Citizens and other eligible persons resident in Jamaica are being encouraged to participate in the 2022 Population and Housing Census, which was launched on Wednesday (August 10) by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.
The three-month exercise, which is the country’s 15th, is being spearheaded by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) under the theme ‘Yuh Count, Mi Count – All A Wi Count, and will cost the Government approximately $2.4 billion.
It commenced on Census Day, Monday, September 12, which serves as the reference date for the data collated.
More than 7,500 field workers have been recruited to conduct the exercise, which will see tablet computers being used for the first time in the data-collection process.
Prime Minister Optimistic that Data Collection Exercise will Improve Policy Decisions
Speaking at the launch held at the AC Marriott Kingston Hotel, Prime Minister Holness said the census is one of the most important statistical exercises to be undertaken, noting that the data collated is crucial in the Government’s policy decisions.
“If we’re going to make policies on behalf of the people, we can’t just make policies on emotion [or] what we feel is popular. We have to make policies on the facts. So, it is important that when the census takers come to your community, that you embrace them and that you cooperate with them and give the necessary information,” he said.
“The Government wants to serve you better, and in order to serve you better, we need to understand your needs and your conditions, and that is why we are conducting this census,” he stressed.
Mr. Holness assured that personal information provided will be treated confidentially as mandated under the Statistics Act.
STATIN Set to Lead It’s Flagship Programme
STATIN’s Chairman, Professor David Tennant, noted the census is the Institute’s flagship programme.
He pointed out that the data derived is relied on by policymakers, entrepreneurs, researchers, civil society groups, faith-based organisations, private-sector stakeholders, and the general public to make informed decisions.
“This undertaking is in keeping with our mission to contribute to national development through the provision of quality statistics to enable effective planning and decision-making,” Professor Tennant said, while informing that the public education programme is expected to be ramped up, beginning this week.
STATIN’s Director General, Carol Coy, advised that in addition to visiting homes, the census takers will be going into correctional institutions, children’s homes, infirmaries, drop-in centres, boarding and residential schools, university and college residences, military camps, police training schools, police barracks, hospitals, and facilities providing specialised long-term care.
She indicated that persons living on the streets and on the cays will also be counted.
Ms. Coy said preliminary results from the census will be available in fiscal year 2023/24.