Friday, February 12, 2010

2010 Belize Census

Let’s do it again in 2010! That’s the theme for this year’s census which starts on the evening of May 12th. The national census has been held every ten years since 1960 but in fact, the history of the census exercises goes back to the first one in 1816. Since then they have been held with regularity and the data they gather provides a telling night into history and population tends. The exercise for 2010 is no different. It will enlist a staff of 750 interviewers to go into tens of thousands of households in every corner of Belize even if they have to get there on horseback. Glen Avilez is the Director of the Statistical Institute of Belize and is leading the exercise. We found out more form him and the relevant Minister at yesterday’s launch.

Hon. John Saldivar,

“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Statistical Institute of Belize, its Director and its staff, in the wonderful work they have been doing so far to bring back confidence in our statistics that are produced on most important matters in our country.”

Nigel Avilez, Director

“It will start on May 12th which has been designated as Census Day. That will start with a counting of the vagrants, those are the people on the street without homes. The following day the 13th we will have interviewers, close to 1,000 persons spread from the Rio Hondo to the Sarstoon, from the Western Border to the easternmost point of our country, all collecting information on persons living in Belize.”

Jules Vasquez,

“How many households will they interact with, we know they can’t interact with all, I think the last census says 320,000?”

Nigel Avilez,

“We are aiming to reach 80,000 households or 345,000 people across and this is Belizeans as well as non-Belizeans.”

Jules Vasquez,

“As a citizen, how can I cooperate or participate?”

Nigel Avilez,

“All we will ask is you invite the interviewers, you welcome them, you cooperate with them in responding to the questions. If there are any concerns all we ask is that you call any of our offices to clear up whatever might be of concern to you.”

Jules Vasquez,

“Will the census enumerators be properly identified, will they have an identification protocol they will have to go through?”

Nigel Avilez,

“Yes we will recruit people of reputable character, there is some minimum standard as far as education is concerned, and during the enumeration exercise they will wear what’s called the identification card of the SIB.”

Jules Vasquez,

“What information will come out of this census?”

Nigel Avilez,

“A lot in terms of socio-economic data. We are talking about education, health, economic activity. We want to measure the progress that this country has made since the last census in 2000. While we have been hearing that certain districts have made progress and others haven’t made as much, what is lacking is information at the very small area level, here I am referring to villages, communities, electoral divisions. Many times we are asked what is the situation in Hopkins, in Sartenja, and that information is not always available and it is best collected at census time and so we want to take full advantage of this opportunity that we have.”

The census exercise should run for eight to ten weeks and again it starts on May 12.

Source: 7NewsBelize

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