The week-long sixth population and housing census would take place in the country from January 2-8, next year (2021) to find out demographic and socio-economic facts which will be assessed to identify and determine the future development planning. The countdown of the census will start from March 17 this year which marks the 100th birth anniversary of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The operations of the next population census will be held under the project titled ‘Population and Housing Census 2021’ which was approved by the ECNEC on October 29, 2019 with a cost of Taka 1,761.79 crore to be implemented by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).
Under the project, an inception workshop was arranged today at the BBS Auditorium to successfully conduct the operations of the next population census. Besides, the list of countrywide households will be formulated next month through mobile applications as part of the preparatory work for the census.
Planning Minister MA Mannan spoke at the inception workshop as the chief guest while Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus spoke at the function as special guests. UNFPA Representative in Bangladesh Asa Britta Torkelsson spoke as the guest of honour.
Chaired by the Statistics and Informatics Division Secretary Saurendra Nath Chakrabhartty, BBS Director General Mohammad Tajul Islam gave the address of welcome while project director of the population census Zahidul Hoque Sarder made a power-point presentation. Terming the next population and housing census as ‘very important’ for the nation, Mannan directed all concerned officials of the BBS to conduct the census flawlessly with much more accuracy.
“We’ve such belief on you (BBS staffs). Please don’t compromise with data as it’s not a matter of fear and shame. The job description of everyone familiar with the census process will be very important,” he added. Hoping that the entire nation would actively take part in the next census, the Planning Minister informed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would give her address to the nation before the start of the operations of next population census.
He also asked the SID Secretary, BBS Director General, Project Director and all concerned officials to properly accomplish their tasks maintaining austerity and being aware of corruption. Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam underscored the need for guiding properly the enumerators with careful, attentive and regular vigilance by the concerned officials. “We’ve to understand the importance of data…….we think we’ll be successful, Insha Allah.” He added.
Noting that the last Population and Housing Census held in 2011 was ‘questionable’ to some extent, PM’s Principal Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus hoped that the concerned BBS officials would able to keep the upcoming census from getting ‘questionable’ with their world standard professionalism.
He also expressed his optimism that the excellence of the BBS staffs would be established in this ‘Mujib Year’ through successfully holding the next population and housing census. UNFPA Representative Asa Britta Torkelsson urged all concerned to work together and deliver their best to make this upcoming census a success so that people can get information and evidence-based data.
Project Director Zahidul Hoque Sarder said the next census would be different from the previous censuses as it will include for the first time expatriate Bangladeshis as well as foreigners staying in Bangladesh. Besides, unique household IDs will be provided for the first time while data will be collected for the first time through multimode like mobile apps, web apps, pick and drop, paper-based, call centers and thus an e-census will be operated in limited scale.
The next population census in 2021 will portray detailed demographic and socio-economic scenario in different segments of sex ratio, youths, adolescents, children, annual growth in population, general fertility rates, birth and death rates, literacy, income or economic participation, working and unemployed population and healthcare and nutrition statuses.
After holding the main census from January 2-8, the project implementing agency BBS will publish the preliminary results on March 31, 2021 while the administrative report will be published by June 2024. The previous five population and housing censuses were held in the country in 1974, 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011 respectively.