Chile census may be binned

Remember how a few months ago I pointed out that the Chile census had some rather dubious statistics? Turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg. The more important problem was that the census was under so much political pressure to be the best ever that the people running the show made up some of the numbers. They failed to reach residents in a bunch of occupied homes and also failed to survey entire housing complexes, falsely marking them as unoccupied.

According to a post-mortem out today, the conservative estimate is that about 9% of the population was missed by the census. The solution: Trash it. (Here’s the executive summary.)

That said, major congratulations to Chile for a prompt and honest evaluation of this scandal. How many governments are willing to face facts like this?

The public release of census results in August 2012 and April 2013 provided information about total population and housing at the national and subnational level. However, it didn’t reveal that the totals included both directly surveyed population and estimated population in homes where no interview could be conducted. In the opinion of this commission, the communication omits essential information and fails to fulfill the standards of transparency required of a public office. This course of action was followed by the National Statistics Institute leadership, ignoring opinions of the institution’s professional staff.

So, boo hiss and bravo. Congratulations to CIPER for breaking this story and driving the government to be so transparent about its failures.

2 thoughts on “Chile census may be binned

  1. Kepler

    There are over 1 million less individuals in Germany, according to the latest census.
    So: it’s not only the real Chileans but the Chileans of Europe who have those issues.
    I don’t even want to know what happened to the Venezuelan census.
    There are over 6% more voters for age 40 and more than people according to the forecasts…and average voting age is 43. Imagine.
    What will be next for Chileans? Remake now?

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