The Census Is Important For The Country
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
May 20, 2011 (SKNIS)
Enumerators have several more days to compile information from the various households in the Federation to go towards the St. Kitts and Nevis Population and Housing Census.
Director of Statistics Ms. Beverly Harris explained to the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service that although Census Day was May 15, a grace period is being extended.
“Enumeration is actually a four to six weeks period,” Ms Harris noted. “The sixth week concludes at the end of this month, however there is an additional period to contact those persons who were not enumerated during that period. We wish at this point to thank those persons who have responded thus far and to encourage the others who have not responded to do so when the enumerator comes by.”
Director Harris noted that approximately seventy-five percent of the information had been collected, and encouraged persons who have not had initial contact with an enumerator to reach out to the Census Office by calling 467-1063, 467-1253 or 467-1060.
Mrs. Verlene Simpson in her capacity as a Supervisor of Enumerators revealed that her responsibilities include back checking the household questionnaires.
“I have to show them [the enumerators] where their district starts and where it ends,” Mrs. Simpson stated. “I also would have to go and do the rejects myself, or I will make telephone calls to people who are non-responsive and see if they would actually give me the information if they are a bit insecure.”
Carlton Phipps similarly took on the role of an enumerator.
“Well I would say the response has been fairly good,” Mr. Phipps revealed. “But we have been having challenges and in some areas, we have had a number of refusals. We also have in some areas a number of persons who do not speak English pretty well. So we have had to do some extra work in terms of getting persons who speak Spanish particularly to assist us in completing our task.”
He noted that other stated causes for refusals were the assumption that the information would be used for tax purposes or issues taken with the state of crime. Mr. Phipps took the opportunity to reassure that the information was to be used strictly for the purpose of the future development of the Federation.
All census activities are guided by Statistical Act No. 12 of 1971 and Statistician Phipps referred to the fact that all information is kept in the strictest confidence. He stressed that it is not shared with any other Government Department and in extended family households it may not even be shared with other members in the same dwelling. He added that all enumerators made a confidentiality oath in a court of law and any person who is in breach can be taken to court and prosecuted.
Once the grace period has concluded, the Statistics Department would then commence the task of manually editing the questionnaire responses to ensure that the information is consistent and that skip patterns are in place. Once this is done, the questionnaires are scanned and the information is processed. Information is then tabulated using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).
Ms. Harris revealed that her Department would have completed compiling the information by next year.
“A lot of our information is disseminated via electronic mail, and in making their requests some persons might not want the entire information base that we have,” Ms. Harris explained. “They might want some tables ““ pertaining to a particular area. Information such as this will be available around mid 2012. Caricom also does some analysis of the data but that comes later.”
The Director of Statistics took the opportunity to thank the Department of Physical Planning and Environment for drawing the maps of the different areas of St. Kitts, Inland Revenue for making the Identification Cards and the Magistrates Court for facilitating the administration of the oath.