Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  • Annual Balance of Payments Survey (in partnership with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank/ECCB)
  • Construction Survey
  • Establishment Survey – annual update of the Business Register
  • Informal Sector and Informal Employment Survey (2008)
  • Labour Market Needs Assessment Survey (2012, 2013)
  • Measuring Access and Use of Broadband and ICT Services by Households and Individuals (Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority/ECTEL, 2014)
  • Monthly Consumer Price Index Survey (conducted monthly/ongoing)
  • Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey/MICS (2012)
  • Population and Housing Census (conducted decennially/every ten years)
  • Quarterly Labour Force Survey (conducted every quarter/ongoing)
  • Quarterly Survey of Industrial Production (conducted every quarter/ongoing)
  • Survey of Living Conditions and Household Budgets (conducted decennially/every ten years)/Survey of Well-Being via Instant, Frequent Tracking/SWIFT (upcoming)

The Central Statistical Office of Saint Lucia (CSO) conducts surveys in person. For most surveys, the CSO will publish announcements via newspapers, as well as send emails and text messages to inform you about the purpose of the survey and that you might be interviewed.

An enumerator (CSO interviewer) visits the household with an ID card from the CSO and requests an interview with a responsible adult, or a specific member of the household; this depends on the type of survey being conducted. The enumerator  might also contact you by telephone in the evening or on weekends. To cater to your busy schedule, enumerators work at different times of the day, seven days a week and sometimes on holidays. For a telephone survey, you could also be called from different areas of Saint Lucia.

You can verify that a survey is indeed conducted by the Central Statistical Office by:

  • looking up the name of your survey in the list of surveys in collection
  • verifying that the enumerator carries a photo identification card issued by the CSO
  • contacting the CSO:
    • Telephone: 1-758-468-1577
    • Fax: 1-758-451-8254
    • Email: statsdept@govt.lc

All Saint Lucian households receive a Population and Housing Census questionnaire. For surveys, we select households at random. The majority of CSO surveys are sample surveys. Participants for a sample survey are selected randomly to avoid bias. Once you have been selected for a survey sample, the CSO cannot replace you with anyone else because the sample would no longer be random.

I have participated in a CSO survey already. Why did you select me for another one?

This can happen because survey participants are randomly selected. Sometimes, the characteristics we seek from one survey to another can overlap. There are times when some participants in one survey may be contacted again for a related survey. This is a way to cut back on the time and cost of conducting a new survey each time.

How are businesses selected for a survey?

The majority of CSO business surveys are sample surveys. This means that only a certain number of businesses are selected to complete the survey questionnaire. Together, the sampled businesses represent all the businesses in the industry in question. Most businesses in a sample are randomly selected to represent other businesses with similar characteristics, such as revenue or number of employees. Some businesses must be included in the sample because they contribute significantly to their particular industry or region.

A small number of our business surveys are census surveys, which include all businesses of significant size in a particular industry. A census is used when the industry in question comprises only a small number of businesses or agricultural operations that are very different from one another. In such cases, a sample would not accurately reflect the entire industry in question.

All Saint Lucian households must complete a Population and Housing Census questionnaire. All farmers are required to complete a Census of Agriculture questionnaire. If the CSO contacts you for the Labour Force Survey, a business survey or an agricultural survey, you are also obligated to participate pursuant to the Statistics Act. For several other CSO surveys conducted in partnership with other government ministries, the Statistics Act is not enforced.

Your participation is important

To ensure the most complete results, it is very important that the people, households, businesses and agricultural operations selected answer the survey questions. Without your co-operation, the CSO could not produce reliable, essential data. The information gathered in our surveys has a direct impact on the lives of Saint Lucians. Moreover, all of your responses are equally important. For example, to produce objective, accurate information about internet use in Saint Lucia, responses from people who don’t use the internet are just as important as responses from people who do.

Why are businesses and agricultural operations required by law to respond?

Saint Lucians need accurate and reliable information—the cornerstone for democratic decision making. Through the Statistics Act, Parliament has mandated the CSO, as the national statistical agency, to produce such information. Business and agricultural surveys collect important economic information that is used by businesses, unions, non-profit organizations and all levels of government to make informed decisions in many areas. Because most business and agricultural surveys feed directly or indirectly into legally mandated programs, mandatory participation is required to ensure an adequate response rate as well as reliable results.

All enumerators carry photo identification issued by the CSO. To verify an enumerator’s identity, you can contact the CSO via:

  • Telephone: 1-758-468-1577
  • Fax: 1-758-451-8254
  • Email: statsdept@govt.lc

The CSO takes your confidentiality very seriously. Under the Statistics Act, all information provided to the CSO will be kept confidential, and used only for statistical purposes. The CSO also cares about the privacy of its respondents. If a respondent knows the enumerator and is uneasy about giving personal information to that person, he or she can be interviewed by another employee of the CSO.

Your answers are confidential

The Statistics Act protects respondents’ information. The CSO does not release any information that could identify individuals, households, businesses or agricultural operations without their consent, or as authorized by the Statistics Act. We carefully screen final results before releasing them to prevent published statistics from being used to derive information. The Statistics Act contains very strict confidentiality provisions that protect collected information from unauthorized access. For example, agencies such as the Inland Revenue Department of Saint Lucia, the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) and the courts do not have access to individual survey responses. Additionally, all employees of the CSO take an oath of secrecy and face severe penalties for any breach of confidentiality.

Access is strictly controlled

All employees of the CSO are responsible for ensuring the security of confidential information. Only employees who need to view confidential files as part of their duties are authorized to access them. A network of physical security systems and procedures protects confidential information against unauthorized access. Confidential data are stored and processed on an internal network that is segregated to prevent access by outside “hackers.”

You can check the publications page for this information.