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Census numbers piqued my curiosity

Dear Sir,

In your June 18 edition, there was a letter titled “Census claim in presentation was incorrect”, by Peter Sanderson, Barrister, taking Lynne Winfield to task for giving wrong census figures for 2010 regarding the number of white Bermudians born in Bermuda, as 4 out of 10, and not the correct figure of 6.5 out of 10, or 65 per cent.

I was curious about some of the other figures that Sanderson had quoted.

He states that between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, that white born Bermudians represented 65 per cent out of a total number of 12,348 white Bermudians, and that the white foreign-born Bermudians during this period had increased by 722 (or only a 21 per cent increase, as stated by Sanderson).

He went on to say that between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, that foreign-born black Bermudians increased by 1,992, a whopping 140 per cent.

What aroused my curiosity was that the ratio of black-to-white number increases during this period, of 1,992 to 722, which is approximately 2.5 to I, but the percentage increases were a lot higher at 140 per cent to 21 per cent, approximately 6.7 to 1.

What is not stated is the number of foreign-born black Bermudians in the 2000 census.

Let's use some algebra to figure this out.

We know that white foreign-born Bermudians in 2010 must be 100 per cent minus 65 per cent, which equals 35 per cent. Thus 35 per cent of 12,348 — or .35 multiplied by 12,348 equals 4,322. Hence, in 2000, there were 4,322 minus 722, which equals 3,600 foreign-born white Bermudians.

In 2010, we know that the foreign-born black Bermudians increased by 1,992 from the year 2000, representing an increase of 140 per cent. Let's represent the number of foreign-born black Bermudians in 2010 with an “X”, since we don't know the number.

Therefore, the number of foreign-born black Bermudians in 2000 must be X minus 1,992,

If we take the 1,992 increase between 2000 and 2010, and divide it by the 2000 census figure of X-1992, we would get the increase of 140 per cent, as stated by Sanderson.


1992/x-1992 = 140% or 1992/X-1992 = 1.4

Solving for X {1992 = 1.4{X-1992}

1992 = 1.4X-2781

1992+2781 = 1.4X

4781 = 1.4X

4781/1.4 = X

3415 = X

Thus, the number of blacks Bermudians not born in Bermuda in 2010 was 3,415.

We know the figure 3,415 represents an increase of 1,992 from the 2000 census.

Hence in the year 2000, the number of foreign — born black Bermudians must be 3,415 minus 1,992, which equals 1,423.

Notice that in the year 2000, the foreign — born white Bermudians had a head start over the foreign-born black Bermudians by 3,600 to 1,423 or approximately 2½ times.

Peter Sanderson, Barrister, doesn't point this out.

It is interesting to note, Mr Editor, which political parties were in power during these increases.


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Published June 30, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 30, 2016 at 8:44 am)

Census numbers piqued my curiosity

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