St. Kitts – Nevis’ PM – Deenzil Douglas
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
October 21, 2010 (CUOPM)
Stressing that information from a census makes it possible to appraise the past, accurately describe the present and estimate the future, St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has emphasized that the fundamental purpose the exercise is to provide the facts essential to policy making.
“It is important that everyone participate in the Census. It is a national event and every individual must be counted, and the information given must be accurate,” said Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas.
Speaking at the Launch of the 2011 Population and Housing Census, Dr. Douglas noted that the last population count in 2001, indicated 46,325 people.
“I thought it would be interesting to see how we have grown over the intercensal years,” said Dr. Douglas.
He said that the size, distribution and characteristics of the country’s population are essential for describing and assessing its economic and demographic circumstances.
“Reliable and detailed data can only assist in developing sound policies and fostering the welfare of the population. Policy decisions on health care, education, ICT, child care and employments are just a few of the areas that the data will help to inform,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He told several officers present that each of them has a role to play in this national undertaking.
“Besides giving us a count the census is actually “Data for our Future” The information collected helps not only Government to make better decisions but the businessman, the individual, the students can all use the data collected to make informed decisions,” said the Prime Minister in his remarks, which also celebrated World Statistics Day.
“Your son, daughter, niece or nephew may need this information to complete his SBA, or to complete a university research paper. In essence the data collected benefits all of us. Only you alone can make a difference by responding when the enumerator knocks at your door,” said Dr. Douglas.
The theme for World Statistics Day is “Celebrating the Many contributions and achievements of official statistics.”
The day was designated by the UN General Assembly to recognize the achievements of the global statistics systems at both the national and international level and the regional and sub regional levels.
Dr. Douglas is of the view that the day should assist in strengthening the awareness and trust of official statistics while at the same time be an advocacy tool to support the work of statisticians in diverse settings.
“This day is a celebration of the many achievements of official statistics and the core values of service, professionalism and integrity,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He said that the launching of the 2011 Census on this historic day is significant as a Population and Housing Census provides valuable data on the structure, size and general characteristics of the population. It provides a complete count of every person and all living quarters in the Federation at a specific point in time.
“It is a primary source of official statistics that is used extensively by both the Government and private sector,” said Dr. Douglas, adding that most countries including St. Kitts and Nevis conduct a Census every ten years, as is in keeping with a global initiative endorsed by the United Nations’ Statistics Division (UNSD).
To date 108 countries have conducted their censuses in the 2010 round. By the end of the year, approximately three billion persons would have been counted for 2010.
“The last time we conducted a census was in 2001. If you step back in time and then move to where we are today, you would realize so much have changed in the span of ten years. It is therefore important to collect this data nationwide to accurately assess where we are in terms of meeting our development agenda,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He said that the Census data of any country are of greater value nationally and regionally if they can be compared with the results of censuses of other countries that were taken at the same time.
Hence the questionnaire that will be used is one that will be used by the OECS countries and the censuses will be undertaken around the same period that is May/April 2011.