Director of the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS), Angela Hunte, said there is no link between the department’s 2010 Population and Housing Census and the electoral process.
??This comes in response to a question published in the Saturday, June 19, edition of the Saturday Sun’s weekly Question Time column which stated:?? "Why is a person’s salary relevant in a questionnaire for a population census??? Should they not give a salary range to choose from??? Why too, is it necessary that you say how many computers you have in your house, if you have a solar water heater, microwave, an electric stove, a private vehicle and more??? Don’t you think some of these questions are too personal?"??
Mrs. Hunte pointed out that while the census was a statistical exercise, the department welcomed the queries from respondents on any areas which needed to be clarified.
She further explained: "Census questionnaires are personal, since they relate to the individual and the housing unit which they occupy.?? For this reason, all responses are treated in the strictest confidence and are collected under the authority of the Statistics Act, Cap 192, which protects the individual respondent."
The BSS Director noted that the section contained in the questionnaire on Appliances and Household Equipment, was designed to determine the standard of living of the population.?? Thus, the respondent is not required to state the number of computers in their respective households, but rather, their answer should reflect if there is a computer in the home and in addition to this, if there is access to the internet.??
Regarding information on one’s salary, Mrs. Hunte said that the information was necessary to allow for "greater analysis and a more robust pay distribution by training, occupation, education and sector."
She opined: "While information on the salary range may be asked, the range tends to limit the kind of analysis that may be carried out." firstname.lastname@example.org