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Gibraltar Census History

Historical: Gibraltar Censuses Since 1753


Each Census of the past can give a most fascinating insight into aspects of Gibraltar's history. The details that are recorded, and the years when a Census was taken, afford a glimpse of how the Rock's population arrived in Gibraltar and how it grew and developed.

The taking of a Census in Gibraltar dates to before the eighteenth century. However, the earliest Census of the whole civilian population that has survived is that of 1753. The results then were: British 434; Genoese 597; Jews 575; Spaniards 185, and Portuguese 25.

By 1767, the Census divided the population into three categories: British and Protestant; Roman Catholics; and Jews. That was to remain the standard classification for the rest of the 18th century. The 1767 figures cover the civil inhabitants "within the walls or out at Landport". The total then was 2,710 - 467 British, 1,460 Roman Catholics and 783 Jews.

Ten years later, in 1777, the Census became more complex. Not only did the abstract list the three religious categories; the population was now divided into "Natives" and "Not Natives". The total figure was then 3,201 of whom 506 were Protestant (all of "British Blood"), 1,832 were Roman Catholics (all except 13 of whom were of "Alien Blood") and 863 were Jews (all of "Alien Blood"), 1,334 of the inhabitants were natives.

The original 1777 list is still extant. It was taken at General Boyd's command in February. The most interesting category is that of the Roman Catholic inhabitants, as it lists the country of birth of each person. These are the figures:

English and Irish 13
Minorkeens* 62
Natives 845
Genoese and Savoyards 672
Portugueze* 93
Spaniards 134
French 13

* These are the spellings of the original list.

The 1777 Census book contains an alphabetical listing of all the inhabitants by religion - first British and Protestants, second Roman Catholics and third Jews.

The information recorded per person was the surname, first name, age, country of birth (and hence the nationality of the person), occupation, years in the Garrison and remarks. The Scots today would probably object vehemently to the description of their country as recorded in 1777: North Britain! This of course was the result of the rebellions in the North that resulted in the eliminating of the word Scotland from all official documents.

Some of the occupations recorded are quaint: there was one oysterman, there were mantua makers, hucksters, sutlers, patrons (i.e. boat skippers), soil carriers, lamplighters, lime burners and a "Teacher of the Italian". The remarks column shows that the Census was updated as a record of the population of Gibraltar. This was done after the Great Siege of 1779-1783, when it was necessary to know how many people had survived or returned. Thus one finds little snippets of information such as "Dead","gone and returned", "Kill'd by a shell", "Deserted during siege to the Enemy", "Taken Pris'r by the Span'ds", " order'd away", "flogg'd out for a rape".

Perhaps one of the most fascinating details is the commencement of the list of the Jewish inhabitants of 1777.

It reads:

- Aboab Isaac 65 born: Tetuan Merchant 57 yrs in Gibraltar

- Aboab Hannah 50 born: Gibraltar Wife

- Aboab Simha 28 born: Tetuan Wife 15 yrs in Gibraltar

This detail shows that English law, which forbids bigamy, was not yet fully operative on the Rock. The next count recorded was in 1787. The population had increased then by 185 to 3,386, of whom 512 were British, 2,098 were Roman Catholic and 776 were Jews. Within four years, however, there was a sharp drop in the population. John Raleigh the Civil Secretary issued the following notice, dated 8 February 1791, in both English and Spanish:

"The Governor thinking it proper that a correct list of the present Inhabitants and Residents in the garrison shall be immediately made out; Therefore the Inhab'ts and residentiaries of every country and class are hereby required to send into this Office forthwith the names and numbers of each house, family and habitation, including children, servants, tenants, undertenants and lodgers, distinguishing their age, place of nativity and occupation, term of residence and by what Governor or Commander in Chief's permission each foreigner came here.

The Governor likewise requires the number of Mules, Burros, Horses, Cows, Goats and Sheep at this time in the inhabitant's possession: These returns may be dropt into the letter Box address'd to the Secretary, and the Governor hopes there will be no omission".

In addition, at the time, supplementary lists were also made. Examples are the list of Inhabitants Houses of 1778 and the list of Garrison Seamen of 1792.

The earliest nineteenth century Census that has survived is that of 1814. It reveals a trebling of the population to 10,136. The main reason for this was that during the Napoleonic wars, Gibraltar was the only port open in Europe for the passage of British goods to other European countries. This naturally attracted a large merchant and trading population.

That the 1814 population was largely composed of recent arrivals is indicated by the breakdown of the figure: only 1,191 people were of British birth of origin and only 1,851 were native Christians of alien origin. The great majority of the recent arrivals came from Genoa.

The early nineteenth century saw several other sudden decreases in population due to epidemic. Thus, there is a note in the Colonial Secretary's book, "in 1828 the Garrison became overcrowded and was devastated by a "fearful epidemic". Nevertheless, the police count for 1829 indicated a total civil population of 16,394.

This period, then, saw the development of the police counts. Gibraltar was divided into different areas and registers were kept of the inhabitants of the various districts. These registers recorded all arrivals and departures.

The 1834 Census was based on the police districts. The Census Commissioner was then the Police Magistrate, and he was empowered to appoint five Assistants or Enumerators. The count of the population was no longer a complete alphabetical list by religion, but a listing by the areas where people lived.

FROM 1868 TO 1899
The modern Census dates from 1868, when "The Census of the Population Ordinance, 1868" was enacted. This laid down the basis for the decennial census. These Census Reports began with the 1871 Census, were now printed for easy accessibility.

The 1878 Census records that "Aliens" were allowed into Gibraltar on 1st and 2nd class permits and with Fishermen's Badges. These latter remind one that up to 1,840 fishermen of the Genoese fleet would be based at Catalan Bay for the duration of the fishing season. At that time, there was no road leading to Catalan Bay and there was no easy access except by sea. The companies of fishermen would erect temporary shelters on the beach for the duration of their stay, or they would live in caves. Naturally, some fishermen stayed on even after the season ended. By 1878, of course, there was already a permanent village at Catalan Bay.

One of the tables missing from the 1878 report is the one covering the population of the convict establishment. This is because the establishment was disbanded in 1875, thirty years after its foundation, when convicts were no longer sent out to Gibraltar from the United Kingdom. The establishment was 552 strong in 1871. At its peak, it numbered about 900. Convict labour was used to build part of the existing Line Wall, the white stone sea wall that was built close to or on top of the older Spanish and Moorish sea walls. Some of the convicts were released after their sojourn in Gibraltar, others were sent to Australia.

The 1878 population tables divide the civil population into four districts: the Town; the Rock; the South; and North Front and Catalan Bay. These enumeration areas were gradually to increase in number.

1891 is the next key date. For the first time, the Census covered the Port and Harbour, including the people living on board the stationary craft in the Bay e.g. Hulks, Pontoons and Lighters. They numbered 759 out of a civil population of 19,100. The Military population was then 5,896.

At this time, it was the Registrar of Births who acted as Census Commissioner, a situation that remained unchanged until the 1951 Census. In his 1891 report, the Registrar - James C Gordon - informed the Colonial Secretary:

"As compared with the Decennial Census taken in 1881, the increase of the civil population of the town is 719, which is even more than could reasonably have been expected when it is considered that overcrowding has existed for many years and that building space is very limited. On the other hand stagnation in trade has lately caused emigration to the states of South America to some extent, and numbers of native families have, within the last few years, taken up their residence in the neighbouring town of La Linea on account of its less expensive house rent and the want of accommodation here."

These facts, together with the severe limiting of residence permits, help to explain why the population did not increase appreciably between 1871 and 1931.

Some of the occupations listed in the 1891 Census shed light on Gibraltar's way of life. There were still 29 Goatherds (as opposed to 49 in 1871) and 4 Livery Stable Keepers. Merchants were listed as

Furniture 15
Indian Goods 3
Matting 2
Gloves 1
Dealers in Crockery 9
Moorish Curiosities 8
Boots and Shoes 3
Wines, Spirits and Beer 45


There were also 8 Car Proprietors (i.e. carriages) and 8 Soda Water Manufacturers.

Table IX of that Census demonstrates the overcrowding there was in 1891. For example, there were 37 households where seven people lived in one room, and 88 where seven people lived in two rooms. There were also 58 households where six people lived in one room, and 118 where six people lived in two rooms. The Enumerators for this Census were the three Sanitary Inspectors.

The British Government required a Census of the British Empire on or near the 2nd April 1911. The Gibraltar Census questionnaire was altered slightly to come into line with the requirements of this Census and information on houses, religion and education, not recorded in the 1901 Census, was now sought.

In 1921, the enumerators were no longer the Sanitary Inspectors. For the first time the police performed this task. It was a logical move: after all the Police had been keeping records of the population in the town, which was divided into Wards. There were 27 Police Districts in all. In addition, the South District was divided into 11 districts. All together, these districts formed four Wards. North Front and Catalan Bay formed a fifth Ward.

The 1931 Census showed, for the first time, two separate listings on the job side: one was an industry classification and the other an occupational classification. However, one key factor - which was mentioned in the covering Report - was that there were 6,000 daily workers coming into Gibraltar from Spain and these did not figure in any of the tables.

No Census was taken in 1941, because of the Second World War. A large proportion of the civil population, estimated at about 16,700 was evacuated to the United Kingdom, Madeira, Jamaica and Tangier. This included all women and children. Although the majority of the people returned, some preferred to stay on after the evacuation. The repatriation lasted from April 1944 to early 1951, during which period 15,700 persons returned from the main evacuation centres. This all made the 1951 Census more important in establishing actual numbers after the upheavals caused by the war.

Since 1951, the changes in the taking of the Census have been slight. No longer is the Registrar of Births the Census Commissioner. In 1951 it was the Director of Labour and Social Security. In 1961 it was the Chief Assistant Secretary. In 1970, 1981 and 1991 the Census Commissioner was Mr Harry Fell, on secondment from the Overseas Development Administration. The number of Enumeration Areas has increased from 16 Civil Districts in 1951, to 20 in 1961, to 64 in 1970 and 1981 and 68 in 1991. The enumerators have also changed. In 1951, the Police were still performing the task. In 1961, it was done by 13 policemen and rent collectors. In 1970, 1981 and 1991 the enumerators have been drawn from Departmental office staff.

The 1970 Census was a year early. The reason for this was the Spanish Government's closure of the border between Gibraltar and Spain on 9 June 1969, with the consequent sudden withdrawal of the Spanish labour force of 4,666 men who had previously entered Gibraltar daily to work. (They constituted over one-third of Gibraltar's work force). Gibraltar was then finally and totally cut-off from Spain, on 26 June, with the suspension of the direct ferry link from Algeciras and the Spanish Government's refusal to allow a British ferry to ply the route. In 1981 the frontier still remained closed.

An additional new factor, since the 1961 Census, was that approximately 800 persons previously residing in the neighbouring Spanish area moved into Gibraltar in 1965 as a result of the Spanish restrictions. The 1970 Census provided some much-needed information on Gibraltar's population, manpower and employment (including second jobs).

With the 1981 Census, the original time rhythm was restored and is now in keeping with the decennial pattern of conducting censuses in the United Kingdom.

On 17 October 2001, an Order was made under Section 2 of the Census Ordinance requiring a Census to be taken of all persons present in Gibraltar on the night of Monday 12 November 2001.

For convenience in the distribution and collection of the Census forms, all persons in Gibraltar were classified under the following groups:

1. Servicemen in the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and their families living in quarters or in barracks.
2. (a) Residents and visitors living in institutions. This included hotels, hostels, hospitals, prisons and old peoples' homes; and
(b) Persons living on boats.
3. Members of households not included above.

The Royal Gibraltar Regiment agreed to accept responsibility for the enumeration of Group 1. A Senior Census Officer was appointed for the enumeration of Groups 2 (a) and (b) and four Senior Census Officers handled the administration and organisation of the enumeration of households.

Due to the difficulties experienced in previous censuses with the enumeration of those in Group 2(a), it was essential to gain the co-operation of managers and staff at the institutions, and those involved were only too willing to be of assistance.

In accordance with the Census Ordinance (2001 Census) Regulations 2001, Gibraltar was divided into a number of Enumeration Areas (EAs). For this exercise, most of the 1991 Census EA boundaries were retained. However, substantial population movement to the major residential developments sited on reclaimed land, the continuing occupation of former MOD property by the civilian population, and the consequential property changes in other areas of Gibraltar, necessitated the creation of additional EAs for the 2001 Census.

Some of the 67 EAs formed for the enumeration of households were sub-divided into smaller EAs to take account of the geographical spread and large internal population movement since the 1991 Census. For the enumeration of the Institutions, eight EAs (70 to 77) were created. UK-based civilians and their families were included in EA 80 and the families of British Service personnel were allocated to EA 90. The Ministry of Defence agreed to provide head-count information for EAs 80 and 90, as these do not constitute part of the usually- resident population base of Gibraltar (Table A refers).

The Census Enumerators were recruited from within the Civil Service and were trained in the duties of the delivery and collection of Census forms and familiarisation with the contents of the form. Census Enumerators and Senior Census Officers signed the statutory Census Confidentiality Undertaking in the presence of a Justice of the Peace before they began their enumeration duties. While the aim, as far as possible, was to allocate one EA to each Enumerator, in some cases it was necessary, as stated earlier, due to the geographical coverage, type of accommodation and population density of the area, to sub-divide the EA into two smaller EAs and allocate them to separate Enumerators.

In other cases, where the EAs were small in terms of population, more than one EA was allocated to one Enumerator. EA maps and address lists of streets and properties in their area(s) were provided to the Enumerators. Experience has shown that despite much detailed and time-consuming work dedicated to the production of the address lists that were built up from the Register of Electors, the Valuation List and the 1981 and 1991 Census address lists, when it came to the delivery of the Census forms, particularly in the Old Town area, the lists were inaccurate. This was due to many of the properties being in the process of renovation, or they had been converted into one property, were vacant or derelict.

During early November, ‘Official Notices' appeared in the press informing the public of the date of the 2001 Census of Gibraltar and their legal responsibility to complete a Census form. The Census Commissioner was interviewed by GBC Television about the 2001 Census and gave a presentation to senior pupils of Bayside and Westside Secondary Comprehensive Schools on the purpose of the Census and how to complete the Census form. It was hoped that such instruction would, where necessary, enable the pupils to assist their parents or friends.

The delivery of the "Notice to Householders' leaflet and Census forms began on Monday 5 November and in most cases was completed by Friday of that week. Subsequently, announcements were made on GBC Radio and displayed in the press informing the public that they should contact Census Office if they had not received a Census form.

The collection of Census forms began on Tuesday 13 November and Enumerators were instructed to return all completed Census forms by Saturday 17 November. Most forms were returned accordingly but a few Enumerators required until Monday 19 November to complete the collection phase and associated paperwork. A number of "No Contacts" and "Late Returns" had to be followed up by post.

Many of these were the result of householders having been absent from Gibraltar during the Census period, the property was vacant or the Enumerator failed to make contact with the householder. On some occasions Enumerators made up to three visits and were still not able to contact the householder. It is estimated that around 800 census forms that were subsequently returned were previously categorised as "No Contact cases" or "Late Returns."

The data input and editing phases of Census processing began in early February and was completed in July 2002. Editing revealed that some questions on the Census forms were incorrectly answered, had not been answered or the information supplied required clarification. Most omissions and queries were resolved by a telephone call (householders were asked on the Census form to supply their telephone number).

Since the 1961 Census, and up to and including the 1991 Census, the definition of the "Usually-Resident" population of Gibraltar has for reasons of continuity and comparison with earlier years, remained unchanged.

This means that the "Other British" category included the UK-based MOD civilians and their families who were temporary residents of Gibraltar. However, for the 2001 Census, the "Other British" category excludes UK-based MOD civilians and their families. Instead, as they are temporary residents of Gibraltar while they are here, they have been included in the "Persons present in Gibraltar on Census night" together with "Families of Servicemen".

The rationale for this decision is to bring them into line with the way in which the families of servicemen, who are also regarded as temporary residents, are classified for population count purposes. Families of servicemen are residents of Gibraltar for an average period of about two years. They are not permanent residents whose educational, health and other public needs are the responsibility of the Gibraltar Government.

The same principle applies to UK-based MOD based civilians and their families. In any event, the number of UK-based MOD civilians and their families present in Gibraltar on Census night totalled 171. Given this relatively low number, these households were not fully enumerated and only a head-count was carried out. Given this situation, the opportunity was taken to make the change previously explained particularly since it made no significant difference to the totality of the figures. The change has further allowed the adoption of the standard definition of a population as "Usually-Resident".

For the 2001 Census, "Persons present in Gibraltar on Census night" includes resident civilians, the families of British Servicemen, UK-based MOD civilians and their families, visitors and transients. The figures for British Servicemen are excluded. For transients and visitors a head count only was taken. Comparison of the 2001 Census figure for visitors and transients (3,383) shows an increase of 235% over the 1991 Census figure (1,010).

Table A provides details of the make-up of the 2001 Census "Usually-Resident" Population of Gibraltar and the "Population Present on Census Night" figure of 31,623. The number of Moroccans resident in Gibraltar shows a 47% decrease over the period from 1991 to 2001 as against a 16% decrease over the previous decade. This decrease can be partly accounted for by the inherent difficulties of enumerating the Moroccan community.

These difficulties were further exacerbated in 2001 as the Holy Feast of Ramadan took place close to the Census date and a number of Moroccans were therefore absent from Gibraltar. However, the main reason is that there has been a significant decrease in the number of Moroccans living and working in Gibraltar over the last decade as the Employment Survey figures show (1,839 were recorded in October 1991 compared with 812 in October 2001).

The planning window for the taking of the Census did not allow the Census date to be brought forward into late October. Neither was it practicable to have held the Census in the first week of November, as it would have clashed with the schools' mid-term holiday when many persons would have been away from Gibraltar.

Table A: Usually-Resident Population and Persons Present in Gibraltar

  1970 1981 1991 2001
Gibraltarians 18,873 19,825 20,022 22,882
Other British 3,001 3,706 3,811 2,627
Moroccans 2,798* 2,140 1,798 961
Other Nationalities   808 1,072 1,025
Total Usually-Resident Population 24,672 26,479 26,703 27,495
Families of Servicemen 2,161 2,265 1,371 745**
Visitors and Transients 1,132 872 1,010 3,383
Total Population Present on Census Night 27,965 29,616 29,084 31,623


* Includes Moroccans and Other Nationalities.
** Includes Families of Servicemen, UK-based MOD civilians and their families.

The 2001 Census count for visitors was significantly higher than in previous Censuses. This was mainly due to the presence in Gibraltar overnight of a cruise ship with over 1,000 passengers and crew. There were also a relatively higher number of visitors staying with Gibraltar households (1,020). Most other visitors were staying in hotels and at the marinas.

Most of the definitions in the 2001 report show the characteristics of the "Usually-Resident" population under six nationality headings: Gibraltarians, Other British, Moroccans, Spanish, other EU and Other. Countries have different nationality laws, and the rules and regulations are often quite complicated. Most people have no difficulty in stating their nationality, but a few have difficulties and can be mistaken.

For example, take a family consisting of a husband, wife, son and daughter. The husband is British, he was born in the United Kingdom and holds a valid British Passport. The coding of his nationality in the 1991 Census would have been "Other British". His wife was born in Gibraltar and is also a descendant of a male person father or grandfather, who is entitled to be registered, or is registered, as a Gibraltarian.

The wife could have entered on the Census form "Other British", through marriage, or "Gibraltarian" under Part 1, Section 6, of the Gibraltarian Status Ordinance (1964 Edition). Both would have been correct, and for the purposes of the 1991 Census, "Gibraltarian" was coded as the person concerned would have been entitled to that status. The children, one born in the United Kingdom and one in Gibraltar were, unless entitled to be registered as "Gibraltarians", the same nationality as their father.

In the 1991 Census, as in the two previous censuses, a person resident and born in Gibraltar was accepted as "Gibraltarian" if it was so stated on the Census form and there was no reason to question it. Such a procedure could result in errors, though the number would be relatively small. For the 2001 Census, the Gibraltarian population was arrived at by classifying an individual in accordance with their entitlement to Gibraltarian status, whether registered as such or not.

In 1999, the Gibraltarian Status Ordinance was amended with the effect that more persons became entitled to Gibraltarian status. As a result, the descendants and the husbands of Gibraltarian women were entitled immediately to register as Gibraltarians provided that they already held British nationality. Also, persons who naturalised and who were resident for 25 years were able to register as Gibraltarians.

These factors contribute to there being 14.3% more Gibraltarians in the 2001 Census than the figure for 1991. The coding of the nationality question for the 2001 Census was given careful attention and every effort was made to interpret a person's nationality in accordance with the latest Gibraltarian Status Ordinance.

Over the period 1991 to 2001, employment in the construction industry has decreased by 39.1% from 1,808 full-time jobs in 1991 to 1,101 recorded in the 2001 Census. However, in the early 1990's, there was a substantial increase in employment in the construction industry with the construction of office development and housing projects that followed the land reclamation programme. The renovation and refurbishment of buildings in the Old Town area and roadwork programmes have also created further ongoing construction work.

The Census figures show that full-time employment in the "Shipbuilding" industry has grown by 77.8%, from 90 in 1991 to 160 in 2001. There were 2,294 full time jobs in "Public Administration and Defence" in 1991 as against 1,976 in 2001 a decrease of 13.9%. This largely reflects the run-down in the presence of the MOD in terms of employment together with a shift from Government to Private Sector employment in respect of employees working in agencies, joint-venture companies and in other establishments to which the Government has contracted out its services.

The number of full-time employees who are resident in Gibraltar in the "Wholesale and Retail Trade" industry has decreased by 24% from 1,745 in 1991 to 1,326 in 2001. However, this decrease does not take account of the 572 frontier workers employed in the industry since the Census would only account for persons living and working in Gibraltar. Similarly, although employment of resident workers in the "Hotels and Restaurants" industry has decreased by 31.5% from 447 in 1991 to 306 in 2001, this also does not take account of the 313 frontier workers employed in this industry. The number of full-time employees in the "Education" industry has increased by 21.6% from 407 in 1991 to 495 in 2001.

The tables showing employees by occupation have been aggregated in keeping with the main occupation groups listed in the Standard Classification of Occupations (SOC) 2000 and are fully consistent with, and comparable to, the occupation classifications used in the October 2001 Employment Survey Report. Exhaustive lists of itemised occupations as produced for previous Census reports have not been included.

However, within each Occupation Group, figures have been produced for the number of employees within selected main occupations. In the 1991 Census, occupations were classified under six main categories whereas the occupation classifications used in the 2001 Census are listed under nine main occupation groups. This is consistent with the changes in the current Employment Survey Occupation Classification introduced in October 2000.

Industries are classified according to the UK Standard Industrial Classification SIC (1992)) and are consistent with the current thirteen main Industrial classifications introduced in the October 1998 Employment Survey. Therefore, when comparing the 2001 Census Industrial classifications with those that pertained in the 1991 Census, care must be taken to ensure that the comparison is valid. For example, in the 1991 Census some, but not all, of the employees working within the "Banking, Finance and Insurance" industry would have been listed under the industry classification of "Financial Intermediation" in the 2001 Census.

The 2001 Census form included questions on whether a person was in full-time or part-time employment and whether they were an employee, self-employed with employees or self-employed without employees. A question on "Whether in employment or not" was included in the 1991 Census. However, many individuals who completed the 1991 Census forms failed to read the notes relevant to the question. In light of this and as more timely information on the unemployed is available from the Employment Service, no question on unemployment was included in the 2001 Census, neither was there any demand for one.

In the October 2001 Employment Survey Report a "Frontier Worker" is defined as "An employee who is normally resident in Spain and is employed in Gibraltar." Table B below contains data taken from Table 5 of the Report and provides details of the "Frontier Worker" employee jobs by nationality, sector and sex. By combining the results of the 2001 Census with the Employment Survey table on frontier workers, the total labour force employed in Gibraltar is estimated at 14,260 of which 12,206 are resident in Gibraltar and 2,054 are frontier employees.

Thus 14.4% of the total labour force commutes from Spain. The highest proportion of frontier workers is Spanish, 67%, with 20% from the UK and 4.6% are Gibraltarian. The figures would indicate that the number of Gibraltarians recorded as frontier workers was understated. However, most Gibraltarians working in Gibraltar but living in Spain would also have a local address so in terms of their employment they would have been recorded in both the Employment Survey and the Census as locally-based employees.

Table B: "Frontier Worker" Employee Jobs by Nationality, Sector & Sex, October 2001*

Nationality Official   Private   Total
  Male Female Total   Male Female Total   Male Female Total
Gibraltarian 3 2 5   45 44 89   48 46 94
UK - - -   259 151 410   259 151 410
Moroccan - - -   10 2 12   10 2 12
Spanish 5 1 6   845 525 1,370   850 526 1,376
Other EU - - -   85 38 123   85 38 123
Other - - -   29 10 39   29 10 39
Total 8 3 11   1,273 770 2,043   1,281 773 2,054

* Data taken from Table 5 of the Employment Survey Report October 2001.

The economically active population of Gibraltar includes all persons living in Gibraltar who are in full-time and part-time employment or are unemployed and seeking work. The economically active in specified age groups divided by the total numbers in those age groups gives the activity rates and these are shown in Table C below.

Table C: Percentage of Population Economically Active, by Age Group

Year   15 - 24   25 - 54   55 - 64
1970   86.8 57.5   98.0 49.4   90.2 36.5
1981   78.8 57.2   98.9 44.4   91.2 25.6
1991   62.3 57.4   97.2 59.4   78.0 27.9
2001   44.8 40.9   92.5 68.4   67.1 34.8


The figures in Table C indicate that the percentage of economically active males in the 15-24 age group continues to decline at a higher rate than in the other age groups. The level has fallen from 62.3% in 1991 to 44.8% in 2001.

However, this decrease is as a direct result of the growing number of students, notably males, undertaking higher education studies and those staying longer at school at the Comprehensive Schools and at the College of Further Education after the school-leaving age. Figures from the Education Department indicate that the number of students studying in the UK in October 2001 was 638 compared to 307 in 1991 - an increase of 107.8%. Information from the Employment Service shows that youth unemployment in Gibraltar over the period 1991 to 2001 has remained very low.

Results from the 2001 Census show that female employment rates in the 25-54 and 55-64 age groups have increased by 9.0% and 6.9% respectively compared to 1991. However, male economic activity rates in these age groups have declined by 4.7% and 10.9% respectively over the same period. In addition, the decrease in the employment rate of males in the 55 - 64 age group is largely accounted for both by the increasing trend for males to retire from the public service at the age of 55 and for men to retire younger. This appears to be partly reflected at the tail end of the 25 - 54 age group. However, the actual total number of persons employed in this age group rose from 5,425 to 6,120 between 1991 and 2001.

Table D while not showing "Frontier Employees" by occupation, as the information is not available, does include figures for male, female and total "Frontier Workers" taken from the Employment Survey of October 2001. Table T 3 of the 1991 Census Report contained information on the same basis. Unfortunately, a direct comparison between the 1991 figures and those for 2001 is not available as the Standard Occupational Classification was changed in October 2000.

Table D: Employed Persons by Major Occupation Group and Sex

Occupation Group Sex
  Male Female Total
Managers and Senior Officials 1,265 480 1,745
Professional 749 397 1,146
Associate Professional and Technical 1,025 459 1,484
Administrative and Secretarial 714 1,911 2,625
Skilled Trades 1,255 76 1,331
Personal Service 138 314 452
Sales and Customer Service 288 623 911
Process, Plant and Machine Operatives 603 29 632
Elementary 1,153 727 1,880
Frontier Workers 1,281 773 2,054
Total 8,471 5,789 14,260


Total employment increased from 14,040 in 1991 to 14,260 in 2001 - an increase of 1.6% Overall, male employment has reduced from 9,202 in 1991 to 8,471 in 2001 - a 7.9% decrease. Female employment in both the official and private sectors rose from 4,838 in 1991 to 5,789 in 2001 - a 19.7% increase.

Private sector employment increased over the period by 20.1% (9.5% for males, 39.6% for females). Conversely, employment in the public sector fell by 29.2% (36.1% for males, 15.3% for females). This reflects the repatriation of Moroccan workers and the fall in UK-based workers - the vast majority of whom were males - and reflects also the shift in employment from official to private following the contractorisation of some public services and the setting up of joint venture companies. In terms of industries, the fairly large drop in employment in both the Construction industry and in the Public Administration and Defence industry was more than offset by increases in employment in other industries, notably in the financial services and related industries.

In terms of overall employment trends, another significant feature was the increase in the number of Gibraltarians in employment. This rose from 8,245 in 1991 to 9,834 in 2001, an increase of 19.3% over the period. The number of Gibraltarian males in employment increased from 5,001 in 1991 to 5,698 in 2001, an increase of 13.9%, and the number of Gibraltarian females in employment increased from 3,244 to 4,136 over the period - an increase of 27.5%. In part, this reflects the increased number of Other British employees who have registered as Gibraltarians during the period.

The figures for full-time workers in Table E have been taken from the 1991 and 2001 Census Reports. The distribution of part-time workers was not available.

TABLE E: Estimated Employment in Official & Private Sector, 1991 and 2001

1991 Official Private Total
  Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total
Full-Time 3,506 1,276 4,782 4,242 1,860 6,102 7,748 3,136 10,884
Part-Time - 477 477 158 791 949 158 1,268 1,426
Total 3,506 1,753 5,259 4,400 2,651 7,051 7,906 4,404 12,310
Frontier Workers* 10 6 16 1,286 428 1,714 1,296 434 1,730
Total 3,516 1,759 5,275 5,686 3,079 8,765 9,202 4,838 14,040


2001 Official Private Total
  Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total
Full-Time 2,220 1,154 3,374 4,735 2,381 7,116 6,955 3,535 10,490
Part-Time 18 333 351 217 1,148 1,365 235 1,481 1,716
Total 2,238 1,487 3,725 4,952 3,529 8,481 7,190 5,016 12,206
Frontier Workers* 8 3 11 1,273 770 2,043 1,281 773 2,054
Total 2,246 1,490 3,736 6,225 4,299 10,524 8,471 5,789 14,260


* Data on Frontier Workers obtained from the October 1991 and the October 2001 Employment Surveys.


In keeping with user requirements, the 2001 Census question on qualifications was restricted to persons in employment only and made provision for qualifications from GCSE to higher degree level. Tables 13a to 16c in the 2001 Census Report contain details of the qualifications held by employed persons both full-time and part-time of all nationalities and those appropriate to Gibraltarian full time and part-time workers. There is a greater degree of detail than hitherto available and this should be particularly useful to the Education Department. The qualifications listed on the Census form included the four levels of National Vocational Qualifications.


The Tables in the 2001 Census Report provide details of the distribution of households by types of household, tenure and number of rooms. As was the case in the 1991 Census Report, the information has been restricted to householders living in houses and flats but excludes the families of servicemen and UK-based MOD civilians who are housed in MOD quarters.

To take account of the facility provided by the Government to enable individuals to part-purchase a house or flat, an additional category of "House/Flat (Co-ownership)" was included on Part A of the 2001 Census form. Tables included in the 1991 Census Report on "Pre-War Controlled" and "Pre-War De-controlled" categories of housing have been omitted. Account has also been taken in the 2001 Census Report of the substantial building developments in the reclamation areas. Consequently, Tables 38 a to 44 in the 2001 Census Report provide statistics for the Major Residential Areas which include the reclamation areas.

It is interesting to note that "Average Household Size" is decreasing compared to the 1991 Census. For example, in the 1991 Census average household size was 3.2. This has decreased to 2.8 in the 2001 Census.

To assess the extent of Internet connectivity, the 2001 Census included a question on whether the house/flat had an Internet connection. As reported in the 1991 Census Report, the most noticeable change over the entire period is the increase to owner-occupied houses and flats. In addition, the introduction in the mid-1990's of the "Co-Ownership" scheme has brought more people into the ownership category. Another reason for increased growth in the housing market has been the completion of a number of housing developments both at the reclaimed areas and at existing sites.

The information for 1991 and 2001 contained in Table F indicates that "Owner-Occupied" property has increased by 105% from 1,152 in 1991 to 2,366 in 2001. This contrasts sharply with an 8.9% decrease in "Government Rented" from 4,694 in 1991 to 4,276 in 2001, and a 23.7% decrease in "Private Rented" accommodation from 1,753 in 1991 to 1,338 in 2001. The overall availability of housing stock has increased by 27.6% from 7,599 in 1991 to 9,700 in 2001.

Table F: Houses and Flats by Tenure, 1970, 1981, 1991 & 2001

Year Owner - Occupied Co- Ownership Government Rented Private Rented Other Total
1970 209 - 3,629 2,189 - 6,027
1981 361 - 4,503 2,063 - 6,927
1991 1,152 - 4,694 1,753 - 7,599
2001 2,366 1,655 4,276 1,338 65 9,700


The traditional question on possession of cars, motorcycles or mopeds was included in the 2001 Census. However, the results indicate that there are more motorcycles than mopeds. This contrasts with the general number of mopeds on the roads of Gibraltar and would appear to indicate that some people did not read clearly the instructions on the Census form.

In view of the apparent errors made by some people with regard to indicating ownership of motorcycles or mopeds, the figures for Motorcycles or Mopeds have been combined under one column in Table G below.

The method of travel to work will be partly dependent on where a person lives, and if they own a car, where they can park it. From the 2001 Census information the decreasing trend of people walking to work continues with a 26.3% decrease over the period 1991 to 2001. Against this, the number of people using motorcycles or mopeds has increased by 30.9% from 2,255 in 1991 to 2,951 in 2001. The number of persons travelling to work by car has also shown an increase, albeit to a slightly lesser extent, from 3,605 in 1991 to 4,463 in 2001 i.e. 23.8%.

Table G: Method of Travel to Work: 1981, 1991 and 2001

Year On Foot Bus Bicycle Motor-Cycle or Moped Car or Van
1981 6,431 602 218 306 4,907
1991 6,057 266 118 2,255 3,605
2001 4,461 216 115 2,951 4,463


Table H shows that the usually resident population has risen by 3% from 26,703 in 1991 to 27,495 in 2001. The male population has increased by 0.12% and the female population has grown by 5.93%. There has been a 6.8% reduction in the "0 to 14" age group over the same period, while the population in the "15 to 64" age group has risen by 2.7%. The largest population increase is in the "65+" age group from 3,579 in 1991 to 4,265 in 2001 - a rise of 19.2%.

Table H: Population by Age Group and Changes between Censuses

Row Age Group 1970   1981   1991   2001 * Change Change Change
                    1970 - 1981 1981 - 1991 1991 - 2001
                    % % %
1 0 - 14 5,662   5,674   5,442   5,071   0.2   -4.1   -6.8
2 15 - 64 16,688   17,847   17,682   18,159   6.9   -0.9   2.7
3 65 + 2,322   2,958   3,579   4,265   27.4   21.0   19.2
4 Total 24,672   26,479   26,703   27,495   7.3   0.8   3.0
    % % % %          
5 (1) divide by (4) 22.9   21.4   20.4   18.4   -   -   -
6 (2) divide by (4) 67.6   67.4   66.2   66.0   -   -   -
7 (3) divide by (4) 9.4   11.2   13.4   15.5   -   -   -
8 (1) plus (3) divide 32.4   32.6   33.8   34.0   -   -   -
  by (4)
* 48 persons have not stated their age. These have been weighted and distributed between the different age