The Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) has released the Cayman Islands’ Compendium of Statistics 2020, a collection of statistics covering demographics, social and living conditions, health, education and information and communication technology.
Last year’s population decline and the COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdown shaped much of the data.
Last year, Cayman’s population fell by 4,128 residents to 65,786. The most recent estimate by the ESO found the population had increased by 420 at the end April 2021. This would bring the population to 66,206.
The latest population estimate suggests 50.5% of residents are Caymanian, 37.5% are work permit holders and dependants and the remainder are permanent residents and their dependants (12%).
Both the number of births and birth rates increased significantly last year, slightly reversing a long-term trend that started in 1990 of families having fewer children. Since then, birth rates have dropped by about a third.
The number of health services professionals declined last year from 1,575 to 1,517.
Cayman’s 308 registered doctors and 512 nurses mean there are 4.7 doctors and 7.8 nurses per 1,000 residents.
Globally, the number of doctors in Cayman relative to the population is comparatively high, while the number of nurses is low.
Among OECD countries only Austria and Norway have more doctors, with 5.4 and 5.1 per 1,000 inhabitants respectively, whereas the US (2.6), the UK (3.0) and France (3.4) have a much lower density of doctors.
The number of nurses relative to the population is in line with the UK but below the OECD average (8.8 for nurses) and less than half of Norway and Switzerland.
This may well be due to Cayman’s comparatively younger population. The 2010 census put the average age of residents at just 35. The number of seniors, who are more likely to require healthcare and nursing care, is very low compared to other countries, because of Cayman’s large, working-age, expat population.
The lockdown conditions last year meant that hospital admissions, casualty patients, operations, and dental or physiotherapy patient visits at government-run hospitals all declined. However, the number of prescriptions at George Town Hospital increased by 45.3% to 601,412, and ambulance calls were also up by 7.4%.
The economic impact of the pandemic on the most vulnerable in society is reflected in the number of families that were assisted by the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU).
In addition to food kitchens and meal deliveries organised by many private organisations, the NAU provided food vouchers to 1,551 families last year. This was 74.7% more than in 2019. The number of families receiving rent support increased from 502 to 602.
Overall, the Needs Assessment Unit assisted more families last year (2,558) than at the previous peak of 2,493 families in 2013/14.
Burglaries, robberies and thefts as well as violent crimes all decreased last year. Although the total number of recorded crimes moved from 4,146 to 4,281, this included 677 COVID-quarantine and curfew offences that did not exist previously.
If these offences are not included, recorded crimes fell by 13% in 2020.
Cayman’s year-end prison population dropped from 218 to 205.
Last year saw fewer cars on the roads, not only during the lockdown period, but also after thousands of workers were forced to leave the islands. The Department of Vehicle Licencing passed 31,525 motor vehicles during vehicle inspections in 2020, down 16.8% from 37,904 in 2019.
The number of inspected motorbikes dropped by more than a third (34.6%) to 212.
The amount of waste treated in Cayman’s three landfills remained virtually unchanged at 133,399 tonnes compared to 2019 (133,379 tonnes). However, the amount of waste per person increased.
The amount of solid waste collected from households and businesses by truck increased from 52,870 tonnes to 63,696 tonnes (20.5%).
The processing of derelict vehicles was also up from 2,024 to 2,463.
According to the ESO, 28.3% of households still have a landline telephone, while 92.5% have a cellphone.
Likewise, 86.7% of households have a home internet connection and 68.7% have a computer.
The share of households with either satellite or cable TV continued its long-term decline from 73% in 2011 to only 45% last year, the compendium of statistics shows.
The number of children in early childhood care and education declined 7.7% to 1,780, while the staff at kindergartens and pre-schools dropped correspondingly (6.9%) to 270.
Cayman’s student population, in contrast, increased from 8,046 to 8,434 mainly due to higher enrolment in private schools, which jumped by 10.1% to 3,755.
Just more than half of Cayman’s students attend government schools (55.5%), with the remainder going to private schools. In 2012, the share of government school students was higher at 64%.