results will be released in two publications. The first publication was released on January 29th 2018, and that preliminary report focused on a summary analyses of the most basic characteristics of Bermuda’s population and housing.  The second report is expected to be completed by the end of March 2018. This final report will cover detailed analyses on the census topics.

Mr. Speaker, the 2016 Census of Population & Housing was similar to previous censuses, the 2016 Census and was susceptible to a plethora of challenges. Despite these challenges, the Director and staff of the Department of Statistics persevered to achieve its desired outcomes in alignment with international statistical best practices.  Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to commend the Director and her team for an outstanding job. As a result of their dedication, we were able to achieve a coverage rate of 100% and a pre-imputation completion rate of 98%.

Mr. Speaker, There were 827 households that were not completed. In order to achieve a data set for all households, data was imputed for these missing households. In cases of partially completed households, data was also imputed for some variables.  In this regard, it is important that all users of the 2016 Census data familiarize themselves with the concepts and definitions and technical note when interpreting the results and/or making comparisons with the 2010 Census.

Mr. Speaker, The majority of the preliminary reports analysis is focused on the de jure civilian non-institutional population which is our usual population who have lived, or are expected to live, in Bermuda for six months or more as of Census Day. This population excludes 711 persons in institutions, 138 non-sheltered or homeless persons and 4,637 overseas visitors.

Mr. Speaker, let me now share some highlights of the 2016 Preliminary Census results:

Bermuda’s civilian non-institutional population stood at 63,779 persons. There were 30,690 males and 33,389 females and the distribution of males and females remained unchanged from 2010 at 48% and 52%, respectively. The racial composition of Bermuda was 33,339 blacks, 19,466 whites, 5,780 mixed racial groups, 2,592 Asians; and the remainder comprised other races and the not stated categories.  Despite a two percentage point decline in the percentage distribution, blacks still represented more than half of the population.

Mr. Speaker, like other developed countries, Bermuda continues to have an ageing population. The total number of persons 65 years and over represented 17%, shifting from the least populated age group in 2010 to the third most populated in 2016. The median age of the population increased from 41 to 44 years, another indicator of an ageing population.

Mr. Speaker, we are pleased to report that there was an improvement in the population’s highest level of academic qualifications attained since 2010.  The proportion of the population 16 years or older with no formal certificates declined to 14%, while the proportion of degree holders increased to 29%.

Mr. Speaker, the labour force participation rate slipped to 83% in 2016 and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7%.

Mr. Speaker, in concluding the highlights of the 2016 Census preliminary results, I will summarize key findings on housing and households.  The number of dwelling units increased to 28,192 units and the average household size was 2.26 persons per household. Out of the 27,418 private households, 48% were owner-occupied.

Mr. Speaker, as of 31st March, 2017, approximately $575,000 of the $1.7 million budgeted for the 2016 Population and Housing Census has been spent. This equates to 34% of the budget.  The budget accounted for a higher percentage of data collection being completed by more costly field interviewing than actually materialized.

Mr. Speaker, as a reminder, the census data provides a snapshot of the socio-economic conditions of Bermuda at a given time and can be used to devise effective strategies for our future.

I am happy to field a few questions.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.