Letters to the Editor

Census figures do not correlate

Tuesday, October 30, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

The data presented in the 2011 population census published by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), do not correlate in a number of instances, and for these reasons doubts will be raised regarding its accuracy and reliability.

A specific example is the wide discrepancy in the figures given for the total rural population of the parish of St Andrew, when these figures are presented in different formats.

In the urban to rural population distribution, STATIN's data indicate that St Andrew has a total population of 573,369 with an urban population of 495,771 representing (86.5 per cent) of the total and a rural population of 77,598 (13.5 per cent). But these figures are contradicted when the population of St Andrew is represented by its constituencies.

Population distribution by its constituencies shows the total population of St Andrew to be 573,061 with the east rural population 58,880 and west rural 58,674. This therefore means the total rural population of St Andrew is 117,554 people.

This is not trivial, but an amazing difference of nearly 40,000 people and an increase of 51 per cent! Which figures are correct and how will the uninformed persons decide?

Statistical margins of error are accepted in large surveys. But independent of the methodologies used in collecting and analysing these data, the figures presented should correlate!

STATIN has a very important function and more efforts should be made to ensure greater accuracy and reliability of its published data.

Daive R Facey

dr.facey@gmail.com

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