Window On Rest Of The World
Secrets of the census in Trinidad and Tobago
in T&T form a clear majority but continue to be treated like a
minority! The State undertook a national census in 2000. Census Day was
heavily advertised as June 8. The Maha Sabha advised all Hindus and the
general population to fully co-operate with personnel conducting this
date, the data collected have not been made available to the general
population. The Maha Sabha suspects that there is political interference
to suppress the data because the data must direct the expenditures and
other State inputs into areas that reflect growth. Population growth
demands additional social facilities.
census information is to see what areas of the country need what. If a
town or district has more children living in it than it had ten years
ago, then this will be a place that needs a school. If workers in the
cities are spending too much time getting to work because they are stuck
in traffic, then it will be necessary to build more roads.
critical census data will also point to the ethnic composition and could
force the politicians to rethink their efforts of imposing a state
culture on the majority population.
US conducted a nationwide census that was more complex than the T&T
census. This exercise conducted on April 1, 2000, also marked 210 years
since the first census was taken in that country.
to US publications, its 2000 census has grown to be a sophisticated
tool. It not only counted the population but also “sampled the
socio-economic status of the population, providing a tool for
government, educators, business owners and others to get a snapshot of
the state of the nation.”
T&T, the politicians in charge are deliberating about withholding
publication of the 2000 census results to deny the population “a
snapshot of the state of the nation.”
secret numbers and other data of census 2000 are held in the Ministry of
Planning and Development at its Statistical Office, National Statistical
Building, 80 Independence Square, Port-of-Spain. They cannot be
published because finance is not being made available.
Maha Sabha, however, was able to access what has been described as
“response data.” The data does not help businessmen or religious
groups to make decisions, but we were able to extract the racial
composition of T&T, according to age, sex and ethnic origin in the
various geographical areas.
now understand why the numbers are being deliberately withheld from the
people of T&T. It is because they reflect the rising Indian
population and the falling African population. The African population is
a minority in T&T and if Tobago is excluded, its minority status
becomes more pronounced.
to the 2000 response census data, the total population of T&T was
1,114,772. The three major ethnic groups listed are Africans, Indians
Indian population in T&T is 40.03 per cent, while the African
population fell by more than two per cent to 37.5 per cent. The mixed
rose to 20.46 per cent and the other groups just around two per cent.
examination of the census data from 1980, 1990 and 2000 shows that
despite heavy migration to North America by Indians under the regime of
ANR Robinson’s National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR, 1986-1991),
the Indian percentage of the population has held steady.
1980 it was 40.7 per cent, in 1990, 40.3 per cent and in 2000, 40.03 per
the other hand, the African population was 40.8 per cent in 1980, in
1990, 39.6 per cent and in 2000, 37.5 per cent.
mixed population seemed to have benefited from the African drop. In
1980, it was 16.3 per cent; 1990, 18.4 per cent and in 2000, it jumped
by two per cent to 20.46 per cent.
Morgan Job has been attempting to influence the people of Tobago to seek
a federal relationship with Trinidad. He even advocates outright
independence. I say let the 44,190 go independent if they wish or, for
that matter, let them join a federal relationship with Grenada and let
Morgan Job be president.
result will make the African population of Trinidad a smaller minority
by another two per cent. With the Tobago figure taken out of the 2000
census figures, the Indian majority will climb to 41.85 per cent while
the African will slip to 35.04 per cent.
census figures that are being suppressed have serious implications for
the disbursement of funds for education, culture, regional development
and other State realignments.
Failure to respond to these new figures will surely witness appeals to the international community for economic, cultural and other interventions.
"Parsuram" Maharaj is an Executive Member of the Sanatan
Dharma Maha Sabha Inc.
[SDMS] - the largest Hindu body on the island. in
2002 Maharaj was appointed the SDMS Delegate to the Inter-Religious
Organization [IRO] of Trinidad & Tobago.