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Grenada - People

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 111,000 (July 2015 estimate). About 90% of Grenada's population is of African descent. An additional 8.2% are of mixed East Indian, African, and/or Caucasian ancestry, reflecting Grenada's history of African slaves, East Indian indentured servants, and European settlers. An additional 2% of the population considers itself East Indian, which includes some descendents of the indentured servants brought to Grenada from 1857 to the 1890s, as well as immigrants arriving from Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Indians since the 1970s. A small community (less than 1% of the population) of the descendants of early European settlers resides in Grenada.

The island's ethnic homogeneity has often been cited as the reason for the general lack of racial discord in the society. Although factions developed for political and economic reasons, the absence of racial prejudice minimized the social upheaval evident in societies with more distinct ethnic barriers. Social, political, and economic stratification based on color and education had existed from colonial times through the twentieth century, however. White and light-colored inhabitants, composing an elite minority of no more than 5 percent of the population, had long controlled the political and economic resources of the country.

The first census in 1750 reported a population of 199 people in Carriacou. This grew to 86 Europeans and 3,153 African slaves (excluding freed slaves) by 1776. As a result of seamanship, smuggling and other practices, the inhabitants of Petite Martinique have emerged as one of the wealthiest islands per capita in the West Indies. The surnames of most Petite Martiniquians link to French settlers, while some Carriacouans can identify the African tribe they originated from.

English is the official language; few people still speak French patois, though there has been a recent resurgence of interest in re-learning the language. A wide range of Christian denominations are present in Grenada, as well as growing number of other religions.

According to the 2013 census, 53 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, 13.8 percent is Anglican, and 31.2 percent primarily other Protestants. Religious groups with totals of 2 percent or less of the population include Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, members of the Church of God, and evangelical groups. Smaller groups include Jehovahs Witnesses, Brethren, Bahais, Hindus, Moravians, Muslims, Rastafarians, Mennonites, and members of the Salvation Army and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). There is a small Jewish community.

Certain types of religious headdress are permitted in photographs for national identity documents, provided the face is visible and not shadowed. The criminal code prohibits written blasphemous, vulgar language. The government funds public schools administered by long-established Christian denominations, including the Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Seventh-day Adventists and Mennonite communities. In accordance with the constitutions protections for freedom of conscience and religion, students at such schools are not obliged to attend religion classes.

About 60% of Grenada's population is under the age of 25. In 2001, the countrys population was 103,137. The estimated population in 2006 was 105,735, with 52,080 males (49.3%) and 53,655 females (50.7%). In 2010, the estimated population was 111,764, with 55,748 males (49.8%) and 56,016 females (50.2%). In 2010, 29.3% of the population lived in urban areas.

Total births decreased by 7.9% between 2006 and 2010. The total fertility rate per woman remained fairly constant at two children per woman, although there was a decrease in general fertility. Life expectancy at birth was 73 years in 20032005; in 2009 it decreased to 70 years, with females expected to live longer (73 years) than males (68 years). The rate of natural increase within the population declined from 10.4 per 1,000 population in 2006 to 8.2 in 2010. The crude death rate in 2006 was 7.2 per 1,000 population and in 2010 it was 7.0. The ratio of dependents (i.e., people younger than 15 or older than 64) to the workingage population (those between 15 and 64 years old) was 58 per 100 working-age population in 2006 and 53 in 2010.

In the late 1980s, the propensity for the work force to migrate was changing the structure of the population; emigration from Grenada not only neutralized the natural population growth rate but also skewed the age distribution. Because of the large numbers of working-age (fifteen to sixty-four) Grenadians continuing to leave the island, Grenada was slowly becoming a society with a disproportionate number of very young and very old inhabitants.





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