BVI News


Guyanese outnumber other expats – Census

censusBy Nedburn Thaffe, BVI News Online Staff

Results from the 2010 Virgin Islands Population and Housing Census have shown that 61% of the territory’s population was born overseas, and most expatriates are from Guyana, followed by St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and then Jamaica.

Only persons born in the territory are usually considered BVIslanders, BVI News Online has been informed. Children born to BVIslanders overseas, in the meantime, will automatically acquire Belonger status.

According to the census which was tabled in the House of Assembly this week, in the year 2010, the territory’s human population stood at 28,054.

Of that number, 61% or 17,113 persons were ‘born outside the territory’.

Of the various groups of expatriates, in the meantime, the census listed the top 10 by nationalities, with Guyanese in the lead.

7.2% of expatriates are from Guyana, 7% from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 6% from Jamaica, 5.5% from the United States, 5.4% from the Dominican Republic, 5.3% from the US Virgin Islands, 4.3% from St. Kitts & Nevis, 3.9% from Dominica, 2.5% from the United Kingdom, and 1.7% from Grenada.

The census, which was delayed for four year without any explanation to the public, also stated that over 45% of expatriates acquired ‘some form of legal status’ in the British Virgin Islands.

When the census data was disaggregated by islands, it revealed that 83% or 23,419 persons reside on the mainland – Tortola.

Fourteen percent or 3,930 resided on Virgin Gorda, 1% or 285 persons resided on Anegada, and another 1% or 298 live on the island of Jost Van Dyke.

A population and housing census is the primary source of information about the number and characteristics of a given population.

The previous one in the British Virgin Islands was conducted back in 2001, and the process is usually carried out every 10 years.

Due to the protracted delay in the 2010 census being completed, however, concerns already have been expressed about its accuracy.

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  1. My Census Count 2014 says:

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 12

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  2. Hooked on Phonics says:

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    LOL but they have just .2% more than ST.Vincent and you’re making it seem like it’s a big gap

  3. STOP! says:

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  4. VIrgin Islands observer says:

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  5. son of the soil says:

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  6. What! says:

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  7. WOW says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

    Where are the numbers on the Philipinos? They easily have over 2,000 of them in the country right now! that is almost 10% of the total population.

    • nope says:

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      We do not have 2,000 Philipinos in the BVI stop talking nonsense. Probably a few hundred or 1,000 at best.

  8. RealPol says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    The protracted delay should shake our level of confidence in this census, a critical document for national decision support. Hope there was a lesson learnt—the BVI should not be embarrassed like this ever again. Nonetheless, it is what it is and should be used with a strong dose of caution. So what have we learnt from this Census?

    We learnt, unsurprisingly, that there is a severe imbalance between the expat and local populations, respectively approx 61:39. Was the imbalance cause by economic growth and lack of skilled and unskilled labour to meet demand? Or was it due to high death rate/low birth rate? Or increase in emigration? The current 28, 054 population was lower than the last census. Was the decrease number a result of reduced immigration and and increased emigration or other factors? Does the large expat population say that most of them will be calling BVI home and bracing the BVI culture?

    The expat countries leading the pack are an interesting mix. Here are some stats by size, population, and population density:
    Guyana 83,012; 784,894; 9.45.
    St. Vincent 250; 100,892; 671
    Jamaica 4244; 2,711,476; 640
    USA 3,794,101; 317M; 8411
    DR 18485; 9.4M; 510
    USVI 136; 106,405; 782
    St. Kitts 104; 57,790; 497
    Dominica 305; 71, 293; 249
    UK 93,788; 64.1M; 679
    Grenada 133; 103, 328; 727
    BVI 58; 28,054; 483. Tortola 21; 23419; 1115.

    Other OTs:
    Bermuda 21; 64,237; 3139
    Anguila 37; 13,452;363
    Cayman 100; 55, 456; 554
    TCI 192; 31,458; 163
    Montserrat 39; 4922; 124

    • Count says:

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      I did not think the United States and USVI were different passports?

      • Disspora says:

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        They both carry US passports. But our census categorizes them separately. Do not see a problem; it is probably based on national origin. We are one family.

    • Eagle and Buffalo says:

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      Guyana has a population density of 9.45, ie, 9.45 people per square mile (640 acres). Is this a typo? If true this speaks volume of growth and development in Guyana. Suspect there is a brain drain in Guyana, exacerbating the growth and development problem. No knock on Guyana emigrating to seek a better live for they and their families. It is what it is and the people has to work cooperatively to employ its natural resources to grow the economy for the benefit of the people.

      This blog was on Guyana for the 9.45 jump out at me but it applies to all countries. All countries have to work cooperatively to build their economies for the good of their people. Every country from Bahamas to Trinidad and Tobago to Jamaica to Barbados is going through tough economy times. These economic hard times are exacerbated by the disunity in the region. Every little rock is independent, trying to go it alone and depending heavily on tourism.

      The region could be in better economic shape if it were to unite. If unity is good for Western Europe, Canada, USA. and Australia, why is it not good for tiny dots in the Caribbean Sea? Common on my brothers and sisters it has been almost 200 years since Emancipation. It is time to shed the chains of insularity. Insularity killed the Federation.

      • Quiet Storm says:

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        Truth be told. This is deep and profound. All this truth from some scant information from a much too delayed 2010 Census. The congregation of expat population in a tiny speck in the Caribbean Sea say much about the host country and the home countries. It says that the host country lacks the skilled and unskilled labour to meet the galloping demand. In regards to some home countries, it says that their economies are not yet in First World status.

        The BVI economy, quality of life and standard of living is not yet at First World status either. Its economy is just a little more robust than some other countries in the region and farther afield. Some at first blush may see this as a knock on expats. Well, it is not. Expats, like Virgin Islanders, do what they need to do make a better life for they after their families. If I had a complaint it is this.

        Too often I hear expats casting disparaging remarks about the BVI people and its culture. Every country is different and that difference should be respected. As Virgin Islanders go abroad and have to respect cultures, way of life……etc so too should expats respect VI culture. And Virgin Islanders too should respect expat differences, if any. Respect is a two street. Just keeping it fair and real.

        On the regional integration issue, you are on point. For the region to move forward and progress, insularity must be wipeout and regional integration take center stage. The amount of poverty up and down the region could be lessen if there were effective and meaningful regional cooperation, support and integration.

        For too long, many people in the various countries there is little to no hope. Governments come, go and change yet the quality of life and standard of living needle is still pegged on the down or negative side. As a region we could do better. But the divide and conquer mentality that “Wille Lynch” condition us to is alive and well even after all these years.ets get rid of the self-hatred. What self hatred? Let’s us take a peek in mirror. We hate to see each other move a few rungs on the ladder and prefer to see others get the opportunities.

  9. rasta says:

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  10. small world says:

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    We all come from somewhere.

  11. Bubble Pot says:

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

    Introduce a curry tax given the new statistics and use the money for Education and Healthcare :)..(sorry, couldn’t resist!).

  12. Political Observer says:

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    Question: How were children born to foreign parents categorized in this survey? Unless this data is be presented, the validity of these findings are questionable. These “invisible” children born at the Peebles hospital are neither BV Islanders, nor true citizens of their parents countries of origin. We have here a perfect illustration of the fallacy of statistics!

    • WISE CRACKER says:

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      Children born to foreign parents are by descent, citizens of their parent’s respective countries. Belongership is not automatic to children born here of foreign parentage. This is for good reasoning; for one, The BVI is small with very limited wealth. The BVI cannot afford to extend it’s benefits to too many outsiders and their offspring. If the child remains in the territory until the stipulated time he/she will be given status.

      • more belongers needed says:

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        Not true- BVI needs a bigger population to have better resourced schools and services and to keep economic activity in BVI. While there needs to be control and the net benefit needs to be for the country as a whole, BVI actually needs to focus on a quicker, better Labour and Immigration service and selecting a number of desirables to qualify for quicker belongership. Only then will the BVI have a controlled and desirable population growth which will support local business, employment and cultural activities. BVI is at a serious fork in the road and the route of jingoism and chasing away economic opportunity which brings training for locals, rising crime, poor services, reliance on oil for energy, poor customer service doesn’t seem the best route. The other route does not have to be, look like or be in the spirit of any sell-out. The other route can be defined to provide for persons contributing to and respecting the BVI over many years to be given some form of tenure. Not only a human rights issue but more practically, incentivising them to continue to invest time and money into the BVI.
        You cannot lump everyone into on pot – is a person taking a job from a local if they are doing a highly specialist job for which there is no local with the skillset? No, they are only providing income for locals who rent houses, sell goods and run restaurants and other recreational business.
        Are there other sectors where qualifications are not needed or the training is straightforward which ought to be filled by locals? Of course, and there are local educational, cultural, parenting questions to be asked in that regard.
        Development does not necessarily mean having a 600 room Hilton with golf course when our islands are more suited to more numerous and locally-owned, environmentally sustainable establishments which celebrate Nature’s Little Secret.

  13. Guyanese says:

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 11

    Born Guyanese to Tolian father. He chose my mother because she is prettier. And my Tolian husband chose me because I was prettier. Maybe you should tell your Tolian people to keep their sights off pretty people. You people never been to Guyana and base your thoughts on pure ignorance. Go to Guyana and you will see that Guyana is not an impoverished place. You will be surprised who are Guyanese about this place.

    • Guyanese princess says:

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  14. not counted says:

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    This census is not accurate, I lived in fishbay at that time, and no one came to my home ,N.B I waited and waited esp. evenings,but this to was in vain

  15. vases says:

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    I lived in Greenland at the time. No one in my apartment was counted. the truth.

  16. Diaspora says:

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    Let’s face it folks it is a new BVI. Do not mean this in a negative way. It is reality and predictable. Mass immigration into a small country or locale changes the population make up, the social fabric, culture, political influence…… etc. For evidence look no farther than our neighbors next door, North Africa, Florida and South West USA…….etc. In the coming decades the HOA and government will be staffed with Virgin Islanders whose parents or grandparents were born sbroad.

    Soon we will have a Premier or Deputy whose grandparents were born abroad. Well, the current Deputy Premier father was born abroad (Cuba); MEC parents (Antigua &Montserrst ?); Rep D-6( mother St. Kitts); another at large (back bencher)rep parents (Antigua); and MCW ( born Anguilla). It is all good; just keeping it real.

  17. Kittitians born in Tortola says:

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    Anyone can be a Belonger but you have to be born Tortolian!!

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