RMI census plan is moving

The every-ten-year RMI census kicks off next month and EPPSO Director Fred deBrum and his team of “enumerators” are geared up for the population count. Photo: Geovannie Johnson.

GEOVANNIE JOHNSON

The Economic Policy, Planning and Statistics Office (EPPSO) has been preparing for months for August 23, the first day of the RMI 2021 national census.

EPPSO is in charge of the official count of the population in the RMI and manages the census on a 10-year cycle. The last one was in 2011.

EPPSO Director Fred deBrum explained that a census isn’t only a count of the population but also a count of housing and the materials/equipment inside the house.

Recording all of this information is expensive which is why EPPSO has received funding from the RMI government, Taiwan and the US.

With their funding, EPPSO is well into its preparation for the census. In preparation for the start of the census next month, EPPSO has been hiring people as “enumerators” — the census survey takers.

DeBrum explains that these enumerators are “already going around Majuro and Ebeye, getting locations of peoples homes,” all in accordance with the “listing phase” from their preparation plans. “We are starting with Majuro and Ebeye first because these are the most heavily populated atolls,” said deBrum. However, there are only 20 enumerators enlisted as of now and deBrum said they need to hire possibly as many as 150-200 more enumerators to manage the census so that it can be completed in a short period of time. Additionally, EPPSO plans to hold training workshops for these new candidates for two weeks before August 23 start of the census

When official recordings begin next month, enumerators are sent to fill out surveys in person. This questionnaire comprises 140 questions about multiple aspects of the residents and their household.

DeBrum hopes that it’ll take only two weeks to gather all the information from every household in the RMI. He also hopes for the public’s cooperation with EPPSO enumerators as the census is an essential program of the nation that will assist the RMI in many ways.

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