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Census to run until March 13

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Officer EA01 Sok Kharin (left) interviews villager Rin Meta during the national population census which began on Sunday. Heng Chivoan

Census to run until March 13

Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on Cambodians to take part in the national census by providing accurate information to officers in order to obtain correct national statistics for the Kingdom’s development.

And as if to prove his point, the prime minister also gave an interview to a census team led by Minister of Planning Chhay Than on Sunday at his Takhmao city house in Kandal province.

Hun Sen has also made similar calls at major events in the Kingdom recently where he highlighted that the census is critical and the single most important source from which comprehensive and clear data can be extracted on the characteristics and living conditions of Cambodians.

He said: “[I] would like to call on citizens . . . please on March 3, don’t go anywhere so that [the census] officers can collect data and identify all the people present in your house to ascertain how many people there are.”

In January, the Prime Minister also said this census is the first to use the national budget after Cambodia was categorised as a lower middle-income country. The last census was carried out 11 years ago in 2008.

According to the Law on Statistics, all Cambodians are required to cooperate in the census exercise.

Writing on his Facebook page on March 2, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said that after his appeal to all citizens to participate in the national census throughout the country, he had received questions about those who live and work abroad and if such people must return to the country to take part.

“People who are working abroad are not required to return to the country. There are technical census officers who cooperate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to prepare documents for agents in those countries to carry out the census on Cambodians living there."

“So please all compatriots living abroad, participate and cooperate with the census agents to conduct an accurate census with a reliable and acceptable result,” he said.

On foreigners who are immigrants and non-immigrants living in Cambodia, he said questions have been prepared in various languages.

“This will make it clear as to the number of foreigners of all nationalities who are living in Cambodian territory,” he said.

Hang Lina, the director of the National Statistics Institute at the Ministry of Planning, said the census will run from March 3 to 13.

She said some 50,000 census officers throughout the country will conduct house-to-house visits and interview dignitaries and the public who are the heads of almost three million families.

During the 11-day period, she said each census officer will interview 120 to150 families. The initial result of the census will be made known in March, while the official result may be announced between June and September once the analysis is completed.

The census marks history in Cambodia and is generally held every 10 years but this time it is 11 years as 2018 overlapped with the national election.

Some $9 million from the national budget will be used for the census, which aims to collect specific demographic data to be used in drawing up sound socio-economic policies.

The results will also serve as an indicator to monitor Cambodia’s national strategic development plan and sustainable development goals of 2016-2030 without leaving anyone out.

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