x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Census on track despite difficulties

Census data collection will continue until the end of the month, and recorders are expected to arrive at residences between 4pm and 9pm daily except Fridays.

ABU DHABI // More than halfway through census fieldwork, more than 75,000 households have been counted - but collecting the data has not been without its challenges.

Reaching remote rural areas and working in unexpected weather conditions, such as last week's sandstorm, have proven difficult for census recorders, but officials from the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (Scad) said the census is still on track. "The census started off slowly but has now gained momentum," said Dr Yousif Al Hammadi, the census project methodology team leader.

Mobilising the workforce of 6,000 and collecting data from residents of varying cultures and educational backgrounds are also challenges, Dr Al Hammadi said.

Since beginning fieldwork and data collection on October 4, census recorders have been visiting homes across the emirate, collecting data including name, age, occupation, nationality and marital status from residents.

Fieldwork is expected to be completed on October 27, though Scad workers may visit homes in early November for families who have been away.

Dr Al Hammadi could not estimate how many more homes needed to be visited in the emirate. "We won't know how many families and housing units will be visited until the end of the census," he said. "Counting the number of families and housing units, along with the number of people, is of course the main purpose of the census."

Census data collection will continue until the end of the month, and recorders are expected to arrive at residences between 4pm and 9pm daily except Fridays.

jthomas@thenational.ae