Saturday, June 25, was designated as Census Day. The 2021 Population and Housing Census was launched under the theme “Yes It Matters. Get Counted”.

This is the 14th Population and Housing Census in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Dominica has been conducting these census for the last hundred and fifty years with the first one being held in 1871.

“A Population and Housing Census is conducted every ten years due to the magnitude of its undertaking. The Population and Housing Census was scheduled for 2021 however due to the setbacks brought about by the covid-19 pandemic we were forced to reschedule for 2022. The Census plays a vital role in the 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 and commercial and other uses,” Mrs. Stephens stated.

The Chief Statistician says it is important for citizens to participate in the ongoing population census.

“Many times persons ask, “Must I participate?” “Does it matter whether I participate or not?” “What do I have to do?” The answer is yes it matters; get counted. Statistical data is important for planning and for budgeting. How can you address poverty without statistics? How can you address housing and infrastructure development without statistics? How can you accurately mitigate the impact of natural disasters without statistics? If we cannot measure precisely then we will not be able manage the fair distribution of resources and delivery of services. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the appropriate data is available to the Government and the general public so we can plan accurately by setting accurate targets that are based on statistics,” Mrs. Stephens explained.

The data from the Housing and Population 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 population to come forward and be counted so that the results of the census can be used as a tool to improve service delivery. The information you give will remain confidential as required by the Census and Statistics Act. The more accurate the Census is, the better equipped we will be for improved planning. After the census we will have more accurate data for the formulation of policy as well as implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The immediate objective of this census is to ensure 100 percent coverage of residents in Dominica during Census Month and to accurately review visitation records from the Census listing within the shortest time possible to obtain a preliminary count of the population,” Mrs. Stephens added.