Indonesia ends census taking process, to announce results in October

20:02, July 06, 2010      

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The Indonesian government has officially ended the census taking process with the preliminary population figure publicly declared at over 237 million people, higher than the initial estimation set by the government at around 234 million.

The team at the Central Statistic Bureau (BPS) is now working hard to compose the data gathered by more than 700,000 census takers deployed across the country, collecting the actual population data first hand from people living in more than 88,000 villages at 6,579 subdistricts in 497 regencies located in 33 provinces.

"We are now processing the data from the recent census taking that has already been submitted by our branches in the regions. Our computers have started to compose the data into more detailed information based on various categories. Hopefully it can be announced in October this year," BPS Deputy Chief Statistician for Social Statistics, Arizal Ahnaf, told Xinhua in his office at the BPS premises here on Tuesday.

He said that the preliminary census results would officially be announced by the president in the president's annual accountability speech before parliament members in August this year.

Indonesia has allocated some 3.3 trillion rupiah (about 364.2 million U.S. dollars) to finance the month-long census taking process beginning on May 1 this year, which was extended to June 15 for census taking technical issues.

The latest census conducted this year was the most advanced one that had ever been conducted in the country's history since it carries more comprehensive questions including the staple food, Internet access, housing, health and data on elder people.

"Questions on housing and Internet access were proposed by the United States. We designed the remaining questions. There were a total of 43 questions, significantly more than 17 in the 2000 census," Arizal said, adding that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) contributed to training for the success of Indonesian census.

Indonesia's development program relies much on the census figure as it would be used by the administration as a reference to allocate its budget to develop various sectors in the country.

Since 1980, Indonesia opted to abide by the UN's advice to conduct census once every ten years in the zero-ending year. Such a move is also applied among other countries like Japan, China, Malaysia and Russia.

Indonesia has commenced population census in 1815 during the British colonization under the administration of Thomas Stamford Raffles. At that time, the census only covered Java territory.

Later on, during the Dutch colonization, a listing of population data was performed though not on a regular basis in 1920 and 1930.

After gaining independence in 1945, the census was conducted six times in 1961, 1971, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010.

Source: Xinhua


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