With the UK and Jersey both carrying out a census this year, why was a traditional census not necessary in Guernsey?
The last formal traditional census undertaken by the States of Guernsey was in 2001. From 2006 onwards, basic population counts were calculated from administrative records, then in 2015, the first publication was made using the Rolling Electronic Census IT system.
The Rolling Electronic Census sources information from numerous States of Guernsey databases including Income Tax, Social Security, Population Management, Health and Driving Licenses and Vehicle Registrations. This enables the organisation to produce quarterly updates on the population, including information on demographics, immigration, emigration, births and deaths. These reports can be accessed here.
Household income reports, which cannot be produced using traditional census data, are also published each year using Rolling Electronic Census data, which can be accessed here.
This information is also fed into various projection models, such as population and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The “born digital” historic records are archived electronically, saving on storage space and ensuring they can be made available in a searchable format for future generations. By negating the need for a traditional survey in 2011 and 2021, it is estimated that this has provided a net saving in the region of £700,000 to date, in addition to providing more frequent information.
Colin Vaudin, Chief Information Officer, told Channel Eye: “The Rolling Electronic Census is a brilliant, cost-effective solution providing us with information more frequently than any traditional census ever could. Because of its success, we’re aware of other jurisdictions that are looking to replicate our award winning system.
Having more up to date and accurate information that we can trust means that we are in a very good position to develop policies and plans that are right for our Islands.”