census takers Census 2022 – Press
As if it were an election day, the 2022 census will inspire freshness and be that optimism there is good to come later. Where does this illusion come from or, rather, what concrete effects will this national registration generate? What is the real purpose of doing a census?
A few days ago Marco Lavagna, director of the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec), was heard clarifying in the media “What is not for the census?”, In response to voices saying their sector was not represented by the 61 questions on the census form.
For example, scholars on the subject of “beliefs” or even the National Secretary of Worship have been asking a question for months about religious affiliation.
And, from organizations representing people with disabilities (e.g., Down Syndrome), there has recently been a campaign asking to include a census item that would correct doubts about the prevalence of people with this condition in the country. .
The 2022 census will take place this Wednesday, May 18 nationwide. Photo Indec
Lavagna insisted that not because the census was “insufficient” but that it had no purpose: “The census must result in a sampling frame for the next ten years. The next statistics will have behind them the samples we take from today’s census ”.
The “sample” is no more than a group of households/people who, because of their characteristics, are representative of the whole.
An example is the homes that are included in the famous EPH (Permanent Household Survey), also conducted by Indec.
The credentials used by census takers to identify themselves. Photo Ignacio Blanco / The Andes
The idea that you can’t get a sample without “whole” in the first place is comparable to the fact – quite elementary – that you can’t eat a slice of cake without first having a whole cake.
“In this sense, in the census I can’t put 30 questions to identify the issue of disability, for example. We’re creating a sampling frame for launching a survey on the disabled. The census provides a macro photo, the generalities. Then it goes into detail ”, Lavagna defended himself.
The census and public policies
One fills out the census form and thinks that’s where it ends: “I fulfilled“But this action is part of a great collective action, a grain of sand that will bring together a kind of national pillar, regardless of whether, as a citizen, public policies are considered ineffective, inadequate, poorly defined and/or poorly implemented.
Clarion these issues were discussed in Edward Donzaresearchers at the Social Debt Observatory of the Argentine Catholic University (ODSA-UCA), an organization recognized for its “social debt survey”, a popular and important national thermometer when it comes to marking gaps (sometimes hitting) in others ‘policies’ t other government administration.
Melisa Sassali and María Sol Mejías, two census takers from Mendoza. Photo Ignacio Blanco / The Andes
Donza agreed with Lavagna when he explained that “the census is important for the implementation of policies, because it offers structural data and forms a very important sampling framework ”.
“Because the periodicity is every 10 years, current issues need to be taken or addressed from other sources of information,” he added.
By the way, since this situation runs parallel to the census, Lavagna ironically at a certain point in the interview: “The census is a picture; a recognition of who we are and how we are. It serves to consider where you are going as a country, but it is not for the situation, but for the planning. The census is not useful to see how to lower inflation”.
Now, Donza said above that the census is just one of several possible sources of information. The issue is important in a country like Argentina, always known for it lukewarm data culture.
There are three sources, Donza systematized: “There are the censuses, the surveys and the ongoing records. For example, the automobile registry, the civil registry … everything that is mandated to report according to the various State institutions, which are present all over the country. “
Beyond the census
Given the importance of the sample frame appearing in the census form, it is reasonable to assume that all countries conduct censuses like Argentine. It’s not like that.
Not a few countries (especially some Europeans) have succeeded in this screen and use techniques for demographic mapping cheaper and more modern.
Marco Lavagna, director of Indec. Photo Indec
The alternative models are two. What we use here is considered “classic” or “traditional”.
Another option -providing a page of a European Union institution equivalent to Indec- is a census style based solely on administrative records, where no surveys of any kind were conducted. The State uses the data it already obtains in other ways, which include a series of legal agreements on the subject of personal data protection.
The third type of census is called “mixed “or” combined “and uses administrative information, augmented by sample results or complete surveys.
Spain, Holland, Finland and Denmark are examples of 11 countries that do not conduct a census as we understand it here in Argentina and instead rely on administrative records. Germany, Portugal, Italy and England are some of the 9 that use the mixed system.
Census 2022, Malargüe. Photo of the Government of Mendoza
And France, one in 8 that uses the traditional system, but actually conducts a “rotating census”, where the population is divided into five parts and each part is observed for a year.
Without aiming for goals that seem far-fetched right now, the 2022 census should update many socially relevant issues. In this way, Clarion he consulted Lavagna What indicators will appear in the census to be held this May 18.
“You have a big battery,” she began, and said: “The issue is how you cross them with each other. For example, the three fertility questions, although they do not involve teenage pregnancy, with the crosses you can get that. And you can do the same at the socioeconomic level. You cross and the volume of the indicator coming out is infinite ”.
Another example is the “original people. Where they live, what level of education they have, how is their health … all this can be seen in the data crossing ”.
“Housing registered”, the sticker used by census takers to mark the houses they have passed. Photo Indec
The advantage of the census, he added, is “it’s an accurate picture that allows you, later, to conduct a more detailed analysis. For example, cross teenage pregnancy with indigenous people and take some important indicators … and all that, with a census radius of only 400 homes. “
Confidence in the census
In the days of the immeasurable crisis of political representation and in the pulse of social conflict that is content but fast-paced, it is surprising that the census could mean a brief recovery of confidence in institutions, as if this is a reliable indicator for Argentines. is that so
Lavagna is convinced that it is: “There is a kind of census romance”. This is the moment where “the State knocks on the doors of houses” and, at the same time, that minute where “citizens feel heard or cared for by the State”, He reflected.
Donza launched a “but”: “In 2010 there were conflicting opinions about the census. This is indisputable. Now there are reports from some opposition deputies, pointing out that the average population of La Matanza has been inflated. I noticed this before. The intercensal increase, if one examines in 2001-2010, increased significantly. It’s remarkable. ”
2022 Delta census. Photo Provincial Directorate of Statistics of Buenos Aires.
“In some interviews Lavagna was asked about this issue, but he explained that‘there is nothing to do in the back‘”Donza moaned.
Perhaps it can be inferred that a census is very useful or not really useful. As Donza recalled, “the entire process from 2007 to 2015, with the Indec intervention and data manipulation It’s a big delay. “
“It’s scary. Teams are disarmed and it’s not just hitting the statistics, the data itself, but also the people: people who have to leave, forced, after decades of forming work groups. It’s “the development of statistics in the country has been severely delayed. Indec has been a pioneer in Latin America and has advised other organizations in the region”, he said.
But now, everything is different, he said: “Since 2016, Indec has rebuilt itself. The teams were regrouped. A great effort has been made. ”