Jamaica’s population decline due to migration

Jamaicans celebrate
In a crowd of several thousand people, eight-year-old Athalia Miller, right, cheers as she watches Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir complete a Jamaican sweep of the 200-meter race at the Olympics in London on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 .
Associated Press/David McFadden

A recent report coming from the Planning Institute of Jamaica through its latest edition on “Economic and Social Survey Jamaica (ESSJ)” has highlighted that the Jamaican population has decreased since 2020. The Jamaican population at the end of 2021 was 2.7 million.

The report revealed that Jamaicans were leaving their homeland for the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and a total of 16,866 have migrated in the last two years. The ESSJ showed that the decrease in the population comes about mainly because of the high rate of migration taking place among younger Jamaican women.

According to the ESSJ report, this low growth in the population is happening as some Jamaican women within the childbearing ages or prime reproductive ages of 25-40 years old, were the highest group of immigrants leaving the country. This group of immigrants were sponsored by relatives who were United Sates citizens while some were granted permanent residency for reason of employment based.

The reported also revealed that many of the 16,866 were migrants to the United States, 12,826 of whom received permanent residency, while Canada granted 2,030 permanent residency status showing a decrease of 49 percent since 2019. The report cited a significant decrease in the number of Jamaicans who received permanent resident status for the United Kingdom, a whopping drop of 66.1 percent the report showed.

The Economic and Social Survey Jamaica also highlighted another reason for the decrease in the population: the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic contributed to the country’s population low growth as the restrictions to deflect COVID-19 has its effect.

Another report coming out of the Planning Institute of Jamaica has revealed that less Jamaicans are deported back to their homeland since 2020. Thus, this too makes way for a decrease in the country’s population growth. The report showed that there was a 23.3 percent decrease in the deportation rate for Jamaican immigrants coming out of the United States. However, although the United States has shown a decrease in its numbers of deportees when it comes to Jamaica immigrants, Canada and the United Kingdom have increased their deportations on Jamaicans. The results showed that Canada had an increase of 60.6 percent in its deportation cases and the United Kingdom 28.5 percent. At least 35.5 percent of those deported were for over-staying, illegal entry, and the re-entry through other countries. Males account for 88 percent of those deported. To be noted however, although the United States is showing a decrease with its deportation cases for Jamaica, the United States remains the country with the highest numbers of deported immigrants returning to their homeland.


More from Around NYC