Make sure you are in the count

Just how many people do live in the
Cayman Islands? The honest answer? We don’t really know.

But that is information that
everyone – especially Government – needs to be aware of for a variety of

Knowing the proper count of people
is just one of the functions of the 2010 Population and Housing Census, which
will be publicly conducted in October and November.

Information gleaned from the Census
will also be used by the Economic and Statistics Office to get a baseline for
social indicators and demographics.

By examining that data we can
compare current numbers to those in our history and help determine what our
future will look like.

We’ll also be able to compare our
data with that of other countries in the region and indeed, the world.

Those taking part in the Census –
and everyone should because technically it is against the law to refuse to
answer Census questions – will be asked what country they hale from. The
Observer on Sundays prays that Caymanians don’t take offence at the question.
There are many of us who were born in other jurisdictions to Caymanian parents
who brought us back home or raised us in those other jurisdictions and we have
returned home on our own volition to help our native homeland grow.

Census participants can also expect
to be asked the obvious questions – age, gender, district of residence, school
attendance, employment, mortality and so on.

Asking the questions will be census
workers who, by the time the census gets under way, will have been properly

Part of that training includes
keeping all information they get from the participant confidential. If they use
the information for anything other than the official census, they too can be
prosecuted under the law.

It is important that census
participants be honest with their answers to the census workers.

This is a national undertaking to
get information the country needs to plan for the future.

The last census we had in the
Cayman Islands was done in 1999 and it found that we had 39,410 people living
on our three Islands.

We know our country has grown; we
just need to know by how much.