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Phase I of V.I. Community Survey Underway

The Eastern Caribbean Center of the University of the Virgin Islands is conducting its annual Virgin Islands Community Survey (VICS) among a sample of households in the territory. Now in Phase I - mapping - UVI employees are on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John mapping residential areas. During the first phase of this project, UVI employees will travel to selected areas to map housing units using GPS devices. Phase II - interviewing - will begin in late September and end in December. During the second phase, UVI employees will administer a housing and population survey to sample households. All mappers and interviewers will have official UVI identification cards.

The goal of the VICS is to provide a clearer understanding of the changing population and housing statistics in the US Virgin Islands. Demographic surveys provide important information to educators, the legislature, businesses and anyone needing information about the community. The survey will generate official statistics relating to economics, population, housing, health and employment.

"This is really the only source of information for the Virgin Islands where we have comprehensive housing and population information," said Dr. Asha DeGannes, acting director of the Eastern Caribbean Center. She said that many government and non-profit agencies rely on the data for grant applications and for program reporting to federal agencies. Dr. DeGannes encouraged the public to participate in the survey when contacted. "We really need this information," she said.

The survey is confidential and all information is accessible only to select authorized employees of the Eastern Caribbean Center. "All of our employees - full-time, part-time and temporary -are required to take an oath of confidentiality and sign a confidentiality agreement," Dr. DeGannes said. For more information about the Virgin Islands Community Survey, call the Eastern Caribbean Center at (340) 693-1020.