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#406463 - 04/28/11 10:13 PM Belize population is now 312,971 - 2010 Census
Marty Offline

April 28, 2011

Following months of door to door data collection by approximately eight hundred people the final report for the 2010 Population and Housing Census has been completed. The final count indicates that Belize’s population has increased by two point six five percent. The count has reached three hundred twelve thousand, nine hundred seventy one people from two hundred forty thousand two hundred four in the year 2000. Although the population has increased by a little over seven thousand persons, the report says that there was no significant change in the distribution of the population among the six districts. The new numbers also show that after the Belize District, the second largest population is found in San Ignacio/Santa Elena. The community that has seen the fastest growth rate is San Pedro which has increased from four thousand four hundred ninety-nine to eleven thousand five hundred ten persons. Director General of the Statistical Institute of Belize, Glenn Avilez spoke of some of the implications as a result of the rise in the country’s population.

Glenn Avilez – Director General, SIB

“Well definitely it has implications for policy whether it is from Government or other source. We have more people so we need to get more resources. If we are to talk about education, the schools, classrooms we had in 2000 can no longer contain the population that we now have so Government and the other partners in education will have to look at this and use it as a means of planning for the next 10 years because we have a population growing at an average of 2.5 to 2.6% annually so it is with that in mind that our plans will have to aligned.”

The data also indicates that the ratio of men to women is one to one. The median age remains at twenty-one. In addition, while the census did not focus on labor force in the country, the data collected show that unemployment was higher by three percent; the figures recorded show that for the seven month period the rate was around twenty-three percent from twenty percent in 2000. While the new records indicate a series of changes in the Belizean population a few points of interest are that one, the migrant population has increased; two, Hispanics now form the largest group in the country with a population of a little of fifty-one percent; and three, the number of people who say they belong to no religion has also increased. Avilez elaborates on these points.

Glenn Avilez – Director General, SIB

“The foreign born population has increased somewhat. We have upwards of 45,000 people who are foreign born, that however would not necessarily mean persons without citizenship of Belize because you can be foreign born but yet have Belizean citizenship. The number has increased from 34,000 to about over 45,000. The Hispanics are the largest ethnic group, they have edged up a few percentage point. The Creole which was just about a quarter of the population in 2000 they have gone down to about 22 to 23%. The Roman Catholics are still the largest religious group however they have lost some grounds to some of the smaller religions in particular the Pentecostals that is a growing group. What I found is that persons who report that they do not have any religion, that percentage has increased from 9% to 15% of the entire population so that group is larger than any of the other religious groups in the country, persons not having a religion is larger than the Baptist, larger than Anglican and in some cases when you combine two religions you still do not get the size of that group.”

The Statistical Institute of Belize will be producing a comprehensive analysis of the data collected for the census. In the meantime, the institute will officially release the full population estimates for the country tomorrow at the University of Belize’s Jaguar Auditorium in Belmopan. The presentation starts at nine the morning.


#406601 - 04/30/11 10:40 AM Re: Belize population is now 312,971 - 2010 Census [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Census reveals population grew over 312,000

Exactly how many men, women and children are living in Belize? And is there a particular ethnic group that occupies most of the country? Which religion dominates? It’s not just a simple numbers game, as any majority group can guide public policy and sway political might over the country. The answers of these questions can be inferred from the analysis of the Statistical Institute of Belize’s Population and Housing Census. The data shows that Hispanics now account for fifty one percent of the country and when it comes to religion, a growing number of the population is not affiliated with a particular theological brand. News Five Isani Cayetano attended the S.I.B.’s number crunching ceremony where the population growth was revealed.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The head count of every Belizean man, woman and child is a decennial exercise conducted by the Statistical Institute of Belize primarily to determine the population growth of the nation within a decade. The data collected during the survey provides a demographic outlook of the country and its people. It is also a measure of society’s progress. A year ago the S.I.B. launched its 2010 Population & Housing Census and today released its findings to the public. At the helm of the project is Glenn Avilez.

Glenn Avilez

Glenn Avilez, Director General, S.I.B.

“We did a census in 2010 and that covered the entire country and it showed that the population of Belize has increased by about seventy-three thousand persons. That doesn’t take into account the undercount for which we will be making an adjustment for. So, in 2000 we had about two hundred and forty thousand persons and in 2010 that figure has increased to three hundred and thirteen thousand persons.”

While the aggregate number of residents in the Jewel can be argued, in light of the fact that significant projections had been made prior to the recent census, it is considerably lower than the initial figure of approximately three hundred and fifty thousand people.

Glenn Avilez

“In between censuses we will have to make projections based on information that we have. The strength or the quality of these projections are only based on the quality of information that we had and we had overestimated the growth rate, the annual growth rate and so the actual census showed that the population did not grow as fast as we had expected it to. So that is the reason for the difference of the figures that you are seeing from the actual count versus the estimates that were made.”

In Belize City the population has grown by twenty-three percent over the last ten years. In 2000 the Old Capital had a total of a hundred and twelve thousand, six hundred and sixty-three residents. A decade later that figure now stands at a hundred and thirty-eight thousand, seven hundred and ninety-six. Needless to say it is directly impacted by both birth and mortality rates.

Isani Cayetano

“Comprehensively speaking, what do the findings say about the population of Belize in terms of specific demography?”

Glenn Avilez

“Okay, in terms of male sex distribution not much has changed. In terms of ethnicity we have, yes, a larger Hispanic population but in terms of percentage it has only gone up by a percentage point. In 2000 we had almost forty-nine percent Hispanics. In 2010 we are at fifty percent so you are only talking about a one percentage point.”

Even with considerable growth in key areas there has also been significant reduction elsewhere. The number of people in an average household has decreased from 4.5 to 3.9 over the years. Similarly, the once dominant Roman Catholic faith has seen a sharp decline.

Glenn Avilez

“In terms of religion we see that the Roman Catholics have decreased their share of the total population. Ten years ago they represented about fifty percent or half of the population and now they have only forty percent. Some of that change is attributed to growth, significant growth in other religions, particularly the Pentecostals and as I mentioned in our presentation we have a group of persons who have declared that they do not belong to any religion.”

In the area of education there has been a noticeable shift in the number of students completing the tertiary level; nonetheless, it is also true that a majority of those graduates are females.

Glenn Avilez

“In terms of education, yes we have more persons being educated at a higher level; however, we are seeing that males dominate up to primary [level]. After primary [level] the females are doing a lot better and in fact at the university level it is almost twice as many females as there are males.”

Despite the release of the findings today concerns have been raised about the accuracy of the statistics as a number of individuals have randomly expressed that they were not consulted during the actual census; on the other hand, the Statistical Institute maintains that the exercise was performed thoroughly. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

#406605 - 04/30/11 10:46 AM Re: Belize population is now 312,971 - 2010 Census [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Statistical Institute of Belize today presented the results of the 2010 census.

Marion Ali reporting....

"Since the last population census was conducted in the year 2000, people have been taking rough guesses of what the number of persons living in Belize has been. Those figures have ranged anywhere from three hundred thousand to three hundred and fifty thousand. By the official census released today, the Statistical Institute of Belize says that the true number falls right within that range. There are now 312, 698 people living in Belize according to the 2010 census as opposed to 240, 204 at the start of the decade. And believe it or not, in 2010 there were more men than women living in Belize - 157, 935 men to 154, 763 females. Demographer, Jacqueline Small made some interesting observations.

Jacqueline Small, Presenter, SIB

“Over the last ten years the population of Belize has grown at an average of 2.65% per annum which is actually just a little bit higher than the growth rate of the previous inter-census period. I think Belize is a little bit unique in that it has its urban population is still significantly lower than its rural population. Overall, the country is 44% urban and this is actually a decrease from 2000. The normal trend is that the urban population would grow more than the rural population. It is more likely that the country becomes more urbanized as the years go.”

Another interesting revelation is the change in the age structure.

Jacqueline Small, Presenter SIB

“At 2010 we found that 11.7% of the population was under the age of 5; this is a reduction from 2000, 14%. The 15 to 24 age group, you will note that there the change was negligible, hardly anything changed there. However the older age groups, there was some increase there; not so much for the 65 plus but for the 25 to 64, it is now 40% as opposed to 35% in 2000. In 2000 the median age was 19 years it is now 22 years.”

Another interesting twist is that about fifteen percent of the population is made up of immigrants, nineteen thousand of whom are Guatemalans. The category which does not subscribe to any one religion also doubled over the 2000 figure, but the majority – 40 percent, were Roman Catholics. Belize City has the largest urban population with 89, 247 people, but San Pedro has also showed rapid growth. And just in case you were wondering about the unemployment rate, the census reflected in 2010, that 30,000 persons did not have a job. This figure was also recorded during the period that the census was conducted, from May to September, when more people are working because students have summer jobs. There were twice as many unemployed women as men, with the average income for males being $922 and $882 for females. And while many people still pay house rent, in 2010, the figures showed that more people owned their own homes, 64.1 percent to be exact. And while we all agree that Belize City especially, has too many homeless persons, the number of homeless has decreased from 141 in 2000 to 118 in 2010.


#406610 - 04/30/11 11:50 AM Re: Belize population is now 312,971 - 2010 Census [Re: Marty]
Mike Campbell Offline
The census is certainly interesting. Mr. Glen Avilez who is in charge of SIB says the population of Belize City is 138, 796 while Jacqueline Small SIB presenter says it is 89,247. Sloppy to say the least, hard to plan with that kind of information.
I would think that 89,247 is correct as 138,796 represents 44% of the recorded population. Our population in San Pedro seems way low. The BTB claims we have around 20,000 but the census shows us with only 11,000. I believe we have around 4,000 vehicles registered.
Belize City has 10 representatives to the House while we have only one. These inequities need to be addressed as stated in our constitution. We are under represented as is many other parts of the country. Everything centers around the crime pit of Belize City which is where our government also comes from.
We need our own district as our needs are completely different from the Belize District and we should have at least two representatives for our area. This could make a huge difference for Belize Rural South. We are tired of being ruled by Belize City politicians who can not even run their own City much less San Pedro. It is easy to see why Belize City gets all the money for improvements etc. The gangs get treated better than San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Or government only cares about San Pedro as a revenue source and our rep refuses to speak up for us. He is a party hack who has the best interests of his party over the best interests of san Pedro. They do not care about us.
As it is election season we can expect some activities here to try to buy the vote as is the common practice. Thats fine, we need our hospital, schools and a working police force. Lets see what they give us for election. We know what we have received in the past. Take their gifts and vote them out. Votes are too precious to be sold for a bag of rice or a blue note. Our votes are our future and they dont seem to care and only respond to critical situations and then usually ineffectively.
I am pleased that our rep has spoken to the Minister about our crime problems, must have been a pleasant visit. They are not capable of controlling crime anywhere in the country and our borders are like sieves especially in the south where they are building a new dead end road for 48 million dollars. I don t see how they think they can do any better here. We need complete control of our police as soon as possible.
Although I am running for office I would be very very happy to see these changes in San Pedro BEFORE the election. They owe us these things and I wish Jr. had the guts that Cardona has, at least he spoke up for his constituency before they kicked him out. I guess the party is more important to Jr,. than the Town.
He insists we are to have Saca Chispas regardless of whether or not we want it. This is not democracy and Jr. does not represent the people of San Pedro as he once did. I suppose we should all be grateful we have such a sharp rep who knows better than we what we want and need.
The Saca Chispas is a total waste of money and will permanently disfigure the island. WE DONT WANT IT. I think that message has been passed loud and clear but Jr and Elsa have their view which is much more important than the views of the people as is obvious in their actions.
Mr. Siva recently posted a comment on facebook saying if we can not get what we need by request then maybe we can get it by protest. Saca Chispas is a monstrous project that will also impact the ecology of the Laguna San Pedro in a very negative way.
Jr. set all those people to live in the swamps and should take care of that mess he made before he starts a next fools project.

#406631 - 04/30/11 05:15 PM Re: Belize population is now 312,971 - 2010 Census [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Census Shows Telling Numbers

The full report on the 2010 Census was released today - almost one year after it was launched on May 12th of 2010. The exercise should have taken eight to ten weeks, but it took five and a half months to get to the seventy-nine thousand households across Belize - and then six more months to compile the information.

And it was all presented today - the good, the bad, and the scary.

Now, if you don't like numbers - and most of us don't - you might think the census report is just a big yawn. But it's not really, in fact the census findings reveal a whole lot about our collective identity for the place most of our citizens feel comfortable calling "Belice".

If that throws you for a loop - stay tuned, there's more in the full story:….

Jules Vasquez Reporting
One year after the census was launched the results were presented today at the university of Belize Jaguar Auditorium:

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Sports, Public Service and Governance
"The census is a very important national activity which incorporates a collection for monitoring and evaluation. It determines where we build schools, hospitals, police stations etc. in essence it determines policy formulation and guides the decision making process."

And the Census as a snapshot of Belize in 2010 reflects a country in transition - transitioning from churchgoing to uncommitted, for example:

Glenn Avilez, 2010 Census
"The number of persons who said that they do not belong to any religion has doubled. In 2000 they represent a little over 9% of the total population. In 2010 there were upwards of 15%. It doesn't mean that they don't believe in God, all it says is that they do not align themselves with a religion. As you all know that woman cat holism remains the single largest religion in Belize. However their share has fallen from 50-40%. Well not so much in contract but we see it Pentecostalism increasing from 7.4 - 8,5%."

And transitioned from Creole to Hispanic:

Glenn Avilez, 2010 Census
"Mestizo is the largest group with a share of 50% just up 1% point from ten years ago. Creole accounts for 21% which is down from 25% in 2000."

Louis Wade
"Define the word Mestizo please for us?"

Glenn Avilez, 2010 Census
"We did not carry a definition of these ethnic groups. We had the term on our questionnaire and we ask the question and the respondent would say to which one they categorize themselves, so we had Mestizo, Hispanic and Latino as one option. Because some people would give you the term Spanish - I am Spanish which we know for the most part in Belize they are not from Spain and so all those persons would be classified as Mestizos."

And included under that vague mestizo heading may be the country's increasing number of Guatemalans:

Glenn Avilez, 2010 Census
"The Foreign Born Population (FBP) represented just under 15% of the total population, about 38% of the foreign population arrive in the country between 2000 - 2010 inclusive. This approximates to about 1,500 persons annually. Guatemala remains the single largest source of foreign born persons and next to Guatemala it would be El Salvador and Honduras. Between those three countries, we are talking about 33,000 persons out of a foreign born population of about 46,000. In terms of unemployment you will see that foreign born persons are lower than the national average. 17.7% compared to 23% as mentioned earlier."

And a society where a secondary education is for the few and tertiary even more so:

Glenn Avilez, 2010 Census
"We found that there were 88,000 persons who were enroll in formal education. The majority of these persons were enroll at the primary education level then you had about 17,200`secondary and tertiary which consist of post-secondary and university amounting to about 7,400 persons."

And a country where almost a quarter of the 131 thousand persons in the workforce is unemployed:

Glenn Avilez, 2010 Census
"During the course of the census we found that there were about 30,000 persons who were without a job. This provides for national unemployment rate of about 23% which is a little higher than the 20% recorded in 2000. It is still the case that the unemployment rate of women is twice that of men, so men had an unemployment rate of 16,7%, women was 33.1%. In Toledo and Orange Walk and Corozal the difference was even wider, where women was as three times likely to be unemployed than men."

Cayo and Corozal had the highest rates of unemployment - but on the upside more Belizeans are living in concrete homes

Miriam Willoughby, 2010 Census
"More people then have concrete homes, than went up from 40% - 50% of all dwelling units in the country. The roofing material is saying that 80% of the roof for dwelling units in Belize are of sheet metal (zinc) and the change from 2000- 2010 is hardly anything. Then the flooring - more people have concrete floors than they did in 2000, so a typical dwelling unit in Belize would be concrete walls, concrete floors and sheet metal roofing."

And apart from living in cement, in a curious behavioral shift, Belizeans have abandoned the vat and the well increasingly

Miriam Willoughby, 2010 Census
"Then we ask about source of drinking water and you will see a huge change from 2000-2010 about 1.5 about households nationally compared with nearly 17% in 2000`used bottle as their main source of drinking water, so from 17% - 51% between 2000 and 2010 is a huge change, is a switch that people made to drinking bottled water."

And while there are a great many compelling factoids the bottom line of the whole exercise, the population figure 313 thousand.

Jules Vasquez
"I am greatly concern that the population which you had on your website due to forecasting growth I believe as 333,000 which is the number that we all have been using which is now 313,000, I am saying that I believe it's the product of under sampling."

Glenn Avilez, 2010 Census
"As you said there are persons who might not have been counted. Of course I would say that sine people were counted. The 333,000 that was an over estimate."

And a reason for under sampling in the city may have been the crime situation

Glenn Avilez, 2010 Census
"I would say though that the crime situation in Belize City has not been helpful to our work with the census. In other parts of the country our interviewers could work right up to 9 o'clock as long as the household would entertain them. That was not at all possible in Belize City, and when we had to so night work is was in fairly large groups for the safety of the interviewers."

Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Sports, Public Service and Governance
"Every attempt was made by the field staff to count each and every single person living within the borders of Belize."

Glenn Avilez, 2010 Census
"And I would say Jules that it was our strategy to try and count every media person because we know that if they are not counted they have the mic and they will let others know and i must say that we encountered resistance from some of them."

And the census shows that unlike everywhere else in the world that population is moving away from urbanization. Strange and counterintuitive but the SIB says it's real:

Jacquiline Small, 2010 Census
"I think Belize is a little bit unique in that it has its urban population is still significantly lower than its rural population. Overall the country is 44% urban and this actually a decrease from 2000. The normal trend is that the urban population would grow more than the rural population. It's more likely that the country become more urbanize as the years go but anyway."

Glenn Avilez, 2010 Census
"Yes we could sit or stand here and argue about what should be rural and what should be urban and i guess we could spend a very long time at that but I would say that the definition that we have used is simply that all areas that are classified as towns or cities are considered urban, so if Ladyville is not a town then we would consider it rural."

That's only one of the curiosities we and others we've consulted - feel they see in the report. For example how can the average household size - meaning the average number of people living together in houses - go down from 4.5 to 3.9 when poverty has gone up and the Gayle report found that it was 6.5:

Glenn Avilez, 2010 Census
"I cannot comment on the 6,5 size that is in the Gayle Report but I will tell you I have much more confidence in the 3,9 since its covered the entire country. I don't know that Mr. Gayle has the resources to comb the entire country and come up with a good estimate of the average size household."

Other interesting facts coming out of the census is that Ladyville is larger than Punta Gorda Town with six thousand people - yet ladyville - home of the country's only international airport is still listed as rural, while PG because it is a town, is listed as urban.

Lord's Bank whose population has grown by 500% since the last census is also considered rural. The Cayo district is the fastest growing population wise, while Orange Walk is the slowest.

The fastest growing urban center is San Pedro town - but according to the census the population there is only eleven thousand, while we've heard figures as high as twenty five thousand. The experts warn that the unemployment figure is particularly high because the census was taken when many seasonal workers were off work.

There are many more interesting facts in the census and we'd wish to offer you an internet portal where you can view all of them - but the Statistical Institute hasn't posted it on its website and they failed to send the report to us as they had promised to do. We called the office in Belmopan multiple times this afternoon to make another request for the information, but they seem to have taken the afternoon off.

Now, as you heard in the story - we've questioned the total population figure especially since it is twenty thousand less then the SIB had forecasted it would be. Our anecdotal experience suggests that, particularly in the city, a fair number of people weren't counted in the census. It's just a hunch and we hope we're wrong, but you can tell us if you were counted by participating in our online poll at 7newsbelize.com. Log on anytime from tonight through the long weekend to tell us if you or your family was interviewed….

Channel 7

#406632 - 04/30/11 05:16 PM Re: Belize population is now 312,971 - 2010 Census [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Census Poll
Were you interviewed in Belize's 2010 Census?
*Requesting responses from those resident in Belize between May 2010 - December 2010.


#406884 - 05/04/11 09:29 AM Re: Belize population is now 312,971 - 2010 Census [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

E-Poll Says Census Takers Missed Majority

The majority of persons who participate in our online poll say that they were not interviewed for the 2010 census. Of the 254 respondents, 140, 55% say they were not interviewed. And while it is not a scientific poll, it is a telling trend when of a fairly small sampling group, more than half say they were not counted.

We still have not gotten the official census released to us and it has not been posted on the Statistical institute of Belize's website.

Channel 7

#406965 - 05/05/11 08:47 AM Re: Belize population is now 312,971 - 2010 Census [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Census shows less believers in the church state system

The results of the 2010 census are revealing on a number of issues. More people live in the village of Ladyville than in the town of Punta Gorda, there are more women than men, but more men are gainfully employed in the workforce but a staggering twenty-three percent of the population is jobless. Another interesting statistic is that while the flock of the Catholic Church is diminishing as of late, it remains the dominant denomination. So how does this affect the church-state system of education? News Five’s Isani Cayetano takes a look at how the church is coping with this new trend.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The sacrament of Holy Eucharist is one of several religious rites students must receive during their years in primary school. That is if they are attending a Catholic public institution managed by the Diocesan Mission. Here at St. Joseph School a handful of standard three students are filing into church to practice for the upcoming event. Together they form a microcosm of an enrolment of nine hundred and twenty, some who are not members of the denomination.

Noel Leslie

Fr. Noel Leslie, Vicar General, Catholic Diocese

When such children come into our schools we treat them as our own and we’d never try to force our religion down their throats as such. I love the words of Pope Benedict XVI who would say the church proposes but the church does not impose. And we as a Catholic church have learned this well over the years that it is best for us to propose rather than to impose.”

Over the years schools that are run under the church/state system, as in the case of St. Joseph, have had to welcome students of varying religious backgrounds. That transition became most evident during the last decade when membership in the faith declined by ten percent.

Glenn Avilez, Director General, SIB (File April 29th, 2011)

“In terms of religion we see that the Roman Catholics have decreased their share of the total population. Ten years ago they represented about fifty percent or half of the population and now they have only forty percent. Some of that change is attributed to growth, significant growth in other religions, particularly the Pentecostals and as I mentioned in our presentation we have a group of persons who have declared that they do not belong to any religion.”

The change in numbers will inevitably affect the stronghold the Catholic Church has had on the education system. According to Father Noel Leslie, the bishop’s assistant, the results of the 2010 census as it pertains to religion were unsurprising.

Fr. Noel Leslie

“I saw an increase of people who are not Catholics moving into our country especially from the Central American countries. As you well know countries like Guatemala and Honduras and [El] Salvador and others have a large evangelical population which has occurred over the past few years. Since the 1980s many of those people have moved into our country and they have brought their new religions with them plus people who have come from other parts of the world. So yes, I saw this influx as a sign that our numbers as we knew it, where we were number one would be diminished over a period of time.”

Notwithstanding the reduction Catholicism remains the single largest religion in Belize. Conversely, Avilez noted a nominal increase within the Hispanic population since 2000.

Glenn Avilez

“In terms of ethnicity we have, yes, a larger Hispanic population but in terms of percentage it has only gone up by a percentage point. In 2000 we had almost forty-nine percent Hispanics. In 2010 we are at fifty percent so you are only talking about a one percentage point.”

But even with the tide of religious beliefs the Catholic Church remains firm in its role as the driving force in education.

Fr. Noel Leslie

“The church will always have an interest in education and this has been a part of our history going way back into the early history of the church in Europe and other parts of the world and also in our own country Belize. So we look at the signs of the times and I believe the church, with the vision it has, will adjust itself to deal with the local situation in time.”

And that will undoubtedly mean having to accept that there are a growing number of non-Catholics who are sending their children to Catholic schools simply based on the quality of education being afforded. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

#406988 - 05/05/11 10:43 AM Re: Belize population is now 312,971 - 2010 Census [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Here is a link to the 2010 census. It only allows you to download the document, though, not look at it online.



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