2010 census due by 2012
AFTER being promised the results of the 2010 census by this year, Barbadians have now been told they will have to wait until 2012.
However, preliminary statistics show that the population has increased by around 9 000, and the country appears to still have an ageing population.
In October last year, acting director of the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS) Aubrey Browne said the findings would be made public by early this year. But yesterday, acting deputy director Trevor David told the MIDWEEK NATION the results would be released early next year.
He said a shortage of personnel to conduct the census was a major setback that contributed to the delay in completing the exercise.
“We estimate we should finish capturing all of the questionnaire data by the end of the year. We are undergoing the cleaning of the data – the process of looking for inconsistencies in the data [and so on]. . . So we are, in essence, looking at about March [or] April next year before final results are published,” he said after a presentation on The 2010 Population and Housing Census: Challenges, Issues and Some Results.
David explained that a major challenge was not getting enough people to conduct the enumeration. That resulted in the process in some districts beginning long after the May 2, 2010 start date.
“There were also shortages in stock – the questionnaires and so on – due to breakdowns in the printing press. We also had to do some additional work with the actual questionnaires themselves, things that demonstrated that the enumerators in some cases did not edit the work before it was submitted to the Census Office. In fact, in some cases, if care had been taken in the editing, some of the processing problems that we are experiencing would never have occurred,” he added.
Information gathered so far shows that the population increased to 277 762 from 268 792 counted in the 2000 Census, with 90 males to every 100 females.
David said those figures were “consistent” with the usual growth rate and ratio. As for the number of elderly residents, although the final figures are not yet available, indications are that Barbadians are living longer.
“When we have processed all of the questionnaires then we would be able to say that but there are no indications so far that Barbados has changed direction in terms of having an ageing population,” he said.
Other preliminary data shows that St Michael is still the most densely populated parish with 30.5 per cent of residents living there, followed by Christ Church with 19.2 per cent.
St Andrew is the least populated, home to only 2.1 per cent of the population.
Meantime, David expressed concern about an increasingly uncooperative populace that made it difficult for enumerators, some verbally abusing the census workers and even setting dogs on them.
“And some of them don’t respond to the questions. They would ask the enumerators to come back, and they would give times to return to conduct the interview when they know they are not going to be at home,” he said.
“It is an area we need to look into and as soon as the results are officially in the public domain and so on, then we can turn to evaluating those kinds of issues. We have to put something in place now to ensure that it does not get any worse,” David said.