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JIS News

Come April this year, when the 2011 Population and Housing Census officially gets underway, Jamaicans can expect a high level of professionalism from census takers.

In an interview with JIS News, Director of Censuses at the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), Valerie Nam, informed that as part of the recruitment process all the census takers will undergo a comprehensive training programme to ensure that they are professional and courteous.

“It’s quite a rigid training programme. We give them an aptitude test first, then we train them on the form and concepts, then test again to see who is suitable to go out and take information. It is a very important part of the process and part of getting people to buy-in and respond,” she explained.

The data collection phase of the 2011 Population and Housing Census, which is themed: 'Every one Counts You, Me, All a Wi!' begins on April 5, 2011 and lasts until July 2011.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Nam also disclosed that an intense recruitment exercise was conducted and managers are now in place for the 61areas in which the country was divided. She further informed that specialised training of 1,000 supervisors is set to begin in February, while training for over 5,500 census takers will begin in March.

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.

CONTACT: DON DOBSON