Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
There are more questions today about the accuracy of the Population and Housing Census 2011 after it was matched against the voters' list.
The Sunday Gleaner has counted 24 constituencies in which the number of persons captured in the census who are of voting age are fewer than the number of persons registered on the voters' list.
For instance, the census says there are 16,452 adults in West Kingston, yet the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) said 20,434 persons are registered to vote in the constituency.
Similarly, 19,565 persons are registered to vote in Central Kingston even though the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) found only 17,840 people of voting age living there.
"It could be an account of persons who have died who are still on the list, as well as the possibility that there could be a high migration rate from these places so people could have registered there and subsequently moved out," Orrette Fisher, the director of elections told The Sunday Gleaner.
Fisher, however, said he is in the process of analysing the census and will be crossmatching STATIN's figures with that of his department's.
In the meantime, Dr Valerie Nam, director, censuses and demographic statistics, says the census figures present an accurate picture of the adult population in each constituency.
"I cannot speak to the accuracy of the voters' list, but I can speak to the accuracy of the census counts. As far as I understand it, the voters' list is always subject to a process of verification, etc., to remove deceased and other persons. I never expect the voters' list to show the same number as the census count. I would not expect, however, that there should be great disparities," Nam said.
She also noted that the census was done in April 2011. The current voters' list was last updated on November 30 last year.
Disparities aside, there are some constituencies in which it appears the tight political organisations have ensured that most of the voting population is on the voters' list.
In Western Westmoreland, for example, where there are 30,491 adults identified as residents by the census, 30,436 are on the voters' list.
Similarly, in South West St Clarendon, STATIN says there are 24,867 adults in the constituency, and the EOJ says 24,545 persons are on the voters' list there.
STATIN has reported that it had 95 per cent contact with Jamaicans, with 82 per cent responding to its survey questions.