The 2022 Population and Housing Census, which is to get underway in September, will cost the Government more than $2 billion.
The disclosure was made by Finace and the Public Service Minister, Dr Nigel Clarke, at the official launch of the island’s 15th Population and Housing Census at the AC Mariott Hotel last Wednesday.
Clarke said that more than 7,000 people will be employed as census takers across the island between September and December.
“This is an exercise that costs approximately $2.4 billion. So not only is it a big deal, it is a big investment, as well,” Clarke stated.
He pointed out that the data collectors will be drawn from “areas close to the areas they will be collecting data from”, to ensure that they are familiar with the communities that they will be working in.
In keeping with international standards and best practices, censuses are conducted every 10 years. The last census in Jamaica was conducted in 2011 and should have taken place last year, but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Clarke, the data collected from the census will not only provide an estimate of Jamaica’s population size, but it will inform Government policies and programmes, including where to build schools, clinics and other government services.
Another element of this year’s census, said Clarke, is the use of technology to improve the efficiency and safety of the data collected and its subsequent processing.
“As Jamaica moves towards a digital society or a digitised society, and it is significant that this is the first census that will be conducted using tablets — no paper.
“… But, as we move towards being a digital society, understanding the distribution of ICT access and use and prevalence is abundantly important,” he declared.
Meanwhile, the minister noted that although census day is on September 12, “the data collection will take place over three months.”
He added: “So the census takers will be going around between September and December, but the questions they ask you will be with reference to September 12.
“So I ask you, nuh badda go out on the night of September 11, and yuh forget that weh yuh do on September 12, because that is the reference day for the census,” Clarke pleaded.