Nassau, The Bahamas – The 2010 national statistics recorded that the population growth increased to 353,658 persons in The Bahamas. The population change figure increased by 50,047 persons during the last 10 years. These figures were released by the Department of Statistics from the Census 2010 report.
On October 20, The Ministry of Finance opened the celebration of World Statistics Day at the Sheraton Wyndham Ballroom in Cable Beach. Government department representatives were invited from all agencies to watch presentations informing them of the results of the statistics reports.
“The Bahamas is one of 100 nations taking part in this very special day designed to draw attention to the very critical role statistics play in every aspect of our existence,” said Zhivargo Laing, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance.
“With the World Statistics theme, ‘Celebrating the Many Achievements of Statistics: Service, Professionalism, and Integrity’ in mind, the Department of Statistics spearheaded an inter-sectoral Committee comprising most of the agencies involved in the production of statistics to partner with them in this very important day. The ongoing success of the Department of Statistics is highly dependent on these agencies which feed it a substantial amount of the information which it produces and disseminates.”
The Statistics Department appreciated all entities that participated in the information gathering exercise. They dedicated their 2011 calendar to the government agencies, members of the private sector and householders that cooperated with them and entitled it “Honouring Our Partners”.
“Most persons, be it students, researchers, investors, or business persons need statistics in some form or other and demands it of the DOS and/or other statistical producing agency, apparently oblivious to the fact that they are a part of the statistics,” said Mr. Laing.
“Many of them refuse to provide their own information yet they expect to receive information needed for their research, planning or decision making. I trust none of you are guilty.”
The DOS faces an increasing demand for data from all social sectors, national, regional, and international agencies. However, the department continues to receive a high non-response rate from the corporate sector through its annual business surveys.
Household surveys are at an acceptable level, but lower than in the past years. The response rate from the recently conducted Census was lower than expected.
“All persons, regardless to their field of interest need the information provided by a Census which is a key source of official statistics providing valuable data on the size, structure, and characteristics of the population,” said Mr. Laing.
“How does DOS get the message across that they do not invent the information but compiles it from administrative records, business surveys and/or household surveys and censuses?”
The Ministry of Finance hopes that the celebration of Statistics Day is successful in conveying to the public the importance of statistical information and how it will be used to impact daily operations in the country.
“Despite the challenges, there is cause to celebrate as the DOS has accomplished much during its short existence. It has branched out into a commendable range of data collection such as trade prices, vital statistics, poverty, manpower, establishment and recently environment and ICT statistics,” said Mr. Laing.
The Ministry of Finance wants the public to know that the DOS, Ministry of Tourism, Central Bank, and Customs, Ministry of Health, the Registrar General’s Office, and the Ministry of Education are all required to adjust and follow all international standards, protocols, codes and regulations in a timely and efficient manner.
These agencies provide information for planners and policy makers, the production of GDP and similar economic indicators produced by the Department of Statistics.
By Gena Gibbs
Bahamas Information Services