Count Me In!: Census 2020 Launched Print E-mail
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Friday, 02 November 2018 00:00

In May of 2020 the Statistical institute of Belize will commence the single largest and most expensive data collection exercise in its history, the 10 year census. With that, the institute held a launching in which it explained the inner workings of the exercise. According to Deputy Director General of the Statistical Institute of Belize, (SIB) Diana Castillo Trejo, Censuses have been carried out in Belize since 1816 with the last one determining that there were 322,353 persons with an almost 50-50 distribution of males and females. The new census has been one that has been in planning since 2016 and will see a massive publicity campaign to sensitize the public as to the purpose.

Chairman of the board of the SIB, Aaron Lewis, which will be spearheading the data collection, explained that the census will commence in May of 2020 and that, ‘it’s about people.’ He explained that the census gives the picture of a country’s status while every other survey give estimates. He added that because of this, the planning and execution of the census must be accurate like no other. According to Lewis the data gathering is about people: how many there are, their age, distribution, living conditions, employment, housing conditions, access to water and electricity and health among other factors will be gathered. These he said will be used to empower decision makers as to deployment of resources including in areas of education, health and infrastructural development.

Leopold Perriot, Director General of the SIB, gave the keynote address. He noted that the government has ensured that interference in the work that the SIB does is non-existent. He explained that data collection must be sacrosanct in order to make it as accurate as possible. He said that the function of the institute is not to please anyone. For this latest exercise he asked that all persons must comply with the request of information. He explained that there will be as many as 1000 interviewers hired to go into the field for data collection. These persons will be using redesigned field work which includes the use of tablets. But as they do so there are admitted challenges in particular in Belize City where people are reluctant to give information. In order to address this he said that the security forces will be engaged as well as much as possible get persons who actually live in the areas that are known and respected to do the data collection.

The data collected will be used for many purposes including development planning in education, housing, town delineation, electoral divisions and many other purposes.

At the end of the days presentations were given to Rolando Cocom who secured $500 for the census logo design, Darwin Tzib who received $1000 for the slogan and Sylvian Neal who received $2000 for the census jingle.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2018 10:40