Friday 22 September 2023
Select a region

FOCUS: '22 population growth exceeded States forecast

FOCUS: '22 population growth exceeded States forecast

Tuesday 07 February 2023

FOCUS: '22 population growth exceeded States forecast

Tuesday 07 February 2023

Official statistics for Guernsey's 2022 population showed there was a net migration of 491 people - which is over and above the +300 we've been told the island needs to maintain the size of the workforce.

The population was at 63,711 at the end of last March according to the rolling electronic census which collates data from different registers including registered births and deaths and income tax returns.

The net migration of +491 people was the highest Guernsey has seen for more than a decade. 

  • On 31st March 2022, Guernsey's population was 63,711.
  • The population increased by 0.6% (410 people) over the year ending 31st March 2022. Over the years ending 31st March 2019, 2020 and 2021, the annual changes were also all 0.6%.
  • There was a natural decrease of 81 people and net migration of 491 people over the year ending 31st March 2022.
  • The UK and Jersey conducted a traditional census in 2021, with an official date of 21st March 2021. The population of Guernsey on that date was 63,463 (32,077 females and 31,386 males).

Of the 63,711 people living in Guernsey last year, there was a very small increase in those aged between 16 and 64 - seen as the workforce.

83% of all people in that age group were in full time education or employment/self employment. 78% of people across all age groups were also in education or employment with 48.9% of all age groups in employment.


Pictured: Guernsey's workforce as a percentage of the population.

In October of last year, the States backed a new policy for population growth to maintain the size of the workforce by encouraging a higher level of inward migration into the island.

The strategic population policy assumes that net inward migration – the number arriving in the island minus the number leaving – would now average 300 people per year. It had previously averaged only 100 a year for the previous 12 years. 

The Committee for Home Affairs said its plan to treble net inward migration would maintain the working-age population at around 31,000 and increase the total population by approximately 4,000 to around 68,000 by the year 2051.

The latest statistics - published last week - showed Guernsey's working age population at the end of September last year was 31,196 which was 10% higher than the previous autumn. 


Pictured: This chart, published by the Committee for Home Affairs in October, indicated how different levels of net inward migration alter the total size of the island's population.


Pictured: This chart, published by the Home. Affairs Committee, shows how different levels of net inward migration alter the size of the island's workforce.

The States also backed other proposals from the Committee which will support the new headline population policy.

These include a plan for more jobs to attract short-term employment permits for workers from around the world. And scrapping five-year employment permits in favour of issuing more long-term employment permits which allow people to remain in the island indefinitely.

Although the States overwhelmingly backed the Committee’s policy letter, they also supported three amendments laid by other deputies.

The Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure was directed to report to the States on the investment necessary in the island’s infrastructure to support population growth.

The Policy & Resources Committee was directed to coordinate an investigation into increasing the proportion of local residents in the workforce and boosting their economic output.

And the Policy & Resources Committee and Committee for Health & Social Care were directed to investigate whether private health insurance should be made compulsory to limit the States’ healthcare costs as the size of the population increases.

The States also agreed that their successors in the next Assembly should review the island's population policies. 


Pictured: The States changed their population policy in October in response to changes in the demographic profile of the island - specifically an increase in the proportion of elderly people.

The Committee advised against seeing population growth as a way of avoiding tax increases to fill the States' projected annual shortfall of up to £85million a year.

"Allowing for both the impact on revenue and expenditure of a larger population, high-level initial analysis has found that +300 [net inward migration] may only reduce the net revenue requirement by between £14m and £23m per year by 2040," said the Committee at the time. 

"This is a relatively modest sum and highlights the fact that maintaining the size of the workforce, on its own, will not suffice in responding to the island’s financial needs."


Population up to 63,711

Increased population could demand compulsory health insurance

Less need for population growth if more local residents worked 

Population growth plan faces challenge in States next week

P&R has "no agreed position" on key population growth plan

Home Affairs plan for more immigration to boost workforce 

Highest number of over 65s since records began

Population review to consider "changing economic needs" after covid



Sign up to newsletter



Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?