2017 Hurricanes Caused 20% Drop In Population


The population of the British Virgin Islands decreased by 4000 since the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria last year. This is according to information that was provided by the Central Statistics Office.

Director of Central Statistics Raymond Phillips during his appearance before the Standing Finance Committee disclosed that the next census which will provide more definitive population answers is scheduled to take place in 2020.

Nonetheless he pointed out that prior to the hurricane the Territory’s population stood at 36,000. However, since the passage of the hurricanes the population was reduced to 32,000.

The hurricane damages have been noted as a reason; the Statistics Office was unable to provide more definitive answers to various questions. In fact, Phillips said that the Office intended to conduct household surveys but was unable to do so.

The household surveys were delayed because of the state of most homes as a result of damages sustained. He said most persons would not welcome visitors so it was decided that that the survey would be conducted in the last quarter of 2018.

At this junction the Director was unable to provide a breakdown on the population by island as he stated that the data that was at the Office’s disposal could only produce the figure in its entirety.

The 2010 census report was laid on the table of the 17 November, 2014 House of Assembly sitting. The report stated that there were a total of 10, 830 households and 28,054 persons residing in the Virgin Islands.

When disaggregated by island, the data showed that 83% of the population or 23, 419 persons resided on the island of Tortola; 14 percent or 3,930 persons resided on Virgin Gorda; one percent or 285 persons resided on Anegada and one percent or 298 persons on the island of Jost Van Dyke. The remaining islands and cays along with persons living on yachts accounted for 122 persons or less than one percent of the total population.

It was noted that the nuclear family was the most dominant family type and while the majority of the households were headed by males, most of the single parent household were headed by females. The overall average household size was 2.59 persons and just under half of the population indicated they were married.