Thu | Nov 26, 2020

20 communities to participate in pretest of Census 2021

Published:Friday | May 31, 2019 | 3:42 PM

Twenty communities across the island have been selected to participate in the pretest of the Census 2021 questionnaire exercise to be administered by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

The communities include Denham Town in Kingston; Half-Way Tree, Norbrook and Bull Bay in St Andrew; Fellowship, Portland; Islington, St. Mary; Green Island, Hanover; New Denbigh and Mineral Heights in Clarendon; and Tawes Pen and West Cumberland in St. Catherine.

“We are doing a test of the questionnaires that we drafted for Census 2021 to determine the receptiveness of the respondents, how well they understand the questions if the questions are asking what we need them to ask and the flow of the questions,” highlighted Senior Statistician at STATIN, Philone Mantock.

She noted that two sets of questionnaires – a household and an individual – will be administered by the interviewers at randomly selected households in each of the various communities.

The pretest exercise will last for four weeks, from May 24 to June 21, 2019.

Mantock explained that the household questionnaire will cover areas such as the type of building or dwelling, whether it is an apartment or townhouse, separate or attached house; if the building is owned by the occupant(s) or rented; number of rooms and type of toilet facilities.

“For the individual questionnaire, ideally or as much as possible, we would want all the members of the household to participate… so each person in the household will answer questions related to their age, religion or denomination, education and employment,” she pointed out.

The senior statistician noted that on completion of the data collection, the team will meet to provide feedback, report on the questions that gave householders problems and discuss other matters or issues that arose from the administering of the pretest exercise.

“So, we will look at how receptive they (the respondents) were. We try to track the average length of time to complete a questionnaire… and after the meeting, we will draft a report, see what we need to change and then we prepare for another test which will be conducted in November,” Mantock explained.

She added that while the pretest is paper-based, the test in November will be done on a tablet, similar to what will be done for the actual 2021 census.

The population and housing census is done every 10 years and provides information on the size of the population in areas such as age, sex, religion, and education.

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