Sunday, November 2, 2014

The 2010 Bahamas Census records a dramatic increase of the immigrant population in The Islands

Migration report: Immigrants represent 18 percent of population

Guardian Staff Reporter
Nassau, The Bahamas

The total immigrant population in The Bahamas stood at 64,793, representing 18.4 percent of the population up to 2010, according to the Migration Report which was released this month.

The report relies on data contained in the latest census.

“The 2010 Census recorded a total immigrant population of 64,793 persons, of which 29,157 were recent immigrants who migrated to The Bahamas during the intercensal period 2000 to 2010,” the report said.

Of that group, 51,170 people (79 percent) were not born in The Bahamas.

And of the foreign born migrants, 47 percent (24,049) were born in Haiti, 16 percent in the United States, 13 percent in Jamaica and three percent each in Canada and the United Kingdom, the report notes.

Collectively, those countries accounted for 82 percent of the immigrant population.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) previously estimated that there are between 20,000 and 50,000 Haitians living in The Bahamas. Although the IOM notes the challenges in presenting accurate figures of the number of Haitians who have migrated to The Bahamas as it is difficult to determine those who are “flow through” residents and those who intend to remain in the country.

Multiple officials, including those from the IOM, have identified the country’s close proximity to the United States as a key factor contributing to irregular migration. Migrants often use the country as a transit point.

According to the Migration Report, as it relates to population distribution, of the total immigrant population, 70 percent resided on the island of New Providence, 16 percent on Grand Bahama, seven percent on Abaco; Eleuthera and Exuma shared equal distributions of two percent of the immigrants. The other Family islands accounted for four percent.

As it relates to employment, 55 percent of the immigrants age 15 and over were employed with slightly more than three quarters were employed in the private sector. An additional 12 percent were government employees while 10 percent operated their own business.

“Of the total immigrants 15 years and over, 45 percent of them had completed high school and 31.8 percent had completed college or university, while four percent had no schooling,” the report said.

The 2010 Census recorded a total of 29,157, persons who migrated to The Bahamas during the period 2000 to 2010. Of this number 52.7 percent were females and 43.3 percent were males for a sex ratio of 89.9 males per 100 females, the report said.

Recent immigrants have an average household size of 3.1 persons. Additionally 46.2 percent of the households occupied by these immigrants were one-person households.

The report said 62.5 percent of the immigrants were paying rent, 15.1 percent owned their homes fully, 10.6 percent were paying a mortgage, 10.1 percent were living rent-free and one percent was leasing their homes.

October 31, 2014