Statin 'keeping fingers crossed' for census completion by year end
Statin Director General Carol Coy speaking on Monday at the Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

THE Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin) has expressed confidence that the 2022 Population and Housing Census will be completed as scheduled for this year, despite the unusual period for data collection.

Speaking at the recent Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange, Statin's Director General Carol Coy explained that the census, which is done every 10 years, is usually conducted in April but the upcoming census will run from September 12 to the end of the year.

The census, which was initially scheduled for 2021, was delayed due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"We know it is a risky period — the hurricane period. Our best period is in April but COVID-19 has really thrown everything out of whack," explained Coy.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed. We are having sleepless nights, meetings back-to-back, just to be on top of everything," she shared.

At the same time, Statin's Deputy Director General Leesha Delatie-Budair assured that the necessary plans have been put in place for the census to be completed during the set period.

"That is our target, that is our plan — four months. Based on our past experience collecting surveys, collecting data, we estimate around eight weeks per ED [enumeration district], and we are recruiting one census taker per ED. Based on our target we have put some contingencies in place because we know life happens — rain will fall, things like that will happen to delay data collection," she said.

Additionally, Delatie-Budair said Statin is ensuring that a responsive approach is being used to manage the data collection.

"We are monitoring what's going on in the field and making decisions and adjustments as needed. Based on our monitoring process we aim to monitor the process so that we are able to come out of the field at the end of the year — and we are putting everything in place to do so," she assured.

A total of 7,500 census takers have been recruited from across the island for the data collection exercise.

The approved budget for the fiscal year is $2.4 billion, most of which covers the cost for data collection, training and technology.

The last census was done in 2011 which focused on individual data gathered on age, sex, relationship to head of household, religious affiliation, ethnic origin, marital and union status, educational attainment, physical and mental limitations, and fertility, among areas.

BY BRITTNY HUTCHINSON Observer staff reporter hutchinsonb@jamaicaobserver.com

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