Sri Lanka to conduct first population census in three decades

The last Census of Population and Housing was conducted in 2001.

Colombo: Sri Lanka will undertake the mammoth task of counting its population for the first time in three decades, with its first post war census next year.

Though Sri Lanka`s population is estimated at around 21 million, the exact figure would perhaps be known only after the 2011 census.

The last Census of Population and Housing was
conducted in 2001 after a gap of two decades, but the process
could not be extended to the North and Eastern parts of the
country that were under the control of the LTTE.

The final enumeration in 2001 could be carried out
completely only in 18 out of 25 districts.

The Census and Statistics Department will cover the
total population of the country through over 80,000 census
blocks during the survey, the state owned Daily News reported
quoting sources.

The door-to-door survey will be conducted by a strong
workforce of nearly 80,000 enumerators, district
administrative officers, and other ground-level officials, it

Sri Lanka has a long history of census taking with the
first systematic and scientific population census being
conducted in 1871. Since then censuses were conducted, usually
in 10 years with certain exceptions.

The previous completed census count was held in 1981.

The exercise which was scheduled to be conducted in
1991, could not be carried out due to disturbances in Northern
and Eastern provinces of the country.

The department-level procedure for carrying out the
census next year has already being completed and the survey
will cover all Grama Niladari (Village level) Divisions of the
country, the paper said.

Some GN (Grama Niladari) divisions will be divided to
150 census blocks depending on the population of the
respective division to ease the total census process.

The Department has also planned to offer a special
training programme for its own staff and other staff at
selected training centres for the purpose.

The funds for next population census will be provided
by the Government and the proposed public awareness and
training programmes will be facilitated by other donor
agencies, the newspaper said.


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