Warning signs in declining birthrate

  • Wayne Furbert (File photograph)

    Wayne Furbert (File photograph)


Deaths in Bermuda outnumbered births for the first time in at least 80 years in 2017-18, statisticians revealed yesterday.

The Bermuda Digest of Statistics 2019 said a record low of 530 births and a record number of 532 deaths were logged over the period.

The digest said: “This year was the first occasion since Digest of Statistics records began in 1940 that the number of deaths has exceeded the number of births, resulting in a population decline of two.”

The number of marriages increased by 8 per cent to 473, a reversal of a downward trend over the past ten years and the number of divorces fell by 36 per cent compared with 110 divorces in 2016-17.

The number of schoolchildren at private schools rose slightly and Bermuda College enrolment increased by 8 per cent, but the number enrolled in government schools also hit a record low.

The digest said: “Primary school enrolment has never been lower with significantly decreasing numbers of births since 2007 being a contributing factor.

“Middle school enrolment declined each year between 2009 and 2017 before stabilising this year.

“After four years of increasing decline, secondary school enrolment figures rose in 2018.”

Statisticians also found that the number of filled jobs increased every year since 2015 — a total of 491 more jobs over the period.

The number of work permits fell by 10 per cent — but the average duration of a work permit increased.

The digest said: “With regards to the private sector, the most common duration of work permit issued was three months between 2009 and 2013. As of 2015, permits with a length up to a year became the leading type of private sector-work permit issued.”

Wayne Furbert, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, said the statistics would be useful in research work, marketing and business planning. He said: “The digest is structured into ten sections and contains brief analyses, quick facts and charts for each section.

“There are more than 60 statistical tables which provide a wealth of data about Bermuda’s social, demographic and economic conditions.”

The number of work permits fell by 10 per cent — but the average duration of a work permit increased. The digest said: “With regards to the private sector, the most common duration of work permit issued was three months between 2009 and 2013.

“As of 2015, permits with a length up to a year became the leading type of private-sector work permit issued.”

The number of traffic collisions increased by 17 per cent in the year.

The digest said: “Historically, the main causes of road traffic accidents have been inattention followed by inexperience.

“Together, they caused more than one-quarter of reported accidents in 2018.

“Over the past year, non-fatal road casualties increased by 20 per cent while road traffic fatalities decreased at the same rate.”

Bermuda’s agricultural industry grew in 2018 because of the increase in produce costs.

The industry’s total output in 2018 was estimated to be worth $5.8 million — the highest for the past decade.

The digest said: “This was a result of period high values for domestic vegetables, fruit and honey.

“In particular, honey’s value of $300,000 was the highest since data collection commenced in 1977.”

Mr Furbert said the statistics would benefit research work, marketing and business planning.

He said: “The digest is structured into ten sections and contains brief analyses, quick facts and charts for each section.

“There are more than 60 statistical tables which provide a wealth of data about Bermuda’s social, demographic and economic conditions.”

To view the Digest of Statistics 2019. click on the PDF link under “Related Media”

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Published Feb 10, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 10, 2020 at 8:02 am)

Warning signs in declining birthrate

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