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West Indians Show No Growth In Latest Census Sample

CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Tues. Sept. 22, 2009: The growth of the population of people of West Indian ancestry is seemingly stagnated, according to latest sample data from the American Community Survey department of the U.S. Census.

The latest ACS data released to the media on Monday afternoon show that instead of growth, the West Indian population in the U.S. was put at a mere 2,532,380 or just 0.8 percent of the population.

In South Florida the percentage of West Indians dropped from 3.9 percent last year to 3.8 percent this year, according to the data. While in New York, considered to be home to the largest number of `West Indians,` data from the ACS claim the population is only 4.1 percent of the overall population of New York State.

However, the ancestry listed, according to the Census, `refers to the total number of people who responded with a particular ancestry.`   Which means simply that people from the Caribbean are hardly filling out the forms, leading to the low numbers.

Ann Walters of CaribID`s DC executive, blames a lack of marketing and outreach in the hard to count Caribbean immigrant community and also the fact that many West Indians or Caribbeans are not listed in their own origins category on the form so they don`t feel they matter.  

`This is definitely not a true and accurate survey. But we will be stagnated forever as many don`t even know such a form exists since there is zero promotion, zero marketing done in this demographic compared to others,` said Walters. `It is why Caribbean people need to seriously participate in the 2010 Census and write in their country or ancestry so we can begin to count and get the respect we deserve, compared to other groups. If we don`t participate and demand marketing dollars to get the message out to our people then we will continue to be dismissed and disrespected.`

CaribID continues to push the message of `Stand Up and Be Counted` to the Caribbean population in order to ensure the Census numbers are an accurate reflection of the demographic in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the CaribID movement has boosted its media partners with the recent signing of top New York-based, Power 105 FM radio personality, Carlos Pineda, AKA Deejay Norrie, as a spokesperson for the organization.

Caribbean nationals are growing at a rapid pace yet they have no accurate numbers that speak of their existence in the U.S., insist CaribID executives, adding that because of poor numbers, the Caribbean community is quickly discounted and ignored.

`We are a growing population, and our culture is leaving marks across the United States, giving inspiration to mainstream movies, fashion, and entertainment as a whole,` says DJ Norie. `Isn`t it time that we got credit for what it is that we bring to this country?`

CARIBID is an initiative of Hard Beat Communications, in collaboration with CBeanMedia.tv, the Caribbean Immigrant Services and a growing number of Caribbean media houses and organizations across the U.S. They include the Caribbean Research Center, the Bowling Green Association, Ecaroh Entertainment, the Jamaica Organization of New Jersey, Brooklyn Center for quality Life, TSO Productions, the Caribbean Association of Mid West America, The Midwest Caribbean Network,  Students of Caribbean Ancestry, the Guyanese American Workers United, Jamaica Diaspora representative, Marlon Hill and Soca De Vote,  the D.C., Chicago, New York and Atlanta carnival associations, and a large number of media houses and media practitioners including DJ Norrie, Power 105 FM; the Caribbean International Network, Caribbean World News Network, Irie Jam Media, Bobby Clarke, One Caribbean Radio, South Florida Caribbean, Whatz Up TV, Deeraj TV, Carib Nation TV, CaribVoice Radio, Tropicalfete, Jason Walker, WFGG Atlanta, Eddy Edwards, Ken Webb, SMAC Productions, Everybody`s Magazine, Jamaicans.com, Caribbean Life Style TV, Sharon Gordon, Bevan Springer, Ian Edwards, Von Martin and Ron Bobb Semple among others.