THE EDITOR, Sir:
The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) reports that between 2001 and 2011 Jamaica's population grew by 3.6 per cent. Director of censuses, demographics and social statistics at STATIN, Dr Valerie Nam, was on television recently and told us that Jamaica has an ageing population. This is shocking! What was even more shocking is that she proceeded to draw comparisons between Jamaica and European countries. The ageing population that is associated with European countries is set apart in terms of those countries' first-rate health care facilities, good standard of living and, of course, good family planning. Can we say the same for Jamaica?
Some have registered their doubts on social media over the STATIN report. One just has to look at crowded classrooms, check the number of schools being converted to shift system and speak with doctors and nurses who work in maternity wards across the island.
Dr Nam, in that television interview, in my view, fuelled doubt over the data by stating that census takers had challenges getting into gated communities and also into inner-city areas after dark, due to fear of violence. This, in my view, constitutes a significant chunk of the population as over the past 10 years (the period in question) there has been a great increase in gated communities and also in sprawling inner-city communities.
Some clarification is needed.