The Director of Statistics, Beverly Harris has urged continued public cooperation as some 235 persons collect critical information for the 2011 St. Kitts and Nevis Population and Housing Census.
Speaking recently on a Government radio program, Ms. Harris and Statistician Carlton Phipps noted that while some residents may have reservations about being interviewed, it was essential to carry out the exercise which records the number of persons, households and buildings in the twin-island Federation.
“It is important to have a census in order to [ensure] better program planning and to design marketing strategies,” Ms. Harris said, noting that the demographic characteristics are extremely useful to the public and private sector.
A practical example cited, referred to the 2001 Census which revealed that a large number of children two years or younger lived in the St. Peter’s area. “One of the outcomes we saw was the construction of a preschool to cater for children from that area as well as nearby communities,” she revealed.
Mr. Phipps gave a sample of the questions included on the questionnaire being used in St. Kitts and Nevis as well as other member states of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). He explained that much of the information being sought are standard including name, age, number of persons living in the household and employment status. However, some questions are more personal such as income earnings and medical history.
Statistician Phipps revealed that the enumerators are trained and have sworn an oath of confidentiality making it an offense to share any information with outside parties. He also stressed that as the information is being collated, identities will be erased and replaced with a coded number system making it extremely difficult to pinpoint individuals.
The officials stressed that the information will ultimately be used as a measure of standard of living and will help to guide developmental agendas for the local Government as well as for international agencies, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat. School children also find the data extremely useful when completing Student Based Assessment (SBAs) as well as nursing trainees planning community health projects.
Census Day is May 15. The Census is facilitated every 10 years by Governments in countries around the world.