C’ttee up for 2020 Census

PHILOMINA NYARKO GOVT STATISTICIAN (2)Preparations for the 2020 Population Census has begun with the formation of an interim committee to develop a census project document, and budgetary proposal for consideration by the government.

A Chief Statistician and National Census Co-ordinator, David Yenukwa Kombat, said the proposal and budget for the 2020 Census would be presented to the government by the close of 2016, for it to be factored into the 2017 budget.

According to the UN, population census is the process of collecting, compiling, evaluating, analysing and publishing or otherwise disseminating demographic, economic and social data pertaining at a specified time, to all persons in a country or in a well delimited part of a country.

Speaking to The Ghanaian Times in an interview on Friday, Mr Kombat, who is the Chairman of the Committee, said, “Some work has to start in good time, like the preparation of project document and work plan, selection of topics for the census, census mapping, development of questionnaire and pre-testing, must start three years before the actual census year”.

“We do not want to be left out, so we have to start early to meet the principles and recommendations set out to guide member countries in the conduct of population census by the United Nations”, Mr. Kombat said.

Ghana had her first population census in 1921 with the population at 2.3 million; and subsequently in 1948,4.1 million;1960,6.7 million;1970,8.6 million;1984,12.3 million;2000,18.9 million and 2010,24.6 million.

Population data are used for national development planning, including the delineation of electoral areas for the purposes of election.

Mr Kombat said the dissemination of the district population report, the first of its kind in the country, was concluded in January 2015 to bring to an end the 2010 round of population census decade, which spanned from 2005 to 2014, during which UN member countries were required to conduct their censuses.

The Census Co-ordinator explained further that the 2020 round of census decade spans from 2015 to 2020, hence the need to start preparations to meet the UN guidelines and recommendations for the conduct of the census.

He said the districts population analysis reports, which contained detailed data including age structure, economic profile, occupation, industry, Information and Communications Technology usage, among other indicators, had been distributed to all but one district, to help them in their development planning.

The UN issues a series of international principles and recommendations to assist national statistical offices and census officers throughout the world, in planning and carrying out improved cost effective censuses.

The guidelines also provide common methodology in terms of concepts, their definitions and classifications.

The principles and recommendations have been used for the 1960, 1980, 2000, and 2010 census rounds throughout the world.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman    

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