RIYADH – The Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI) in the Ministry of Economy and Planning launched the second part of its training program here Saturday. The program is part of preparations for the 4th National Census of Population and Housing that will start in the Kingdom and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states on April 28.
Abdullatif Ibrahim Al-Khamees, CDSI Media Center Supervisor, told Saudi Gazette that a staff of over 40,000 will be trained to carry out the 2010 census in the Kingdom.
He said the final phase of the training program, divided into three categories that include supervisors, inspectors and enumerators, will end by April 24.
“The 4th National Census of Population and Housing will then start on April 28 and continue for a two-week period until May 12,” he said.
A number of lectures by university professors, workshops and field training programs have been planned for the census staff, he said.
Al-Khamees said the national census in Saudi Arabia will be conducted at the same time as other GCC countries. He said GCC states will carry out a unified census with each country having its own population surveys. “But all states will use the same form that contains 59 questions,” Al-Khamees said. He said the GCC Secretariat has formed technical and media committees that meet every two months to discuss the technicalities of the census.
He said the combined census will help GCC states to achieve a better understanding of the demographics of the region besides offering the world the total population of the GCC states at the same time.
Al-Khamees urged residents and citizens to fully cooperate with census officials, when they visit their houses.
He said census data on population and housing is of a great significance for national development. There is a need to educate people on the importance of the census, which he said forms the basis for planners, and policy- and decision-makers related with social and economic development.
Al-Khamees said it will take only 15 minutes to fill the census form that contains 59 questions which basically focus on the gender, nationality, age, education, marital status, place of birth and other details.
He said the information contributed by foreign workers living in the Kingdom is equally important. He tried to allay the fears of some foreign workers, who because of lack of legal documents are reluctant to provide information to census officials.
“I appeal to foreign workers to fully cooperate with census officials because they represent neither the Passport Office nor the Police Department,” he said. – SG