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Finance Ministry: PBS set to hold population, housing census

Finance Ministry: PBS set to hold population, housing census

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has completed preparations to conduct 6th Population and Housing Census in the country.

A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses, other common censuses include agriculture, business, and traffic censuses.

The United Nations defines the essential features of population and housing censuses as “individual enumeration, universality within a defined territory, simultaneity and defined periodicity”, and recommends that population censuses be taken at least every 10 years. United Nations recommendations also cover census topics to be collected, official definitions, classifications and other useful information to coordinate international practice

A source at the Finance Ministry said that matter of conducting census in the country was also under consideration by Council of Common Interests (CCI).

“The issue was also placed on the agenda of CCI meeting scheduled for October 01, 2014 which was postponed” the source said adding that as and when government decide, the PBS would conduct the census in the country.”

The source said that Population Census Organisation (PCO), an attached department of Statistics Division, was responsible for planning and execution of decennial Population and Housing Census and release of its data for public and private use. “PCO process and disseminate data in the form of regular census reports and a number of supplementary reports based on analysis and research of demographic data,” the source added.

The source said that census conducted decennially across the entire nation. The first census was conducted after independence in 1951, and later in 1961, 1972, 1981, and 1998 while 1971 census was delayed one year due to war with India, while the census in 1998 was delayed due to political issues.

“Next national census was scheduled to take place in 2008, and later in 2010 but the plan could not materialise and multiple census counts were completed for the latest round, with even the latest April 2012 results, subsequently being thrown out as unreliable,” he added.

The source said that population census was very important because seats in the National Assembly were allocated to each Province/FATA and Federal Territory on the basis of the population in accordance with the last preceding census officially published.

“Moreover, distribution of funds between the federation and the provinces are made through National Finance Commission,” the source said. He added that test of any administration, whether at the micro-level of the Union Council or the macro-level of the federal government was the lawful and efficient conduct of business and the speedy and judicious delivery of service.

It is interesting to note that census word is of Latin origin. In the Roman Republic, the census was a list that kept track of all adult males fit for military service, but modern census is essential to international comparisons of any kind of statistics, and censuses collect data on many attributes of a population, not just how many people there are, although population estimates remain an important function of a census.