UOG conducting Household Income Expenditure Survey

As concerns regarding the island's cost of living arise, a study being conducted by the University of Guam may help improve the quality of life on the island.

If someone wearing a yellow vest knocked on your door recently, you might have been selected for a survey that could significantly help the community.

As concerns regarding the island’s cost of living arise, a study being conducted by the University of Guam may help improve the quality of life on the island.

Since last month, enumerators of the 2019 Household Income Expenditure Survey have been going door to door to collect data on groceries, nutrition patterns, and basic demographic data.

According to Michael Levin, a consultant for the study, collecting this information is essential for determining the basis of the island’s inflation rate…especially since the survey hasn’t been conducted since 2005.

“We ask about expenditures. What did you buy last year? In the last 12 months? And things like education and if you bought or sold a car…those kinds of things. Anything that involves money transactions which are things you buy or…even things like gallon containers of water. How much did you buy over the last year?” Levin said.

Although the study may benefit the community, caution about unknown individuals going to resident houses may deter residents from participating in the study. This is why Rochelle Bamba, the survey’s project coordinator, advises the public on what the survey enumerators to look like.

“So with the enumerators…we actually provide the vest to them. We have the UOG logo on them and on the back it says ‘official.’ They have a badge ID. Their picture will be on there and their name and badge number. The UOG’s logo is on there. DOL’s logo is on there. BSP’s logo is also on there. Their vehicles will also have a placard. We try to make sure they’re visible to the public,” she said.

Bamba added that enumerators are advised to go to their assigned households between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. but that they can show up at any time throughout the day.

“This happens to be a survey where everybody benefits. There are sometimes surveys when someone’s just interested. They’re gonna write a dissertation or something, but there’s a direct advantage to participating. It gives the information needed for things like raises and the relationship to what’s being bought. It just gives you a way forward and it is important to participate in it,” she said.

If you are interested in becoming an enumerator or would like more information about this study, contact Rochelle Bamba at 735-2060.