Benjamin pointed to the fact that a country’s national census continues to be the predominate tool for the monitoring of changes in the population, even as he alluded to the fact that the growing size of the world’s population has compelled every country to be ultra-conscious of the changing size and composition of populations.
“In Guyana we may feel dwarfed with our three-quarters of a million population but we know that the challenges of small populations can be as challenging as those of the large population centers of the world.”
He revealed that while the interpretation of the census by most persons is the count of the population but it is fundamentally much more than that. According to him it is in fact a census for population and housing, with housing having an even wider connotation. “It is in fact an evaluation of the quality of life of the people in every country,” he underscored.
“As we observe the seven billion population day it is quite obvious that the changing size and the patterns of the world’s population continue to be affected by inter-country and inter-continental migration; there has been an accelerated global movement of people since the end of World War II,” he added.
And every country, according to Benjamin, has been affected even as he asserted that Guyana is no exception. He highlighted too that Guyana is not merely affected by migration in one direction (outward) as some may assume, adding that at the last census of 2002 it was clear that there were increasing inflows from countries nearby and from further afield some of whom are “visually obvious to us.”
However, Benjamin is confident that the impending census will give an even better fix of where Guyana stands in terms of the global population and the component that comprises its foreign-born population at this point in time when the earth’s population stands at seven billion.
“I know that from historical records in the period when the earth’s population attained the one billion mark (1804) the then British Guiana enumerated population stood at just 98,000 persons…” Benjamin noted even as he alluded to the phenomenal growth of the population over the years.