For many years, peak-hour traffic in and out of Portmore, St Catherine, led some - in the absence of hard data - to estimate that the ever-growing population of the largely growing dormitory community was between 300,000 and 500,000.
This myth has, however, been shattered by the director of censuses, demographics and social statistics of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Dr Valerie Nam, who said the real figure is in the region of 182,000.
STATIN notes in its Population and Housing Census 2011 that the most populous parishes remain St Andrew, St Catherine and Clarendon.
The Population and Housing Census 2011 indicates that St Andrew accounts for 21 per cent of the total population, with St Catherine closely behind on 19 per cent, and Clarendon following with nine per cent.
The report notes that the changed position of St Catherine is evident in the emergence and growth of communities such as Portmore.
"In 1960, the parish accounted for nine per cent of the population but in 2011, this proportion had more than doubled to 19 per cent," the census found. "This increase has occurred simultaneously with a declining proportional share of St Andrew."
Between 2001 and 2011, St Catherine was the fastest-growing parish in the country, doubling the national rate of 0.36 per cent.
In terms of absolute numbers, it was St Catherine which had the largest increase of 33,910, followed by St Andrew with 17,541 and St James - 8,684.
As a result, the two most populous parishes - St Andrew and St Catherine - contain collectively 40 per cent of the population.