Census leaders explain the meaning of Census 2011

POSTED: 04/3/11 4:04 PM

St. Maarten – Hundreds of enumerators will begin covering every district on Dutch St. Maarten on April 9 during the 2011 housing and population Census to survey all of St. Maarten’s residents. A housing and population Census is an entire count of the population that takes place every 10 years. It is the process of collecting, compiling, evaluating, analyzing and publishing demographic, economic and social data, pertaining to a specific moment in time.

“To optimize the quality and the use of the census data, it is important that each individual in St. Maarten is counted and that each provide the correct information. Everyone will be counted during Census 2011 whether born here or migrated here, legal or illegal, young or old,” Senior Statistical Analyst of the Department of Statistics and project leader of the 2011 Census Maurette Antersijn stated.

 The data collected ranges from housing, demographic characteristics (age & gender etc.), migration, economic activity, education, residence, disabilities, birthplace, language, occupation, fertility, marital status, crime, transportation, income and more. A Census is the most important source of information regarding the size, structure and characteristics of a population.

Before the start of a Census, “a Census moment” is determined. All information gathered during the Census refers to the situation at that particular point in time. St. Maarten’s Census moment is April 9, 2011. This means that although the Census is scheduled to take 9 days; ending April 17, all questions asked during the Census must be answered assuming it is April 9, 2011.  For example, babies who are born after April 9 will not be counted and deceased people, who were alive on April 9, will be counted as part of the population.

“Census 2011 will give St. Maarten a voice that should be exercised to inform our government and community how the population’s lives and needs have changed, so that government can optimize its resources to accommodate the demands of the population and determine how to plan for the future of St. Maarten. This is our residents’ chance to say “Count us in,” Census 2011 Publicity Manager of Innovative Marketing Creations Emmalexis Velasquez said.

         Census 2011 is very important and is being implemented to get a snapshot of who we are as a country right now and how to properly plan moving forward. The information that is collected during Census 2011 will be used (anonymously) by a large number of government departments and other non-government organizations (schools, students & businesses) and other interested persons. The information gathered during the Census will be used for policy-making, research, planning, school projects and administrative purposes.

For instance, assistance to vulnerable groups in our community (such as the disabled and the elderly) can only be explained in a proper manner, if the numbers and the characteristics of these groups are fully known and understood. Additionally, the Census is a valuable source of information for companies and industries. The effective planning of the labor market can only happen if reliable information regarding the size and composition of the local labor force is available.

        Census 2011 will assist Country St. Maarten for instance to understand it’s unemployment market which may lead to unemployment programs, help define the education level and market needs, which may lead to the implementation of specific education programs and job placements, it will help define transportation methods which may lead to infrastructure development, it will also help understand our housing situation which may help implement evacuation thrills and disaster management during hurricanes, floods, earthquakes etc., and prevent island wide disasters.

       Participating in Census 2011 will help decision makers increase the standard of living for everyone residing on the island and better understand how to solve existing concerns that will help create a stronger Country St. Maarten

Personal Census data is protected by law, all Census staff sign and are bound by an individual commitment to confidentiality. The collected data therefore will not be shared with any other departments such as: Law Enforcement, Tax Department, and Immigration Department.

For more information and questions pertaining to Census 2011 please contact Senior Statistical Analyst, Maurette Antersijn at the Department of Statistics at 542-2355. Or visit the Census 2011 Website at www.mysxmcensus2011.org

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