September 9, 2011
2011 Census extended

The 2011 Housing and Population Census has been extended for an additional four weeks.{{more}}

Chief Statistician Gatlin Roberts told SEARCHLIGHT that because of a number of factors, both internally and in the field, the exercise, which was supposed to be completed by mid-August, has been extended.

“The extension was given through a notification from the Attorney General’s Chamber allowing an additional four weeks,” Roberts said.

The Chief Statistician, who is also the Census Officer, said the process has been a “rough” one, and there were hurdles her Department had to overcome.

“We’ve had a few internal delays, and then there is the issue of persons not wanting to comply with the enumerators when they visit their homes. We are about 90 per cent complete, but we still have a number of areas to be covered,” Roberts disclosed.

According to the Chief Statistician, “A number of Census divisions have reported that they are basically finished and are in the wrapping stages, but there are still some elements that retard the process as well.

“Some enumerators have to make so many call backs to individual homes and others have reported that they are not meeting persons at home, and in some cases are being asked to return and when they do, no one is available to do the Census.

“So these are really some of the issues that have held up the completion,” she stated.

It was, however, noted that even though the end date for the Census has passed, there are still persons who are willing to give the information. Roberts also advised others to do the same.

“Persons are still interested in being counted, they have been calling the office and we are making every effort to get those persons counted. However, for those persons who have been harsh on the enumerators, I encourage them not to be, because they (enumerators) are only doing a task.

“I was recently speaking with a supervisor and I was informed that that someone threatened to release their dogs on the enumerators, and this is not called for, especially if these persons are in the public domain, they legally cannot do that. I am appealing to persons to be civil about the continuation of the Census,” Roberts pealed.

“What is to be noted is that there is a downside to persons who do not give the information for the Census,” she added.

“We will be missing some of our population and this is very vital information. If we do not have a complete picture of what is happening on the ground and what are the needs of the population or what are the age groups to plan for, then the planning aspect of the Census data would be faulty.

“This means we would have spent a lot of money gathering information that is not useful,” a concerned Roberts said.

A further appeal was made by the Chief Statistician for persons to get in contact with the Census office at telephone number is 457- 1738 so that the necessary arrangements to have them counted can be made.(AA)