Dissemination of Caribbean census microdata to researchers: Including an experiment in the anonymization of microdata for Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago
Caribbean census microdata are not easily accessible to researchers. Although there are well-established and commonly used procedures technical, administrative and legal which are used to disseminate anonymized census microdata to researchers, they have not been widely used in the Caribbean. The small size of Caribbean countries makes anonymization relatively more difficult and standard methods are not always directly applicable. This study reviews commonly used methods of disseminating census microdata and considers their applicability to the Caribbean. It demonstrates the application of statistical disclosure control methods using the census datasets of Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago and considers various possible designs of microdata release file in terms of disclosure risk and utility to researchers. It then considers how various forms of microdata dissemination: public use files, licensed use files, remote data access and secure data laboratories could be used to disseminate census microdata. It concludes that there is scope for a substantial expansion of access to Caribbean census microdata and that through collaboration with international organisations and data archives, this can be achieved with relatively little burden on statistical offices.