CARICOM SG encourages continued investment in statistics development

CARICOM Secretary-General, Dr. Carla Barnett
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Message From the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Carla N. Barnett Phd, CBE, on the Occasion of the Fourteenth Observance of Caribbean Statistics Day, 15 October 2022

It is my pleasure to extend greetings on the fourteenth Caribbean Statistics Day which will be observed on Saturday, 15 October 2022.

With the focus on the ongoing 2020 Round of Population and Housing Census in the Caribbean, which has been delayed across the region by the COVID pandemic, the theme of the Census “Leave No One Behind – Everyone Countsremains relevant and is the theme for Caribbean Statistics Day 2022. 

Everyone counts regardless of age, gender, religion, nationality, social or economic status.

Population and housing censuses ask a specific set of core questions of every household. Answers to these questions make it possible to analyze and understand: who are we; how many we are; where we live; how we live and the kind of work we do.  Census data presents a reliable picture of the population of a country. The census, therefore, is a valuable and vital source of information on the demographic, social and economic characteristics of populations, including the number and conditions of housing units, and facilities available to the household.

Furthermore, the comprehensive and detailed data obtained is essential for fully understanding the dynamics of the population of a country. Historical census data allow the tracing of the demographic evolution and provide insights into the nature of demographic processes over time.

Additionally, the data is also important to the Region, because of the need for sound socio-demographic and statistical information to guide social and economic policy formulation and management.  There may be changes in population growth and other characteristics in many of the countries.  Migration may have increased in some countries. While the young may constitute the largest proportion of the population in each country, the life expectancy of the aged has increased. 

Such changes would be reflected in the demographic data as well as in data on social and economic development, and on the social infrastructure in the countries.  The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the past two to three years would also be reflected in the patterns of mortality, morbidity, and life expectancy of populations.

Everyone counts because everyone makes a significant contribution to the data necessary for decision-making purposes.

Data on education, employment, health and housing, are important to inform Government policy, planning and administration in the fields of education, health and welfare. Data on population trends helps businesses to forecast the source and size of the population, and to estimate the supply of labour and its characteristics, as well as consumer demands for goods and services. Age, gender, income levels, educational attainment, household structure, employment status and a number of other demographic factors drive decision-making of consumers.

It is my hope, therefore, that households and individuals across CARICOM do respond to the Census, so that its results can achieve the objective of providing accurate data for our decision-makers.

A number of partners, including the European Union, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Italy, provided critical support for the implementation of various aspects of the CARICOM Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS). This is very much appreciated.

I commend the statisticians across CARICOM, both at the Secretariat and in Member States, for their tremendous efforts in producing and disseminating high quality statistics. Their efforts are clearly visible in the widening range and the constantly improving quality of data that is available. I also encourage continued investment in statistics development, so that CARICOM and its Member States have at hand the data that is needed to effectively inform the development and implementation of sustainable economic, social and environmental policy.  Data driven policy development is critical to the successful transformation of our Community into one where everyone can enjoy a good quality of life.

Leave No One Behind – Everyone Counts

Happy Caribbean Statistics Day to all!

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