PRELIMINARY CENSUS COUNT
The 2022 Census Preliminary results show the Total Population of The Bahamas to be 399,314, with a sex distribution of 192,544 males and 206,770 females. Included in this count were all persons who on April 4th, were residents of The Bahamas, regardless of their legal status.
Therefore, all immigrants, legal and irregular, were counted. Persons serving in the diplomat corps and individuals studying abroad were also included in the count.
Population Growth and Change
During the intercensal period 2010-2022, the population of The Bahamas increased by 13.6% (47,853 persons), resulting in an average annual growth rate of 1.1%. This increase (13.6%) is 2.2 percentage points lower than the increase (15.8%) between 2000 and 2010. There was also a decline in the average annual growth rate, down from 1.6% in 2010 to 1.1% in 2022.
Components of Population Change
The main components of population change are births, deaths, and migration. “Natural Increase” is defined as the difference between live-births and deaths, and “Net Migration” is defined as the difference between the number of people moving into an area and the number of people moving out. Because it is difficult to measure actual migration, demographers often estimate migration as a residual value, by calculating the difference between total population and natural increase.
Analyzing the components of change is an enlightening way to understand how the population is shifting over time and the main contributors to the change. Looking at the components (natural increase and net migration) from 1990 to 2000, the population grew mainly by natural increase, from 2000 to 2010 net migration started to become a contender in population growth for The Bahamas, and by 2022 net migration has become a part of the landscape.
Contributing factors to changes in the components are a lower number of babies being born, an increase in the number of deaths, and an increase in the number of persons ( citizens and non-citizens ) migrating into the country.
Geographical Distribution of the Population
The data show that New Providence with 296,522 persons accounted for 74.26% of the population. This, compared to 2010, represents a 4.17 percentage point increase in this island’s population share. Grand Bahama, however, registered a decrease in its population share; Grand Bahama’s count of 47,475 persons, accounted for 11.89% of the population, a decline of 2.73 percentage points, from 14.62% in 2010. Abaco, Eleuthera, Andros and Exuma accounted for 4.15%, 2.32%, 1.95% and 1.83% respectively of the total population.
New Providence showed substantial population gain during the intercensal period. The population of New Providence increased by 50,193 or 20.38%, whilst Grand Bahama showed a decrease in population. Grand Bahama decreased by almost four thousand persons (3,893) or -7.58%, this decrease in absolute population, was the highest among all of the islands, showing population decreases during the intercensal period. In addition to New Providence, only nine of the islands registered population gains. These were Acklins, Andros, Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Exuma and Cays, Harbour Island, and Spanish Wells. All of the remaining islands suffered population loss. Collectively, the Family Islands showed a change in population from 53,764 in 2010 to 55,317 in 2022, an increase of 2.89%.
The sex ratio is an important indicator of population composition. The sex ratio is used to describe the balance between males and females in the population. The preliminary count revealed that there were 192,544 males and 206,770 females for a sex ratio of 93 males per 100 females. Males accounted for 48.22% of the population and females 52.78%.
There were 118,221 households recorded, an increase of 15,359 or 14.93% over 2010. The average household size decreased from 3.42 in 2010 to 3.38 in 2022. New Providence accounted for 79,660 of these households, with an average household size of 3.72, which was higher than the national average. In Grand Bahama, there were 17,820 households and the average household size was 2.66 persons. Mayaguana with 113 households had the lowest average household size of 1.84 persons, while Harbour Island with 436 households had the highest with 4.27 persons.
The population density is measured by the number of people per square mile or kilometer. Population density is also a way of showing how crowded a place is in comparison to its land area. The overall population density of The Bahamas increased from 65.3 persons per square mile in 2010 to 74.2 persons in 2022. Notable increases were shown for New Providence, Bimini and the Berry Islands. New Providence continued to be the most densely populated of the three; recording a population density of 3,707 persons per square mile, an increase of 20.4% or 627 more persons per square mile. Bimini and the Berry Islands recorded a 2% and 2.1% increase over the period, resulting in an additional 39 and 17 persons per square mile respectively.
Reliability of the Census Data
In keeping with standard practices, the census count was evaluated against other independent sources of data in order to determine its accuracy. One of the major “benchmarks” is the population projections that were made following the 2010 Census. These Projections had population estimates for the year 2022 at 404,290 using the high variant; 397,360 using the medium variant and 390,140 using the low variant. The preliminary census count of 399,314 is within the range of these projections, falling between the medium and high variants.
Another independent source used was the vital registration records of the country. Under this procedure, the number of birth, deaths, in-migrants, and out-migrants are added to or subtracted from the population enumerated in the previous census to calculate the expected population size and composition. Although accurate records of international migration are not available, the records show that 53,062 live births and 29,470 deaths occurred in The Bahamas during the intercensal period. This puts the natural increase at 23,592. When added to the 2010 Census figure, a population of 375,053 is the result. The difference of 24,261 between this population and the preliminary census count can be attributed to net migration.
Another procedure for evaluating the accuracy of the census count was the Post Enumeration Survey (PES). Bearing in mind that no census is perfect, a major assessment of the completeness of census enumeration was carried out shortly after the closing out of field enumeration. A number of households in selected enumeration districts (EDs) were canvassed in order to determine whether or not persons and housing units were accurately counted in the census exercise. The initial findings of the survey mirrored the census results as it relates to household size, coverage, and response rates.
As stated earlier, these results are preliminary and subject to change. More detailed information will be made available in the final results. Additional information will be released by the Census Office as it becomes available.