Montserrat’s Population Aging as Numbers Fall

The Statistics Department Montserrat have released its preliminary findings from the 2023 Population and Housing Census.

According to a release from the department, data collection by The Statistics Department’s field staff commenced on September 23, 2023, and concluded on January 30, 2024. They enumerated persons in private dwellings as well as recorded information on housing stock (enumerated population). The Statistics Department collected data on persons who lived in non-private dwellings (hospitals, elderly homes, prisons etc.) to obtain a total population count. The 2023 Population and Housing Census achieved a 98.6%-person response rate.

The Department’s key findings are presented below:

Preliminary Key Findings

Infographic with quick indicators – credit Statistics Department

The 2023 Population and Housing Census recorded a Total Population (usual residents) of 4,386 persons reflecting a change of 10.9% since the 2011 Population and Housing Census with 4,922 persons. The gender distribution of persons living in Montserrat, was fairly balanced with males comprising of 49.9% (2,189 persons) of the population and females 50.1% (2,197 persons). In comparison to 2011, there was a higher number of males (51.7%) than females (48.3%). An analysis of the age demographics of the 2023 census, showed that the population under 15 years (0 – 14) was 707 persons, and accounted for 16.1% of the total population. In 2011, the 0 – 14 age group comprised of 971 persons or 19.7% of the population. In addition, in 2023, the population 15 – 64 years stood at 2,806 persons and the 65 and over age group – 873 persons or 19.9% of the population. This compares to 2011 where the 65 and over population encompassed 14.0% of the population.

The household population, that is, persons enumerated in private households stood at 4,255 persons in comparison to 4,775 persons in the 2011 census. In reviewing the breakdown of the (enumerated) population based on geographical location, 19.6% of persons reside South of Nantes River, 33.1% in the Central Region and 47.4% in the Northern Region. This is similar to 2011 where this distribution accounted for 18.1%, 33.8% and 48.1% respectively. Lookout (13.9%), Davy Hill (9.9%) and St John’s (9.3%) held their top three positions for the most populated Enumeration Districts on island.

A further review of the household data showed that the household count was 2,256 in 2023. The average household size saw a decrease from 2.0 persons in 2011 (2,335 households) to 1.9 persons in 2023.

The results from the 2023 Population and Housing Census provide up-to-date, reliable information about the population including demographics, housing, and socio-economic characteristics for informed decision-making that is expected to shape Montserrat’s future.
These data also equip policymakers, stakeholders and planners with the necessary information needed to tackle urgent issues and immediate challenges.

Census Tabulations Ongoing

The work on the Census tabulations is not fully completed. At this point, the Statistics Department is engaging in coding, specifically related to the labour force indicators. While other tables are currently being worked on. Chief Statistician Siobhan and team express
their gratitude to the general public for participating in the Census and emphasize that all data collected remains confidential and secure.

The Department solicits the public’s patience and understanding as they work to produce thematic reports and other publications of the findings of the 2023 Population and Housing Census. These reports will cover various topics, including Employment, Education, Country of Birth, Ethnicity and Religion, Housing, and Dwelling Amenities, among others.

Background Information

The Population and Housing Census is conducted every ten years and was originally planned for execution in May 2021. However, delays resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic pushed the start of data collection to September 23, 2023, with a reference date of September 12, 2023. Initially set to wrap up by November 30, 2023, the process was prolonged until January 30, 2024, due to challenges involving refusals and difficulties in reaching specific households.

The first Census on Montserrat on record (to date) was in 1678. Censuses have been conducted every 10 years since 1871, with the exception of 1931. The last Population and Housing Census was referenced as at May 12, 2011.