Commentator Christopher Ram has noted that the data released from the 2012 census signifies that around 125,000 people have left Guyana over the last decade.
In a letter in today’s Stabroek News he said “Surely, surely it is time for those who manage this country to reflect on the causes why Guyanese are still leaving this country in droves and on the implications for the country of its best, brightest, most productive and ablest persons opting to leave.”
He pointed out that during Monday’s presentation, Chief Statistician Lennox Benjamin merely compared the two population figures in 2002 and 2012 and declared that there had been a marginal decline in population from 751,223 to 747,884.
Said Ram: “I would have had no difficulty with our Chief Statistician if he had simply provided the figures and let analysts and commentators consider their implications, or himself do so. In a matter involving so many components it is misleading, even dangerously so, to take two bald figures, subtract one from the other and then make a qualitative judgment therefrom about substantial or marginal. Mr Benjamin then adds the gratuitous comment that the `marginal reduction’ was `mainly influenced by migration.’
“There is nothing marginal about the numbers. If we add to the population of 751,223 persons in 2002 the 124,805 representing the number of births over deaths over the same period, the population at 2012 should have been 876,028 persons. In other words, we have lost at a minimum 128,144 persons”, Ram said. He added that this figure should be considered as a minimum as over the past 10 years Guyana has seen the arrival of an indeterminate number of mainly Brazilians and Chinese.
He said that if the number of migrants to Guyana is put conservatively at 1,000 persons per annum, it meant that Guyana has lost a “staggering 138,144 persons to outward migration, on a population that is less than three-quarters of a million.”