Monday, 18 November 2019

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Myanmar’s test run census goes without hiccup

Crowds-of-people-in-MyanmarPreparations for Myanmar’s first census in 31 years got underway from March 30 to April 10 as the Myanmar government, with help from the UN Populations Fund (UNFPA), test ran a pilot census.

A hundred school teachers, observed by members of the UNFPA, conducted a sample cross-section of Myanmar society by questioning residents across 20 townships on matters of age, race, education, housing and infrastructure.

Speaking at a conference on the census in January, Frederick Okwayo, the UNFPA's chief technical advisor, said, “A census has not happened for 30 years so you can see it as a challenge or an opportunity as all the people under 30 have no sense of what the census is.”

The official census will take place from 30 March, 2014, when 100,000 enumerators will visit every household in the country in 12 days.

As a census has not taken place in Myanmar since 1983, previous figures and registers are notoriously outdated; at the 2010 general election thousands of people complained that they were not allowed to vote because their names did not appear on the register, which is in turn taken from the official database that the census works from.

Estimates to the population of the country vary wildly: according to the World Bank, Myanmar’s population is 48 million; the Asian Development Bank says it is 60 million; and the International Monetary Fund lists the population at 64 million.

Related articles:
  1. UN population agency begins Burma census preparations
  2. Parliament approves census bill

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