With the upcoming census set for next year, the Bureau of Statistics and Plans has provided updates on its preparations, including the setting up of temporary headquarters on island, the setting up of a social media campaign, and the hiring of several hundred enumerators for the data gathering process.
According to Tyrone J. Taitano, the bureau’s director, BSP is responsible for providing the Guam portion of the national census under a federal grant under the National Census Bureau.
“For now, we are in the process of setting up the census staff operations but also educating people about the census and why it is important. It is important for a number of reasons. Number one — it is a sort of a mandate under the constitution, in federal law. And also, it is a basis for which we can utilize to tell the Guam story — and utilize it for planning purposes — demographic information, housing information is really important,” Taitano said.
He added that the census is expected to bring in around $13.8 million into the economy and at its height, will employ more than 800 people.
“We would also be doing a number of job fairs to recruit the staff we need by early next year. There are also elements to bring in segments of the community into the process. We will be reaching out to the mayors, to non-government organizations, to private businesses, to help get the word out regarding the census and help us in the process. In particular, we have a program called ‘Statistics in Schools’ that we will roll out either this fall semester or spring semester that will bring information about the census into the classroom and add to the educational experience. We have already been in contact with the Guam Department of Education and a number of private schools about that task as well,” Taitano said.
According to Taitano, the census aims to gather data about the island’s population, such as veteran status and ethnicity. Conducted every 10 years, the census acts as a valuable resource in the production of grants, policy planning, and program improvements.