Census Data Critical To Shaping Public Policy, Says Director Phipps

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 30, 2020 (SKNIS): Policy decisions by government ministers such as the number of persons requiring COVID-19 stimulus cheques, where to construct the next community centre, and the births and deaths within a population per year, are largely dependent on data collected by the Department of Statistics.

The department also plays a critical role in shaping activities and initiatives of the private sector and non-governmental organizations, as well as regional and international agencies.

Director of Statistics, Carlton Phipps, highlighted the importance of statistical data on this week’s (October 28, 2020) edition of the radio and television programme Working for You. The appearance on the programme was designed to promote public awareness for the Population and Housing Census scheduled for 2021.

He reminded that the information provided by the public will be kept in the strictest confidence and he shared some areas that may come up relating to the condition of the house. These include what sort of roofing material the houses are made of, what type of materials were used on the walls, when the house was built, and what amenities are in the household.

“Not that we are trying to pry into a person’s private information,” Mr. Phipps stated. “We want to measure the standard of living that persons or households have over a period of time.”

Social Statistician and Demographer, Corneil Williams, indicated that whenever figures are mentioned by officials giving speeches, they likely would have obtained the information from the Department of Statistics.

As such, the public was encouraged to be truthful and open with enumerators conducting the 2021 Population and Housing Census, as it will guide the formation of public policies to benefit the population.

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