Ministerial Statement by the Minister of Home Affairs, The Hon. C. Walton D. Brown, Jr., JP, MP
Mr. Speaker, today I rise to introduce the Annual Report of the Registry General for the year ended December 31st, 2016. The Registrar General recognizes the essential role that vital statistical information plays in planning for the provision of services in areas such as tourism, health, education and housing, to name a few, and has performed his duties to a high standard in the recording, collating and presenting of the data to be included in the Annual Report.
However, Mr. Speaker, because the House did not convene until September and other priorities took place, the Annual Report is being introduced late this year.
Mr. Speaker, in accordance with Section 19 of the Registration (Births and Deaths) Act 1949, the Registrar-General shall, within ninety days after the expiration of each calendar year, compile for publication in such form and manner as the Minister may approve a summary of the births and deaths which occurred during the year, together with a general report on the increase or decrease of the population of Bermuda. The Registrar is required also under section 35 of the Marriage Act 1944 to publish a summary of marriages conducted each year.
In preparation of the Annual Report, Mr. Speaker, the Registrar has relied on information received from the Records Office of the King Edward VII Hospital relating to births; from the local funeral directors and medical practitioners in relations to deaths; and from local marriage officers and Masters of Bermuda registered ships in relation to local and maritime marriages respectively.
Mr. Speaker, the Report which deals primarily with the vital statistics pertaining to the Island’s residential population indicates that for the second time in five years there has been a slight increase in the number of births. In 2016 there were 591 births; an increase of 8 or 1.4% over the 583 births recorded in 2015. The live birth rate of the population has increased by 2 point per thousand from 8.9 in 2015 to 9.1 in 2016. There were eleven babies born in 2016 in the residence of the parents, an increase of six from the year ending 2015.
Mr. Speaker, the distribution of live births by nationality based on information provided by the parents at the time of registration of their children’s birth, for 2016 reflects 80.0% or 473 of the total live births have at least one Bermudian parent. In 2016, 118 or 20.0% of the births have parents who are both non-Bermudian.
Mrs. Speaker, honourable colleagues are advised that in 2016, 492 deaths were recorded among residents. A death rate of 7.5 per thousand of the population for 2016 reflects an increase of 14 or 2.9% from 478 recorded in 2015. The Report also indicates that there were a total of 503 deaths recorded for the year ending 31st December 2016; eleven were in respect of non-resident persons. One stillbirth was recorded in 2016.
Mr. Speaker, there was an increase of 99 or 0.15% in the estimated resident population at the end of 2016 at 65,391 as opposed to the 65,292 in resident population estimated in 2015. At the end of 2016 there were 2,751 more females than males in the population figures.
Mr. Speaker, for the year ending 31st December 2016 there were 450 marriages performed in Bermuda, an 11.6% decrease from the 509 marriages recorded in 2015. During 2016 marriages between parties who were both non-residents accounted for 231 or 51.3% of the total of 450. This figure still is in keeping with the trend over the past five years for marriages between non-residents to exceed the number of marriages between residents and marriages between a resident party and a non-resident party. The Report also shows that there were 177 marriages between parties who were both residents and 42 marriages between a resident and non-resident.
Mr. Speaker, 468 marriages were performed on board twenty eight Bermuda registered ships in 2016. This total represents a decrease of 97 or 17.2% from the 2015 total of 565. The cumulative number of marriages (local and maritime) processed through the Registry General for the year ended 31st December, 2016 was 918 as compared to 1074 for the year ending 2015.
In closing, Mr. Speaker, the Annual Report seeks to provide an illustrative statistical digest of vital events such as live births, deaths, stillbirths, marriages, adoptions and re-registration of births for the year ended December 31st, 2016.