A Population and Housing Census is held every 10 years by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) and is a general population and housing count in Aruba at a specific moment in time. This is the so called ‘Census moment’. This year the ‘Census moment’ will be on Thursday October 1st, 12:00 o’clock midnight. Every person who at the ‘Census moment’ has been living on Aruba for 1 year or longer or has the intention of living on Aruba for 1 year or longer, will be counted. All the living quarters will be counted as well.
The main purpose of the Census is to provide answers to 4 main questions:
1. Who are we?
2. How many are we?
3. How do we live?
4. Where do we live?
WHO ARE WE?
Information on the human capital of a country is essential for measuring the wellbeing and progress of a country. In this light it is very important to have reliable and detailed information on the population of a country. During a Census, data is collected on, amongst others, the sex, age, migratory status, health status, level of education and employment status of persons belonging to the population of a country. Therefore, the Census makes it possible to give a detailed description of the human capital of a country and provide an answer to the question: “Who are we”. When data collected during the Censuses conducted in Aruba since 1960, the following questions can also be answered: “Who were we” and “Who will we be”.
HOW MANY ARE WE?
A Census is a population and housing count. The principal aim of a Census is to conduct a complete count of persons and housing units in a country. In Aruba, a ‘de jure’ enumeration is conducted. All persons who have their usual residence on Aruba are counted. The answer to the question ‘How many are we?’ is essential for national policy making, planning, and administration. It is necessary to have reliable and detailed data on, amongst others, the size of the population to plan for and implement economic and social policies in an appropriate and sustainable manner, leaving no one behind. Population Censuses are also at the basis of future population projections that are essential to guide long-term policies.
HOW DO WE LIVE?
The living arrangements of persons and households can vary widely, both between countries and within countries and regions. Information on the living arrangements of persons and households in terms of housing, access to water, electricity, and internet, and the availability of essential facilities, such as sanitary facilities, is essential for monitoring important aspects related to the health and wellbeing of these persons and households. The Population and Housing Census provides invaluable information on “How we live”. This information can be used by policy makers to address the needs of persons and households and monitor the progress that has been achieved over time on the universally recognized Sustainable Development Goals.
WHERE DO WE LIVE?
The United Nations (2017) defines the role of the Population and Housing Census as follows: to collect, process and disseminate small-area detailed statistics on population, its composition, characteristics, spatial distribution and organization of families and households. The Census thus provides detailed data on “Where we live”. This data is essential for policy makers to allocate services where they are needed. The question on “Where we live” carries an added significance when data collected during the Censuses is compared over time. The geographical movement of the population follows clear patterns that depict the economic development of Aruba.