The 2022 census was launched earlier this year and since May, the Statistical Institute of Belize data collectors have been deployed across the country to gather pertinent information from all households. Today, Acting Census and Survey Manager Tanisha Chavarria gave the media an update on the process, saying that they have already wrapped up in certain areas of the country.

Tanisha Chavarria, Acting Census & Surveys Manager, S.I.B.

"Data collection is still ongoing in some regions in the country, in particular, Belize District, San Pedro and Stann Creek and in the city of Belmopan. The other regions, they have already wrapped up data collection, though data collection did get extended in these areas as well. This is mainly due to the challenges that the S.I.B. has been experiencing with staffing and that is having enough staff to complete the data collection in the anticipated ten weeks time and also due to dropouts that we have been experiencing. Nevertheless, we have completed data collection in Corozal, Orange Walk, San Ignacio and surrounding areas, as well as Toledo."

The deadline to wrap up data collection for Stann Creek, San Pedro and Belmopan is at the end of October and in Belize City, where the most challenge is with staffing, that is expected to conclude by mid-November. After collection, the data will be processed and verified and preliminary results will be released by June 2023.

Challenge of Census: Finding People at Home

But there are many who claim that they have not been engaged so far by any data collector. Now, in terms of population density, Belize District, specifically the city, has the largest population. And while Tanisha Chavarria says that households have generally been cooperative, there have been challenges with finding persons at home.

Tanisha Chavarria, Acting Census & Surveys Manager, S.I.B.

"Generally, there has been a very good reception. Of the households that we have identified in all the buildings, our response rate looks at around ninety-three percent of households answering. The main challenge that we have is finding persons at home. So when the interviewers, they usually work in small geographical areas called the numeration districts and then they move to another area, while they are out in the field, persons might not be at home, they may be at work or they are travelling. And so to tackle that, the interviewers they try to go after five or six in the afternoon and especially on the weekends or public and bank holidays. That has helped with the response rate, but we are still not finding many persons at home. For households that perhaps they saw their neighbours get enumerated or they have heard of interviewers collecting data in their area, they would call the S.I.B. So you could call the S.I.B. and the S.I.B. would relay that message to our regional census coordinators who would make that visit to your households. So if you are interested and you perhaps want to make an appointment with an interviewer, you can contact us and we will set that up for you."

Channel 5