Today’s Editorial, August 1: Population figure staggering

The news that the Cayman Islands population has topped 50,000 is staggering.

The Portfolio of Finance and Economics Annual Economics Report was revealed in the Legislative Assembling Friday showing, among other things, that Cayman’s population is estimated to be 52,466.

Of that 31,787 people are Caymanians and 20,679 are non-Caymanians.

Just 20 years ago the total estimated population of the Cayman Islands was 20,000.

We’ve all known for a long time that the Cayman Islands and specifically Grand Cayman was getting more crowded.

One just has to look at the Friday edition of the Caymanian Compass to see the ever-growing classified section filled with job listings.

Crowding is evident every time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle and take to the roads, especially during rush hours.

Try parking that vehicle downtown to do shopping or banking and your search for a parking spot appears to be for naught.

You see it when you go to the supermarket on Saturdays and on Fridays as you queue up at the bank.

People are everywhere.

There seems to have been a population explosion since Hurricane Ivan almost two years ago.

It leaves many of us scratching our heads and wondering how they all got here.

But does that really matter?

The fact is there are more humans in Grand Cayman. It’s enough to test the patience of Job. (Although Job wasn’t so much patient as he was perseverant).

But that’s exactly how we need to deal with the swelling crowds of folks; have patience and persevere.

Most of us already go out of our way to show courtesy to visitors. We need to do the same thing for our fellow man who shares our shores with us.

It could be that the seven-year rollover policy will alleviate some of the crowding, but we wouldn’t bet on it making a big dent.

People who have to leave because of the rollover policy aren’t the new arrivals that have pushed the population number so high.

We’re betting that many counted in the 52,466 estimate came after Hurricane Ivan to help rebuild Grand Cayman, found other jobs and stayed.

While it may not be totally clear how everyone got here, but it is clear that they’re here.

What we have to all do now is learn how to get along.

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