The census has been postponed for two years due to the pandemic. New questions on recycling, pets, and generic sex identification could be included in the questionnaire.
The national census is planned for the last quarter of 2022. It will take place after two years of postponement due to the pandemic.
With the study, Ecuador will have updated statistics that will aid in better planning of public policies.
According to the Constitution, the national census must be carried out every 10 years. It was planned for 2020, but the pandemic caused its postponement to 2021, and then to 2022.
According to the United Nations Statistics Division, Ecuador is one of the 36 countries that postponed their census due to the coronavirus.
But the postponement of the census has specific effects on the country and its government. The statistics with which public policy is managed are projections on figures from 12 years ago.
“The last national census was in November 2010, and during the intercensal period, there have been important changes in the demographic dynamics of the country, (as) observed from other sources: decrease in fertility, increase in migration, pandemic,” reported the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC).
According to the INEC, the census is the only tool that allows an approach to the socioeconomic reality at the lowest level of territorial disaggregation. This is because it reaches the entire population and is not based on a sample (like employment surveys, for example).
The INEC is still evaluating the methodology to be used in the census. Once this aspect is defined, the date of the registration in the field will be set (the day that the census takers go to the homes). This day will tentatively occur in the last quarter of 2022.
As part of the planning, between November 23rd and December 4, 2021, a pilot census was carried out in Limón Indanza (Morona Santiago). In addition, the Institute carried out a cartographic update, which concluded in the middle of the year, to obtain an approximate number of dwellings to be surveyed.
As the methodology has not yet been defined, there is still no firm budget. Although it is estimated that this will be around $27 million. The project has priority status in the National Planning Secretariat.
New topics in the questionnaire
The questionnaire to be used in the census has not yet been defined. However, there are new topics that are planned to be included. Among the new topics to be added are:
- A module of general mortality.
- Recycling practices.
- Pet ownership
- Questions that correspond to generic sex identification.
The design of the questionnaire began in 2019 with the installation of the Special Statistical Commission for the Population and Housing Census, made up of different public institutions in the country. In addition, meetings and workshops were held with representatives of civil society, academia, and international organizations.