Census important for development agenda
The population and housing census plays a key role in the country’s development agenda as it provides a wealth of information on the social, cultural, economic status and living conditions of different population groups. This is according to Tom Alweendo, director-general of the National Planning Commission (NPC).
“The population and housing census is extremely important in our development agenda, whereby the government declared the census as a national priority where resources were made available for its successful implementation. The census provides a wealth of information on the social, cultural, economic status and living conditions of different population groups,” Alweendo said recently.
The preliminary results for the Namibia 2011 Population and Housing Census were launched on 11 April. Although the initial release date for the preliminary results was 30 March 2012, the date was extended to 11 April 2012 due to technical problems the National Planning Commission encountered.
According to the preliminary results, there are 2 104 900 persons in the country, of which 1 083 600 are female and 1 021 300 are male. Females made up 51% of the population, whilst the male population amounted to 49% of the enumerated persons. These figures translate a 15% increase of the Namibian population since the last census in 2001. That year, 1 830 330 persons were enumerated during the Census Reference night. Overall, the population of Namibia has grown steadily since 1921, rising from about one-quarter million persons in early 1921 through 1.8 million in early 2001 to about 2.1 million in 2011.
Alweendo however cautioned that figures in the preliminary report may change slightly after the completion of full census data processing and hoped that the report will be used responsibly by all stakeholders for the development of the nation.
The census, which was successfully conducted from 28 August to 15 September 2011, was conducted in accordance with the United Nations Principles and Recommendations for 2010 Round of Population and Housing Censuses. It was further conducted under the legal framework of Statistical Act 66 of 1976 which empowerd then the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) to undertake Population and Housing Censuses. Currently, the Namibia Statistical Agency (NSA) is now incharge of conducting the data analysis.
More than 8000 Namibians, particularly the youth and unemployed, were temporary employed by the National Planning Commission during the census period.
Asked about the delay in payments for some enumerators, the NPC Permanent Secretary, Leevi Hungamo said that the delays were caused by bank accounts of some enumerators that had become dormant, thereby delaying the transfers of the remaining money for the extra days. He said that the NPC is the process of locating unpaid census officials and promised that the money will soon be paid out to them.
Hungamo did not specify however when the full results will be released but assured the public that the rest of the results will be made available to them in due course.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Government of Luxemburg and USAID, provided financial and technical support during the census period.