Director General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Sonia Jackson is encouraging Jamaicans to participate in the 2011 Population and Housing Census, as the information they provide will have a direct impact on their quality of life and the socio-economic services that they can access.
“The census is extremely important for planning. Human capital is our most important resource and we need to understand what that capital looks like, where people live, the ratio between young and old, and the other socio-economic information, such as education and employment. The information is used to determine the location, number and types of schools, the demand for housing, water supply and other social amenities that are required,” she explained.
Ms. Jackson was speaking today (September 8), at a media breakfast hosted at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel by STATIN to engage the media in dialogue about possible partnerships that would enable the organisation to maximise the participation of all Jamaicans.
Director General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Sonia Jackson greets George Hay, winner of STATIN’s Census Logo Competition, at a media breakfast, hosted today (September 8), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel by STATIN to sensitise the media about the 2011 Population and Housing Census, which will begin in April 2011.
She emphasised that the information would also be important to the private sector, which uses the census to determine the location of businesses and the kinds of services that are provided.
The 2011 Population and Housing Census, which is themed: ‘Every one Counts – You, Me, All a Wi!’, will begin on April 4, 2011 and last until July 2011. However, the planning process and a public education campaign to correct misperceptions and to sensitise the public, are currently underway.
Meanwhile, on the issue of confidentiality, Ms Jackson is assuring the public that the personal information that they provide would be kept in strict confidence.
“The work of the census is impartial and free from government interference. Additionally, the Statistics Act prevents STATIN from releasing personal information to anybody for any reason and there are also penalties for breaches of confidentiality. The data are released in an aggregated format to protect the privacy of the individual. They are used for statistical purposes only,” she stressed.
The Director General further noted that Census takers, like all members of staff at STATIN, have signed confidentiality agreements for which breaches are punishable by the law. To date, she reported that there have been no breaches.
On the matter of access, Ms. Jackson made a special appeal to the occupiers and managers of gated communities and apartment complexes.
“They present their own challenges in terms of access and I am making a special appeal to the Managers of these properties to give us access for the purposes of the census. We can facilitate you by making appointments, so that one visit can cover all the home owners, rather than making several visits,” she said.
The census is the total process of collecting, compiling and publishing demographic, social and economic data pertaining to a specified time for all persons in a country.
The last population and housing census was conducted in 2001. At that time the population count was 2,607,633. Since then annual estimates of the total population have been done and at December 2009, the population was estimated at 2,698,800 with 1,329,300 males and 1,369,500 females.