The National Population and Housing Census 2022 was launched today at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) with President Irfaan Ali underscoring its importance in national development.
In his address, the President said the census is more than just the collection of data, explaining that when analyzed, the data provides critical qualitative and quantitative information that would influence research and guide development while helping authorities to better understand key issues such as the impact of Climate Change on the Region.
“So, in the future, there are a few things in the Region that are essential for us to gather information on. First, our land information system, our land management information system, are we losing more land as a result of climate change, are we losing more agricultural land, what’s the impact of the urban shift on agricultural land that leads to food production. Then Land Administration and Development, how do we prioritize the use of land,” the President reasoned.
According to the President, with data and information in hand, the region will be able to speak to the international community from a place of strength.
He said ultimately the data received would influence decisions and policies that would impact the development of people whether in the areas of education, health and or food security.
Senior Minister with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh said the developments unfolding today in the areas of housing and water, education, infrastructural and business and commerce have all been influenced by studies done in the past.
The 15th September has been declared “Census Day”, which will signal the official start of the census, which is expected to last eight (8) weeks and will utilize technology to accelerate the rate at which data is collected, compiled and analyzed.
According to the United Nations (UN) Statistical Division, a population and housing census, which is conducted every 10 years, is the process of collecting, compiling, evaluating, analysing and publishing demographic, economic and social data.
Describing it as a rigorous, expansive and intensive exercise, Chief Statistician Errol LaCruz said preparations for Census 2022 started years ago.
“In the information age, where data and statistics are crucial inputs to making better decisions, the census is the gold standard since it provides the only complete and accurate measure of the entire population,” the Chief Statistician and Census Officer said while underscoring the importance of the census.
LaCruz added that it is a corner stone and foundation of good data and statistics, and provide critical information for members of society such as in the areas of health and politics.
“The vast importance of the census also relates to some fundamental needs of society, which are, for leaders, to known the numbers, location and important characteristics of their people for whom they are responsible and for whom they must provide, and also for persons and communities to be recognized and counted as important members of society and the wider population.”
He said as Guyana undergoes a number of transformational changes, a census is even more important as it would influence and guide decisions and investments in all areas.
LaCruez said it is more than just a count of the population, explaining that it provides critical information on demographic change, education levels, employment levels, the size and features of the housing stock, access to utilities, agricultural data, food security and other important socio-economic characteristics.
At the last census done in 2012, Guyana’s population was recorded at 746,955 persons.