By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Chief Statistician and Census Officer, Lennox Benjamin has called on all Guyanese to look beyond the drop in population which the long awaited Population and Housing Census 2012 has recorded.
Guyana recorded a marginal reduction of 3,339 in its population. The country’s population count now stands at 747,884 having been 751,223 when the previous population count was conducted in 2002.
“The census is more than a head count,” Benjamin stated, adding that it evaluates the quality of life the citizenry enjoys and their access to social services.
He said of importance too is the housing aspect of the census, which has shown that the national average household size has decreased from about 4.1 persons per household in 2002 to 3.6 persons per household in 2012 census. Also building stocks in Guyana has increased from 187,696 in 2002 to 219,509 buildings in 2012.
He pointed out that it is clear that everyone has their opinions on the census that surround their individual and narrow perspective but argued that those opinions were highly distorted and urged that the population reads the census and use it at their evidence based source.
On the point of evidence based source, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh had said that the government places a great deal of importance on the census since it is used to make “evidence based public policies.”
He said the periodic endeavor is important in ensuring the country generates an accurate national snap shot and associated profile of the country’s demographic.
“Government has attached the highest degree of important because of the richness of the data generated,” he told a gathering on Monday.
Meanwhile, Deputy Programme Manager, Statistics CARICOM Secretariat Barbra Adams also highlighted the potential of the census to shape social policy and urged that the detailed analysis is forthcoming in a timely fashion.
She said it was important in piloting evidence based decision making as she outlined the progressive steps other CARICOM countries have taken in this regard.
The preliminary report outlined broad parameters and failed to provide details on ethnic composition of the population, unemployment rate and foreign born population among others which the team has promised will be presented by the second half of 2015.
The 2012 Census marks the 17th National Census of Guyana and Guyana’s 7th Post-War National Census of Population and Housing. It was conducted as part of the Caribbean’s regional effort coordinated by the CARICOM Secretariat and in compliance with the United Nations’ mandate to execute the 2010 Global Round of Censuses.