Montserrat - People
The population in 1891 was 11,762, or 1679 more than in 1881, chiefly belonging to the Church of England. There are no East Indian immigrants. By the late 19th Century Montserrat was an island of small cultivators who held freehold allotments of 1 to 3 acres each. They numbered about 1,200, and lived in thriving villages. The cottages were well kept, and surrounded by small gardens with fruit trees and vegetables. Education and an efficient medical service tended to improve the circumstances of the black people.
Montserrat has recently suffered a series of natural disasters which have profoundly disrupted the economy and ecology of the island. In 1985 the population of Montserrat was 11,852. Following the major devastation of Hurricane Hugo in 1989, the more recent impacts of Tropical Storm Iris, Hurricane Luis and Hurricane Marilyn, and the major volcanic activity in the southern part of the island, most people left the island.
The continuing threat of the volcano has effectively limited the potential for economic growth, as it is difficult to maintain the population and economy at viable levels. The population resides in the northern part of the island, which is considered safe. In 2006, Montserrat’s population was 5,028, with 2,619 males and 2,409 females. In 2007, the population fell to just over 4,800, partly owing to the migration of people in and around the unsafe zone.
Despite the volcano, the population has grown by 5.6% since 2002, and in 2010 was estimated to be 5,118. The increase was due to an influx of migrants, primarily from the English-speaking CARICOM countries and the Dominican Republic. In 2010, 5.47% of the population was under age 5 years and 6.8% were age 65 and older. In 2010, overall life expectancy was 72.9 years—74.8 years for women and 70.9 years for men.
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