The Statistical Institute of Belize launched the 2010 Population and Housing Census this morning at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina. The national census is held every ten years since 1960 and this year, Census day has been set for May 12th with the slogan "It's 2010, let's count again". Director General Glenn Avilez told Love News more about this year's census.

Glenn Avilez; Director General, Statistical Institute

"We hope to get a complete count of all the persons living in Belize by their various characteristics, ethnicity, age sex and so forth. Apart from the actual count of persons we want to get socio-economic data we can use to measure the national progress we have made since the last census. So, in the area of education we hope to assess whether our education at the national level or community level has improved. In regards to health, we want to do the same thing. All of this is to see where we have come as a country over the last ten years."

The results will be available to government and non-government offices.

Glenn Avilez 

"I must emphasize though that we will not be publishing individual data. The information will be aggregated such that you cannot identify a single respondent. So, if it is for policy purposes that we are talking about, then, what is more important is for you to get the aggregate data rather than the individual data. It will be of use to businesses to know their market, the size of their market and if they want to consider probably establishing a branch in a particular locality they will have that information that will not normally be available from our other surveys."

The Statistical Institute of Belize is looking at employing about 1,000 employees as interviewers, field supervisors and zone supervisors for the census. Although the information gathering starts in May, Avilez says that there are certain things he expects to see in this year's census.

Glenn Avilez  

"One of the major changes we saw from the 1991 census was the significant increase in the Mestizo population, relative to other groups. I expect that for the 2010 census that situation is likely to persist where we have the Mestizo making the largest single population in the country. In terms of education, certainly with news schools, six forms , universities being established in the country and that is more accessible to our population, the percentage of persons pursuing tertiary education I expect o be higher than 2010. In regards to fertility, it has been decreasing over the last twenty, thirty years and I expect that there will be a continued decrease in fertility."

During the launch this morning, the Statistical Institute recognized the winners of the slogan and logo competition for this year's campaign. Denise Vanzie won the slogan competition and Sean Eusey's logo was selected for the 2010 Census. The Census is expected to start on May 12 and conclude within four to six weeks later. The results are expected to be fully available by the end of the year.