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Dunkley reveals census problems

The Government’s effort to complete the population and housing census has run into problems with many residents refusing to participate.

And adding to the dilemma is a shortage of interviewers.

Michael Dunkley told MPs on Friday that all data should have been collected by the end of December 2016, having started on May 21 last year.

However, that has not been the case for two reasons and the census will have to continue until March 31.

“Despite several recruitment drives the Department of Statistics has not been able to obtain a sufficient number of active interviewers,” Mr Dunkley explained, “and some members of the public have either outright refused to participate, evaded interviewers visiting their homes or not contacted the Department of Statistics to complete their questionnaire.”

“As of February 8, 90 per cent of assessment numbers have been accounted for which includes a combination of residential, vacant, derelict and commercial assessment numbers.

“I am also positioned to report the progress geographically.

“Hamilton Parish has the highest completion rate at 93 per cent and Sandys has the lowest completion rate at 86 per cent. At the census district level, there are ten CDs with a 100 per cent completion rate and the CD with the lowest completion rate is in Pembroke parish.

“The 2016 Census will finish within budget and as a reminder, the benefit of a census is that it provides a snapshot of the size and profile of the population and housing stock at a given point of time. Census data is used to devise effective strategies relating to infrastructure, education, health, employment and other economic and social issues.

“The census is a national undertaking and requires the support of all residents in order to achieve the goal of a 100 per cent completion rate.

“The Department of Statistics has taken a number of steps recently in an attempt to increase the number of households responding such as reminding the public via mobile phone texts, letters, radio talk shows, website advertising.

“Teams of census interviewers are also visiting low-responding districts.

“In this regard, I take this opportunity to emphasise to households that have not completed their questionnaire that now is the time to be counted.

“The interview should only take approximately 15 minutes for a household of four persons. Failing to complete the census interview may result in a fine up to $1,000 per day upon conviction.”

To arrange an interview, call the Department of Statistics on 297-7761, e-mail statistics@gov.bm or visit the department on 48 Cedar Avenue between 9.30am and 4pm Monday to Friday.