The Central Statistics Office has launched the Population and Housing Census under the theme “Yes It Matters. Get Counted.”
This is the 14th Population and Housing Census in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Dominica hs been conducting these census for the last hundred and fifty years with the first one being held in 1871.
Census Officer and Acting Chief Statistician, Mrs. Lorna Prevost Stephens explained that the census was delayed due to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic in 2021.
“The Population and Housing Census is conducted every ten years due to the magnitude of its undertaking. As such it is indeed an exciting time that we have all looked forward to since the work we are doing has a direct impact on service delivery for our people at all levels. The Population and Housing Census was scheduled for 2021, however due to the setbacks brought about by the pandemic we were forced to reschedule for 2022,” Mrs. Stephens stated.
The Census Officer noted that censuses are important as they collect data which is critical to social and economic development.
“Censuses form a very integral part of our lives. The census plays a vital role in the National Statistical System therefore censuses are a foremost means of collecting basic population and housing statistics as part of an integrated programme of data collection, compilation, and dissemination aimed at providing a comprehensive source of information for economic and social development, planning, administration, assessing conditions in human settlements, research, commercial and other uses,” Mrs. Stephens explained.
She went on to address some questions frequently asked by citizens noting that the data collected assists the Government in addressing important issues such as poverty and housing.
“Many times persons ask, must I participate. Does it matter whether I participate or not. The answer is yes it matters get counted. Statistical data is important for planning and budgeting. How can you address poverty without statistics? How can you address unemployment without statistics? How can you address housing and infrastructure without statistics? How can you accurately mitigate the impacts of natural disasters without statistics? If we cannot measure precisely then we will not be able to manage the fair distribution of resources and delivery of service,” the Census Officer went on to state.
Mrs. Stephens further noted that the results of the census will also assist the Government of Dominica in achieving its Sustainable Development Goals.
“Therefore it is important to ensure that appropriate data is available to the Government and the general public so we can plan accurately by setting specific targets that are based on statistics. The Population and Housing Census is a main data source to inform the country’s national strategies, plans and priorities and to monitor the achievement of the goals of development that the state has committed too such as to monitor the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets of the 2030 Agenda,” she stated.
Mrs. Stephens then encouraged all residents of Dominica to participate and provide accurate information to the enumerators during the census as it is crucial to their own well-being.
“The data from the Population and Housing census will provide key indicators that can help the country identify risks and respond to those risks in a timely and accurate manner. It is therefore crucial that we mobilize the whole country to come forward and be counted so that the results of the census can be used as a tool to improve service delivery. Leading up to the census we are going to keep reminding every person that resides in Dominica that their inclusion is absolutely crucial for Government and indeed for our own well-being,” Mrs. Stephens explained.
She added that in the next few weeks the department will embark on a massive publicity campaign “to encourage citizens to participate in the census.”
This campaign will reassure residents that any information received will remain confidential as required by the Census and Statistics Act.
Census Day in Dominica is carded for June 25 2022.