After more than three years of delays, the 2023 Population and Housing Census will get under way on June 15 with the aim of completion in December, the Central Statistics Office announced last week.

CSO Director Raymond Phillips explained that “unavoidable delays” caused by the Covid-19 pandemic had set back the launch date initially scheduled for 2020 — ten years after the previous census in 2010.

“It is critical for the public to offer its full participation and co-operation to ensure the effectiveness of this initiative, which will have a positive impact on all persons who reside in and are visitors to the Virgin Islands,” Mr. Phillips added.

The information gathered from the exercise will help assess residents’ social and economic conditions and gauge the population’s needs, ultimately aiding in addressing national challenges, the CSO stated.

“The census collects data on a host of both housing and personal characteristics (of all persons residing in a household) including ownership status, power supply, water supply amenities, country, disability, education, health and employment,” Mr. Phillips said, adding, “It is therefore the most comprehensive database the CSO has available. Information produced from this database is used by a wide cross-section of stakeholders, including the government, business, universities, researchers and students.”


The CSO added that it is committed to operating with the “highest level of confidentiality” as required by the Statistical Act, 2005.

The exercise — which this year is themed “Participation from you and me is the key for census 2020/2023” — will be a collaborative effort with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and the Caribbean Community, according to the CSO.

The 2010 census was released to the public when it was tabled in the House of Assembly in 2014 after years of delays that the CSO blamed in part on the time needed to scan questionnaires and analyse the data gathered.