Argentina's National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC) Wednesday completed -at least in theory- the 2022 survey to determine the country's population and other data pertaining thereto, such as living conditions and demographic inputs.
However, since the teams canvassing the country have reportedly left several homes unvisited, authorities have already announced there will be measures to make up for those shortcomings.
Around 15 million homes and more than 45 million people were counted between 8 am and 6 pm, according to preliminary reports. More than 600,000 were involved in the home-by-home deployment.
The new data will be relevant to determining State policies over the next decade. Wednesday's census should have been carried out in 2020 but it was canceled due to COVID-19 circulation restrictions.
A Digital Census was also available for the first time for people willing to fill out the questionnaire online, which was published March 16. According to INDEC, more chose the new technological option.
President Alberto Fernández and Economy Minister Martín Guzmán showed up unexpectedly Wednesday evening at the INDEC headquarters to monitor the situation together with INDEC Chief Marco Lavagna.
It was Fernández's first public appearance alongside Guzmán, who has been heavily criticized by hardline Kirchnerites who would welcome a leadership change amid growing inflation.
INDEC was able to take a picture of Argentina that will be very useful for us to see how to face the future, highlighted Fernández. He added it was also the first census time people living on the streets were surveyed and also the first time citizens were asked about their gender identity.
These are huge steps that have to do with the evolution of society, Fernández stressed.
According to local media, people who failed to answer, gave untrue responses, or refused to participate in the survey either digitally or face-to-face will be fined between US$ 5 and US$ 500 at the unofficial exchange rate. The same applies to businesses that opened their doors during a non-working day, where only essential services were allowed to function. Groceries stores had warned their customers to stock up on supplies in advance. Businesses were allowed to reopen after 8 pm. However, the intention is not to fine anyone, it is a right and a civil obligation. It is important that it is done within the macro that the census means for planning, Lavagna explained.
He added that while visiting homes finished at 6 pm, teams who went to hard-to-reach places were still on their way back. The official also pointed out that the data-retrieving operation had gone quite normally without any major setbacks.
INDEC also announced that those who were not surveyed should send an email to email@example.com or call 0800 345 2022 from May 19 to May 22.