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Population census to begin mid-June

Population census to begin mid-June

Director of the Central Statistics Office (CSO), Raymond Phillips, has announced that the BVI’s 2023 Population and Housing Census will be starting from June 15.
The Director made the disclosure in a release issued yesterday, May 10, advising that preparations are already underway to conduct the long overdue exercise.

According to Phillips, the census is now being done after it was initially scheduled for 2020. He said this was due to some unavoidable delays imposed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The census exercise is now expected to be completed in December 2023, the Director expressed.

“It is critical for the public to offer its full participation and co-operation to ensure the effectiveness of this initiative, which will have a positive impact on all persons who reside in and are visitors to the Virgin Islands,” Phillips stated.

The data collection process

While explaining the data-collection process, Phillips noted that the census gathers information on a number of housing and personal characteristics (of all persons residing in a household) including ownership status, power supply, water supply amenities, country, disability, education, health, and employment.

Just before the general elections held last month, Phillips commented at a forum that executing the census remains a difficult task for his team, especially given the fact that it is not mandatory for residents to participate and that residents had refused to participate in the past.

In 2021, a post-Cabinet statement announced that the government would be revising the Statistical Act to make it mandatory for persons to provide data to the CSO.

The statement said: “Cabinet approved the General Statistical Data Policy by the Central Statistics Office and decided that a legal review of the Statistics Act be undertaken with a view to draft the required regulations and enact provisions that require mandatory compliance on the part of data providers.”

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