"Makes Sense to Us"
Some of Cayman's senior citizens are surprised at the suspicion that clouds some views of Census 2010.
Based on their own experience, they are confident that people just don't have to worry about confidentiality. "I've never heard of personal details provided to census authorities being made public or falling into the wrong hands.
"Of course people have different opinions and suspicions. And I can see in a small community why people might feel shy or be reluctant to share information with people they know, or even with strangers," said Bodden Town Church of God Pastor Winston Rose.
"But they can ask the Census Office to send someone else to interview them, and it is part of our civic duty to cooperate and remain law-abiding."
And above all, he understands that census data is vital to any country and that those who participate have nothing to fear: "Far from it, for we can only benefit as a country. If the planning is well done, we all gain - but if mistakes are made, it's detrimental to all."
Veteran dive-master Peter Milburn agreed; he recalled taking part in four previous census exercises during the 46 years he has lived in Cayman.
"Population data from the census can help us decide whether to expand our businesses by providing more jobs or to cutback for survival," he said.
"For example, diving is still doing well but we need to diversify to remain competitive and take pressure off our environment," Mr. Milburn continued. "Maybe we should be moving into sports-based tourism, perhaps golf. Players can spend a lot of money and with proper census data, Cayman could place courses in areas that could sustain them."
Long time Girl Guide and Boy Scout Leader Liz and retired British Caymanian health insurance manager Geoff Scholefield were also supportive of Census 2010.
"I know that data that broke the population down by gender and age was invaluable in the past to the UK Girl Guides Office when they wanted to determine the reach of guiding in the Cayman community," said Liz. She added that West Bay's John Gray Memorial Church, named for her father, looks to district population figures to plan its welfare activity.
"And census is to government what an inventory is to a business," her husband commented. "Immigration and the births and deaths registry produce some statistics, but only the census can capture the overall picture."
"Population profiles can only go so far. Planners need more collective information if they're going to have a realistic shot at further developing the infrastructure and providing realistic indigent welfare," he said.
Referring to other new question areas, he advised that if Cayman ignores progress, it would be to the country's peril. "Census 2010 must capture new data. Even ten years ago, we didn't have today's sophisticated technology. So how can we know its effects here, if we fail to ask?" he wondered.
For further information contact: Bina Mani