Studies on population trends have shown that the Caribbean region is losing a staggeringly high percentage of its skilled population.This is according to Director of the Economics Department at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr Justin Ram. He was at the time addressing a regional stakeholder consultation session on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) initiative that was held in Guyana last week.“When we look at the data, many of the countries [in the region] have lost as much as 70 per cent of labour force with more than 12 years of schooling. That is to say, 70 per cent of our population that we have schooled to tertiary education has left our shores,” Dr Ram clarified.Moreover, the CDB official noted that unemployment rates in the Caribbean remains extremely high.“In many of our member countries, it is as high as 25 per cent, and low as 4.3 per cent. I should add that youth unemployment is even higher, and in some of our member countries (it) is as high as 40 per cent,” he declared. Furthermore, Dr.Director of CDB’s Economic Department, Dr Justin RamRam posited that population trends show an expectation of many member countries experiencing a decline in population as the years go by.“Jamaica’s population is expected to decline by 50 per cent; Trinidad and Tobago’s by 28 per cent, St Vincent and the Grenadines by 29 per cent, and Grenada is actually expected to have less people than it had in 1950,” Dr Ram disclosed.The CDB official also went on to say that population dynamics are changing rapidly around the world, with the global continental ratio set for dramatic change by the year 2100.“North America currently has five per cent of the world’s population, and that will decrease to four per cent in 2100. Europe will go from 10 per cent to six per cent, and Asia will decline from 60 per cent to 43 per cent of global population. But the real figure I want you to pay attention to is Africa, (which) will actually rise from a current 17 per cent to 40 per cent of the global population.”A working paper published in June 2017 by the International Organisation for Migration details that, in 2007, the Caribbean emigration rate was four times higher than Latin America’s overall emigration rate.However, it noted that while the rate has slowed over the years, the region nevertheless remains an area of net emigration. Guyana has been named one of two countries showing the strongest emigration movements, with 9.65 per 1000 persons emigrating in 2013. It was cited in a previous study which stated that at least 40 per cent of the people in Guyana would migrate permanently if they get the opportunity.The 2017 working paper outlined that, from 1992 to the current period, Guyanese out-migration averaged about 10,000 people a year, with the CSME Treaty contributing to this steady outflow of people from Guyana.According to the World Bank, by 2013, Guyana had a total emigrant population of 463,000. Over half live in the United States, with another significant part living in Canada. The remainder of emigrants are found in the United Kingdom and in other Caribbean nations, as well as in nearby Venezuela.