Week-long sixth population and housing census begins on Wednesday

Data on a total of 10 SDG indicators would be available from this census, say officials

The sixth “Population and Housing Census 2022” will be conducted across the country in a digital manner for the first time from June 15 to June 21, while this will also be considered “census week”.

On the eve of the occasion, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave separate messages wishing success of the census.

In his message, President Abdul Hamid said: "I welcome the initiative of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) to conduct a nationwide digital census and data collection program from June 15-21, 2022.”

“The Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) method of collecting data in the census and the use of digital technology in data collection activities will require less time in data collection and processing,” the president added.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her message said: "The greatest Bengali of all time and Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had realized the essential importance of statistics in formulating proper plan for the reconstruction of war-torn Bangladesh and monitoring the future development and progress of the country.”

The Statistics Division was created under the Ministry of Planning in 1975 to coordinate the overall activities of the BBS, now known as the Department of Statistics and Information Management, she added.

She said that the Awami League-led government is committed to collecting and publishing acceptable and standard statistics for making pragmatic decisions and plans in all fields.

"Therefore, I strongly urge the people of the country to provide all kinds of assistance to the census-related workers in providing proper information and conducting data collection activities," Sheikh Hasina continued.

The midnight of June 14 (zero hour of June 15) will be considered as “census reference point or time” and from that time floating people across the country like at Kamalapur Railway Station would be counted till 6:00am on Wednesday.

This was informed at a "Meet the Press" held at the NEC Conference Room in Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area convened to brief the media about the salient features of this census.

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam, Director General of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) Mohammad Tajul Islam, Population and Housing Census 2022 Project Director Md Dilder Hossain and team leader, technical support team of the census Dr Dipankar Roy spoke on the occasion.

Terming this census as an issue of utmost importance for the nation, the State Minister said that this is a historic moment for the nation as the data and information of the census is very much necessary for undertaking proper planning.

He informed me that the census questionnaire would have some 35 questions while the enumerators would take the answers to questions from people using tabs.

Dr Alam said that all kinds of steps have been taken to create mass awareness among people for bringing them under the coverage of the census while emphasis has also been given so that every individual comes under the enumeration process and no one is left uncounted.

He said once the census is completed, around 20 million people are likely to be added.

Answering a question, Dilder said that some 2,000 hot spots both at the urban and rural areas have already been identified to collect the data from the homeless and hapless people.

He informed that none other than BBS would have access to the server of the census while data would remain in encrypted form. Besides, there will be backup for data in case of any possible attempt of hacking.

Replying to another question, the project director informed that the census operations would not be hampered due to the polls at Comilla City Corporation and other Union Parishad elections.

Dilder said that if anyone remains outside the coverage of the census, then they could be to included in the enumeration process even after June 21 through communicating with the BBS.

The enumerators will continue their operations everyday from 8:00am in the morning till dusk and they would also go to houses of people at night if there is any request.

Besides, basic data from the non-resident Bangladeshis would also be collected in the census.

Answering another question, Dilder said that they would try to give the preliminary report of the census within three months and the final report as soon as possible.

He said that all the recent censuses at the BBS were carried out as paperless through tabs while the upcoming economic census would also be conducted through tabs.

BBS Director General Mohammad Tajul Islam informed that they have some additional tabs in their hands that could be used if necessary to ensure uninterrupted operations.

Answering a question, he said that the BBS is yet to reach a position for conducting a population census every five years.

He, however, added that they have a plan to update the census after five years or conduct another census. "But, any final decision is yet to be taken in this regard," he confirmed.

Dr Dipankar Roy informed that data on a total of 10 SDG indicators would be available from this census.