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‘Census 2022 is on track to begin in May,’ says Statistical Institute of Belize

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Posted: Sunday, February 6, 2022. 5:57 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: After two years’ worth of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) says that it is on target to commence the population and housing census in May.

Breaking Belize News spoke with the Acting Director-General of the SIB, Diana Castillo-Trejo, who explained that the SIB is wrapping up the last of its recruitments this week and then moving into three rounds of training sessions which will lead right to the data collection phase.

“Census day is May 12, that’s the day we are going to start data collection and right now we are on track for that” Castillo-Trejo said. “We are tentatively scheduling data collection for 8-10 weeks, barring any major unexpected major delays.”

She noted that the census is a massive undertaking for the institute which requires staff being pulled from all departments to assist with census activities; however, a small group of core staff remains to continue carrying out the functions of the SIB and ensuring that scheduled reports such as the External Trade Bulletin, and Consumer Price Index are released as scheduled.

All preparations for the 2020 census, which was to be held under the theme “Count me in” were suspended on March 17, 2020 following the first meeting of the national COVID-19 task force, which recommended that all resources at the time be allocated to assist in the national COVID-19 response.

The census would be delayed again, with the announcement made in February 2021 with health and safety concerns being a key factor yet again.

Castillo-Trejo says the public can rest assured that those health and safety concerns have been taken into account in the preparations for the upcoming census.

“We are assuring them that we are taking every precaution to ensure that the census data is collected as safely as possible. We’ve been in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Wellness; we have our own health and safety protocols that are in place and will be in place when we do data collection for the census.” Castillo-Trejo added. “So I want to encourage the households to participate when we go out there in May. We are going to make every effort to ensure that this data collection is done quickly and safely.”

The SIB has only slightly adjusted the logo for the census, and retained the theme “Count me in.”

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