Internal population shifts Census 2012

Biggest challenges

Thus far, discussion of the 2012 Preliminary Census has focussed on 1) the population decline over the intercensal period 2002-2012; 2) the effect of outward migration; 3) estimating what the population might have been if it were not for item 2; and 4) making the inference, based on the preliminary data that high levels of brain drain (observed in previous intercensal periods) persisted. In regard to item 4, most analysts share the view: “the emigration of skilled Guyanese represents the biggest challenges to economic and human development in the country” (IDB, 2013, p 12). In this regard the emphasis has been placed on outward population movements.

The Preliminary Census however also indicates internal population mobility, which today’s column will consider.

 

Regional, area distribution

guyana and the wider worldTable 1 portrays population distribution by administrative region, geographic area, and intercensal growth rates. The information reveals that in 2012, 89 per cent of the population lived on the coastland, down from over 90 per cent, which obtained in 2002. Commensurately, the hinterland population grew from 9.5 per cent of the total in 2002 to 10.9 per cent in 2012. Population was concentrated in Region 4 (313,429 persons or 41.3 per cent of the total population); Region 6 (109,431 persons or 16.5 per cent) and Region 3 (107,416 or 13.7 per cent). The hinterland contains the sparsest populated regions (1, 7, 8, and 9) all with less than 27,000 persons.

Despite the negative national population growth rate (-0.04 per cent), the growth rate for the hinterland was positive (1.44 per cent) and for the coastland negative (-0.2 per cent). The highest positive growth rate is observed in Region 9 (2.49 per cent) and the lowest in Region 6 (-1.15 per cent).

The table reveals other useful information.

20140817table 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urban-rural

Table 2 indicates a decline in the proportion of the urban population from 28.4 per cent in 2002 to 26.4 in 2012. Contrastingly, the rural population rose from 71.6 per cent to 73.6.

20140817table 2

 

 

 

The Preliminary Census information also reveals that the population proportion in urban townships has remained fairly stable over the intercensal period. There was, however, a significant decline in the absolute size of that population (down from 209,992 persons in 2002 to 191,810 in 2012). Urban population growth was -0.87 per cent. Globally, this decline in urbanisation is an outlier, reflecting natural resources exploitation in Guyana’s hinterland.

 Population density

With an area of 214,999 square kilometres (km2) (83,000 square miles) and a decline in the population of 0.4 per cent, the national population density in 2012 remained quite small (3.5 persons per km2, similar to the 1980 and 2002 Censuses, and marginally larger than the 1991 Census (3.4 persons per km2).

Guyana remains geographically bifurcated. The coastland has about one-third of the land area but contains nearly nine-tenths of the population. The hinterland therefore comprises two-thirds of the land area and contains about one-tenth of the population.

Table 3 reveals the coastland has a population density of 9.6 persons per km2, which is 2.7 times the national population density (3.5 persons per km2). The hinterland area had a population density of only 0.6 persons per km2.

20140817table 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Preliminary Census defines the coastland to include six regions: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10; the hinterland therefore comprises the remaining regions: 1, 7, 8 and 9.

The information by administrative region conforms to these patterns along with a few other notable features. Thus Region 4, Demerara-Mahaica, which is the site of Georgetown and its suburbs, has recorded the highest population density in 2012 (140.4 persons per km2). This was about five times larger than the region with the next highest population density (Region 3 with 28.6 persons per km2); of note, Region 5 was next (11.9 persons per km2). Further, Regions 7, 8 and 9 had a population density of less than one person per km2, with the other hinterland regions (1) having a density of just 1.3 persons per km2.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the data presented in Table 4 offer readers the longer perspective of three decades from which to observe the durability of the population patterns identified above. National growth rates for three intercensal periods (1980-1991, 1991-2002, 2002-2012) as well as the coastland and hinterland are shown. Significantly only the hinterland has witnessed a consistent positive growth rate over the three periods. That rate peaked at 2.86 per cent during the 1991-2002 census years.

In my view the important takeaway from this information is that deep long-lasting historical settlement patterns lie behind these data. These are so deep that, without a substantial inflow of immigrants, the population patterns revealed will persist for decades to come.

20140817table 4

Latest in Features, Sunday

default placeholder

Peru’s president-elect demands freedoms in Venezuela

Peru’s pro-business President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski won his country’s elections by a hair with the last-minute help of a leftist party, but — judging from what he told me in an interview — he won’t budge on his criticism of Venezuela and other repressive regimes.

default placeholder

Public financial management: 1966 – present (Final)

This is the fifth and final in a series of articles on the above aimed at highlighting the extent of our achievements in the post-Independence period.

LUCAS STOCK INDEXThe Lucas Stock Index (LSI) rose 0.54 per cent during the third period of trading in June 2016. The stocks of six companies were traded with 79,573 shares changing hands. There were three Climbers and one Tumbler. The stocks of Banks DIH (DIH) rose 1.98 per cent on the sale of 18,757 while the stocks of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) rose 5.26 per cent on the sale of 41,667 shares. In addition, the stocks of Demerara Tobacco Company (DTC) rose 1.51 per cent on the sale of 13,603 shares. In contrast, the stocks of Demerara Bank Limited (DBL) fell 5.26 per cent on the sale of 4,324 shares.  In the meanwhile, the stocks of Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (BTI) and Republic Bank Limited (RBL) remained unchanged on the sale of 222 and 1,000 shares respectively.

Massy and Guyana (Part 1)

Steadfast Last year, this writer looked at the Massy Group of Companies formerly Neal and Massy to gain an understanding of the operations of this company which has been doing business in Guyana for the past 48 years. 

20160626table2jun

Value-added performance of the forest sub-sector: Erratic, weak, declining

Erratic Last week’s column highlighted what I consider to be a most distinctive feature of the extractive forest sub-sector’s performance in Guyana’s economy, during the past decade.

default placeholder

The UK bids Europe farewell

On June 23 by a small majority, the British people voted to remove themselves from the European Union (EU). The decision has consequences for the Caribbean.

default placeholder

What would life be without sport?

I wonder what it would be like to exclude sport completely from one’s life for, say, one year? No playing sport, no watching it, no reading it no discussing it no thinking about it even.

default placeholder

Brexit: Lessons for Caricom

The results of the referendum held in Britain to determine whether or not it should remain in or leave the European Union (EU), has been won by voters who supported the leave option.

Director of Sport Christopher Jones and President of the Guyana Chess Federation Irshad Mohammed (centre) stand with some members of the 2016 Guyana Olympiad chess team. The team travels to Baku, Azerbaijan, for participation at the Olympiad in September. A signature qualifying tournament was not held to determine the members of Guyana’s Olympiad chess team.

Federation picks chess Olympiad team without holding qualifier

The Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) has decided upon a 2016 Guyana Olympiad chess team without hosting a qualification competition to determine the competence of its participants.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: