Affiliations: [a] United Nations Population Fund, Technical Division, Population and Development Branch | [b] Harvard Medical School, Program in Global Surgery and Social Change | [c] United Nations Population Fund, Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Corresponding author: Sabrina Juran, United Nations Population Fund, Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean. E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: The population and housing census undergirds all national development. The collected data in a census provides critical information for governments to identify existing service gaps, such as accessibility, use of hospitals, schools, and roads, and where future investments could have the greatest impact. Beyond that, the census holds a significant social value, as the specific population characteristics in terms of ethnic and cultural self-identification, as well as the population’s geographic distribution and associated economic relationships, contribute to a country’s national identity. As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of demographic and cartographic data to confront it has been illuminated, as almost all responses to this public health crisis require some input of geographic and demographic data to optimize their effect.
Keywords: Census planning, census management, census geocoding, vulnerable populations, COVID-19 pandemic, georeferenced census data