The Statistical Institute of Belize is presently preparing for the national census which will be conducted in 2020. Dr. Leopold Perriott, Director-General of the Statistical Institute of Belize said knowing the size of a population has far-reaching benefits.
Dr. Leopold Perriott, Director General, Statistical Institute of Belize: “Like for example we have a very limited idea of the unofficial business sector in Belize, there are people who have businesses and we don’t think anything about it. You know people sell panades, people sew people do all kinds of things all over the place and we have no idea and so the informal sector is a guess. The census should give you an idea of what is happening there, that is a big one and this is a big threat to our legal system to everything because if you don’t know if people are working we might say that people are not doing anything but in fact they are gainfully employed, they might be selling hotdogs in the night, they may be doing all kinds of things this is good gainful employment. One of them that comes to mind is the people who started to sell coconut water on the road side. It’s good money you hardly know anything about these people and so that is one thing. The other thing is that we are going to be doing a very thorough mapping exercise, a georeferencing all of the households, al of the dwellings, all of the business establishments we are going to be georeferencing them, georeferencing all of the roads and so this will give us a good idea of where people are, where things are reside. So what this means is that our elections and boundaries people can do redistricting, and it’s not only them it’s education, when is a town a town ? When does a town become a city, when does a village become a town how many people are needed, this is all part of the census. And then the other big areas is that from the census we can get an idea of poverty, this is a big issue, where are the poor people, do they reside what communities do they live in and we hope to get that down very granularly, right down to the block we should be able to say ‘in this block there is a little block here that is really stressed.’.”