BVI News

Population census postponed indefinitely | Online survey option being considered

A section of the main island of Tortola.

The 2020 Population & Housing Census which was initially scheduled to be conducted next month has been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is according to the Director of Central Statistics Raymond Phillips, who told BVI News he would like if it could be conducted before 2021.

He said: “It has not been cancelled but we have to delay it obviously with what’s going on … we don’t know for how long at this point in time, but the schedule is not the same.”

“We would have preferred if it was possible for us to get it done still this year, but this situation is unpredictable. That’s why when we do decide to put out an official statement, we will not be able to say when we will be able to actually do it,” he added.

Conducting census online maybe a reality

Considering the dangers and contagious nature of COVID-19, Director Philips said conducting part of the census online may be considered as an option moving forward.

“Internally, we have had discussions as to how something like that would work, having it done either via mail or online. But, again, we have not really discussed it in detail because it is an idea at this point,” he explained in a recent BVI News interview.

“But that is a possibility. We might not even have a choice. That’s the way that we might have to go because I think that’s the way the US is trying to get theirs done,” Philips further stated.

Flaws of an online survey

He, however, said there are some flaws associated with an online survey. 

These include the inability of some residents to gain access to an internet connection, and skewed data resulting from inaccurate information provided.

“So we know that if we are going to go that route that we might have some challenges, but then again what would happen is that we probably would have to take an approach where it is not entirely done online and we would have to employ different methods to get full coverage,” Philips added.

The census is said to be the most crucial and comprehensive database made available to government, which reveals issues pertaining to various sections of the population and housing stock, which they can then investigate.

The last population census conducted in the BVI was a decade ago.

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5 Comments

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  1. Now is the Time! says:

    Why don’t they conduct the Census now,while the curfew is active and everyone should be in their houses. I think now is the time they will get more accurate information now that persons are staying put.

  2. Food Distribution List says:

    The Government need to use the food distribution list and compare it to the previous census along with the social security, NHI, labor and the immigration databases. The BVI has a must bigger illegal entry and overstay problem than we are aware of. That would be a good place to start to get depiction of the true population.

  3. Information says:

    Every 10 years countries all over conduct population census and so much information is given on the poverty level of the population housing problems and the social ills of these countries yet not much is done to improve or benefit or change the standard of living of the populace so what purpose does it serve just asking

  4. Diaspora says:

    No surprise, for even in normal times, the Census is years late. It is a da….n shame that a 1×4 territory with less than approx 50K population cannot produce a Census on time. The 2010 Census was so late it was useless. A good census is a critical tool for directing resources to where they are most needed to benefit the most people, especially in underserved communities or locales, ie, schools, health clinics, fire stations, sports facilities, senior centers, roads, infrastructure…..etc. Bet CI, Bermuda…. etc may be proceeding with their census. Is a shake up at the Stat office needed? Was the Premier aware of this decision and supports it?

  5. VI Fresh Water Yank says:

    With 330M people, the US is proceeding with the 2020 Census so why does BVI with approx 30,000 has to indefinitely postpone its? Further, the US in 2010 completed its census on time;whereas, the BVI was embarrassingly several years late. Is the mishandling of the census emblematic of the BVI challenges?

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