Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The 2010 Population and Housing Census was scheduled to be conducted during the period May 16th to June 30th 2010. However, on April 8th 2010 Parliament was dissolved and a General Election was called on May 24th 2010. Consequently the Census Order and Census Regulations which give the legal authority to conduct the census was deferred.
The new Census date of January 9th 2011 was set by the Minister of Planning, Economic and Social Restructuring and Gender Affairs.
The 2011 Population and Housing Census is now scheduled to be conducted during the period January 9th to February 20th 2011.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Due to the size and complexity of census operation it is likely that several problems and errors may occur. With this in mind, a Quality Assurance and Improvement Program was planned to effectively manage the interactions among people, technology, inputs, processes and systems.

As part of this program, the conduct of a Pilot test took place from the 17th August to 17th September THROUGHOUT Trinidad and Tobago. A pilot test is like a dress rehearsal for the census, it is a common statistical practice and an effective quality management tool. Its purpose is to test either the entire operation of conducting a survey or census or to test some major aspect of it. The results of the Pilot will be used to refine or if necessary to redesign the processes which were tested.

The operations selected to be tested were:
The content and design of the questionnaire
The enumeration strategy
The cartography
The training programme designed for field personnel.
The data processing strategy

Benefits of Conducting the Census Pilot

Evaluation of the census questionnaire. The Pilot informed on the suitability of the census topics by respondents behaviour/reactions, their willingness to respond and the frequency of answers like ‘don’t know’, ‘not stated’. Associated closely with the suitability of the questions was the design of the questionnaire. Fieldwork tested the flow and clarity of the questions as well as the wording/formulation of the questions themselves.

The accuracy and completeness of response categories were examined

Operational problems were disclosed

The average length of an interview provided by the Pilot assisted in the estimation of the 2010 census enumeration period. Similarly, data processing of the pilot provided better estimates of the census data processing activity.

The adequacy of the training procedures and other written instructions were also tested.

The effectiveness of the control documents was gauged in sufficient time for redesign or amendments.

Interviewers’ remarks explained overall problems arising during execution and administrative arrangements were planned to correct the deficiencies.

Mapping inaccuracies in the selected areas were revealed.

The processing of the pilot questionnaires tested the capabilities and efficiency of not only the new hardware and software acquired but also the newly recruited Information Systems Staff.
The conduct of the Pilot at this time allowed sufficient time for remedial action before May 2010, the scheduled date for the start of Census Enumeration.

Thursday, September 17, 2009



The census questions on disability have been designed by the Washington Group on Disability Statistics. The purpose of the questions is to gather information about limitations in basic activity functioning (e.g. seeing, hearing, moving, walking, remembering) among the national population. The questions were meant for global use in censuses so that comparisons relating to levels of participation in employment, education, could be made across countries. Also, comparisons can be made with persons without disabilities to ascertain whether the disabled persons have achieved social inclusion. The census data on disability can also provide a frame of disabled persons for use in other surveys.


Knowledge on the prevalence of certain chronic diseases is extremely important to the Health Authorities. Chronic illnesses tabulated by age, gender, ethnicity or area can be the basis for further research as well as for efficient planning, including the establishment of appropriate infrastructure and the procurement of adequate medical equipment and supplies.


Growth and development of any economy depend on the talent and knowledge of its workforce. A sound education is priceless. Allocations from the national budget to education have always been significant. Census data on educational levels and attainment are important indicators of human development and essential in gauging the success of many developmental programmes. Census education data by area can assist in estimating the demand for schools.


A main objective of collecting data on economic activity is to provide basic information on the size and structure of a country’s labour force. This data can be analyzed together with other social and economic data on the economy to evaluate macro economic policies The unemployment rate is widely used as an indicator of current economic performance of a country. In addition, the census will provide employment rates at micro levels, so that planners can promote or create employment in depressed areas. Employment statistics disaggregated by age, sex, area, occupation and industry are a wealth of information for assessing government policies.


Tabulations on marital and union status cross classified by age, sex and other demographic characteristics are rich information for social and demographic research. Marital and union status also have implications on Fertility patterns. In estimating or projecting the size of the population, fertility patterns are crucial inputs in arriving at reliable estimates.


The question on census night raises many eyebrows. However, if we think about the process of counting the entire population, this takes three to four weeks in Trinidad and Tobago. During this time many changes are taking place by the minute, people are dying, babies are being born, persons are entering and leaving the country, households are changing residences etc. So in effect the population is changing by the minute. Census takers therefore set a moment in time when the population is counted. So if that moment is midnight on May 16th, an interviewer will be taking all information about a household as of that time on 16th May, although his/her exact visit was the 21st May. The question on census night, therefore, places each person, in a geographic place at a specific point in time. At census night, the count of the population is taken.


This Section is a new addition to the census instrument. Questions on ICT were not included in the 2000 questionnaire. It must be acknowledged that in the last decade there has been significant advancement in technology. Since the census is the only source of data on very small geographic areas, it is the best source to provide statistics on the use of ICT and it will be the best indicator to assess where we are in this information age. Information on the use of ICT can be cross classified by age, gender, area and other variables for meaningful analyses.


Many decades ago a Housing Census was added to the population census. This census was meant to provide information on the quantity and quality of the housing stock. Governments have realized that adequate shelter is critical to human development. Several international conventions have committed governments to providing shelter for all. Information on the housing stock can assist in estimating the demand for housing. The amenities reported will facilitate analyses on the quality of the stock eg. source of water supply, adequate sewerage disposal, lighting etc..


This is also the first time that questions on Environment appear in the census questionnaire. Today, preservation of the Environment is a main issue for policy makers.
The census therefore takes the opportunity to inform planners on the environmental problems that affect households. When this data are tabulated by area, problems affecting households can be dealt with more effectively.


It is difficult to source data on international migration, and during the intercensal years- the years between decennial censuses- the population must be estimated. This is done by taking the population at the last census, add births, subtract deaths and add or minus net migration. Since it is almost impossible to gather data on net migration, the census asks how many persons have left to live abroad and still live abroad in the last ten years. Those who left the country and returned within the 10 years will be picked up in Section 2 of the questionnaire. A brief profile of the migrants is also required to inform policy makers on who are the emigrants, in terms of age, sex, education and occupation. If we are losing our most educated people, then policymakers must seriously address this issue.

Thursday, April 30, 2009



Section 2 of the census questionnaire deals with Migration. The interviewers will ask the following questions:

- Place of birth
- Address in Trinidad and Tobago
- Length of stay in Trinidad and Tobago for foreign born
- Usual Residence for all persons
- Address 1 year ago, 5 years ago and in 2000 the year of the last census.

Responses to these questions assist in arriving at the count of the population and the distribution of ‘usual residents’ of the population. These responses would indicate:-
- who are usual residents
- where they live now
- where they lived before
- who were born abroad and what is the country of birth.

A main objective of a population census is to provide a reliable count of the population. The count can be based on all persons present in the country or on all usual residents.

This Section of the Census Questionnaire facilitates the count of all usual residents and provides planners and policy makers with the number of usual residents comprising households in particular districts and their demand for services.

The information also informs on internal migration - into which areas households are moving and from where they came- pertinent information for the development of infrastructure and accessibility to goods and services.

The number of persons who were born abroad and the country of birth further describe the composition of the population by nationality.

Comparisons of this information with previous censuses provide useful information on the growth and distribution of the population by small domains for the development of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Friday, January 23, 2009


Description of Project
Goal - To undertake a comprehensive and accurate count of the population and collect, compile, analyse and disseminate other critical socio-economic information on all households in Trinidad and Tobago

• Completeness of Count
• Collection of quality data
• Satisfaction of users need
• Comparability of results over time
• Timely dissemination
• Confidentiality and Data Security
• Public Understanding & Acceptance

• Population Count
• Demographic Profile of the population of TT
• Other social & economic information
• Housing Stock and its characteristics
• Sample frame
• Cartographic album
• Information will be disseminated via the www and computer readable magnetic and optical media
• Published Reports

The conduct of the census is divided into 3 phases:
Pre Enumeration Activities, Enumeration and Post Enumeration:

• Pre Enumeration Phase
– Preparation of proposal including budget, census calendar, strategies for enumeration, data processing and dissemination, quality assurance and communication
– Questionnaire design & Tabulation plan
– Procurement
– Recruitment and Training
– Planning the Post Enumeration Survey
– Printing

• Enumeration
– Canvassing of all households

• Post enumeration
– Conduct of the Post Enumeration Survey
– Data Processing
– Data Dissemination

• Census proposal completed and approved by Cabinet
• Accommodation sourced
• Draft questionnaire completed for discussion by Cabinet appointed Committees
• Staff trained in Cardiff Teleform
• UNFPA Support - census management (2), data processing (1), visit by Carlos Ellis-IT Specialist, Regional GIS workshop
• Participation in Regional meetings funded by UNFPA.

Impact Of Census
• Informs policy making and planning
• Provides data on small areas
• Facilitates the estimation of demand for housing and assesses the housing stock
• Provides a frame for sampling
• Improves other statistical products- updating of business register
• Electoral boundary delineation
• Reports on MDGs

• Sourcing quality skills
• Financial constraints
• Safety issue in canvassing crime hot spots
• High ‘No contact’ in elite areas and gated communities
• Timely processing & dissemination
• Outdated GIS Software
• Competing demands on CSO

Monday, July 14, 2008



The 2010 Population & Housing Census is
approaching and the advertising and
promotions campaign has begun.

Recognizing your creativity & abundance of talent, we invite you to compose a jingle and slogan to be used extensively throughout the census period.

Send your entries to:

Ms. Carol Salim
Central Statistical Office
National Statistics Building
80 Independence Square
Port of Spain
Fax: 625-3802

If you wish to sing your jingle, please send us a taped

1st Prize: a Laptop Computer
2nd Prize: a DVD Player

For further information call: 623-6834/7276/5895

Ext: 4122 & 4123
Deadline: 30th May 2009

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Please help us to promote the 2010 Population and Housing Census by composing a Census Jingle and Slogan. Invitations to participate in the competition were sent to all Secondary Schools with a deadline date of 31st, July 08. This deadline has now been extended to 30th September 08.

Attractive prizes will be awarded to the winners.