The Annual Report of the Registry General 2019
Mr. Speaker, today I rise to provide an overview of the Annual Report of the Registry General for the year ended December 31st, 2019 which was tabled on the 6th November 2020.
Mr. Speaker, the Registrar General recognizes the essential role that vital statistical information plays in planning for the provision of services in areas such as tourism, health, education and housing, to name a few, and has performed his duties to a high standard in the recording, collating and presenting of the data to be included in the Annual Report.
Mr. Speaker, in accordance with Section 19 of the Registration (Births and Deaths) Act 1949, the Registrar-General shall, within ninety days after the expiration of each calendar year, compile for publication in such form and manner as the Minister may approve a summary of the births and deaths which occurred during the year, together with a general report on the increase or decrease of the population of Bermuda. The Registrar is required also under section 35 of the Marriage Act 1944 to publish a summary of marriages conducted each year.
Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, due to circumstances beyond the Registry General’s control, due to the Covid-19 pandemic which required residents to shelter in place, the Annual Report is being introduced late this year.
In preparation of the Annual Report, the Registrar has relied on information received from the Records Office of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital relating to births; from the local funeral directors and medical practitioners in relations to deaths; and from local marriage officers and Masters of Bermuda registered ships in relation to local and maritime marriages respectively.
Mr. Speaker, the Report which deals primarily with the vital statistics pertaining to the Island’s residential population indicates that there has been a continuous slight decrease, for a second year, in the number of births. In 2019 there were 525 births; a decrease of 5 or 0.9% over the 530 births recorded in 2018. It should be noted that the live birth rate of the population has decreased by 0.1 point per thousand from 8.3 in 2018 to 8.2 in 2019. There were two babies born at the residence of the parents for the year ending 2019. This represents a decrease of one from the number of babies born at home in 2018.
Mr. Speaker, the distribution of live births by nationality based on information provided by the parents at the time of registration of their children’s birth, for 2019 reflects 77.3% or 406 of the total live births have at least one Bermudian parent. In 2019, 119 or 22.7% of the births have parents who are both non-Bermudian.
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members are advised that in 2019, 535 deaths were recorded among residents. A death rate of 8.4 per thousand of the population for 2019 reflects an increase of 2 or 0.4% from 533 recorded in 2018. The Report also indicates that there were 9 deaths in respect of non- resident persons. There were no stillbirths recorded for the 2019 period.
Mr. Speaker, there was a decrease of 10 in the estimated resident population at the end of 2019 at 63,908 as opposed to the 63,918 in resident population estimated in 2018. At the end of 2019, there were 2,398 more females than males in the population figures.
However, Mr. Speaker, from the report given and statistics recorded in 2015, and statistics provided for 2019, it might appear that there has been a significant drop in the population. However, the population estimates were re-based in 2016 after the 2016 Population and Housing Census. The re-base of the data is the reason why the population estimates are lower from 2016 forward.
Mr. Speaker, for the year ending 31st December 2019 there were 386 marriages performed in Bermuda, an 87 or 18.4% decrease from the 473 marriages recorded in 2018. During 2019 marriages between parties who were both non-residents accounted for 195 or 50.5% of the total of 386. This figure still is in keeping with the trend over the past five years for marriages between non-residents to exceed the number of marriages between residents and marriages between a resident party and a non-resident party. The Report also shows that there were 153 marriages between parties who were both residents and 38 marriages between a resident and non-resident.
Mr. Speaker, of the total 386 marriages recorded in 2019, four were same- sex marriages which represents a decrease of 2 or 33.3% from the total of six same-sex marriages in 2018. Three of the same-sex marriages were performed by the Registry General as civil ceremonies, and the remaining same-sex marriage was a religious ceremony conducted by a local marriage officer at an outside venue. During 2019 same-sex marriages between parties who were both residents accounted for one or 25% of the total of four marriages. The report also shows that the remaining three same-sex marriages were between non-residents, and there were no same-sex marriages between a resident and non-resident.
Mr. Speaker, 442 marriages were performed on board twenty eight Bermuda registered ships in 2019. This total represents a decrease of 30 or 6.4% from the 2018 total of 472. Of the 442 maritime marriages, two were same-sex marriage ceremonies. The cumulative number of marriages (local and maritime) processed through the Registry General for the year ended 31st December, 2019 was 828 as compared to 945 for the year ending 2018.
Mr. Speaker, the Domestic Partnership Act 2018 allowed for the formalization of unions between parties. In 2019 there were four domestic partnership unions recorded for that period. All four domestic partnership ceremonies were performed at the Registry General Office and none of the ceremonies were formalized at an alternative approved location as allowed for under the Domestic Partnership Act 2018.
In closing, Mr. Speaker, the Annual Report seeks to provide an illustrative statistical digest of vital events such as live births, deaths, stillbirths, marriages, domestic partnerships, adoptions and re-registration of births for the year ended December 31st, 2019.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.