Census 2022: Count me in

The 2022 census, with the slogan 'count me in' or 'aharen ves baiveri vaanan,' is being conducted seven years after the last census.

The 'salt test' that was carried out in the 2014 census may have highlighted the earliest memory of a census for many of the younger generation: where a group of people came to the house, questioned the adults about some general updates of their day-to-day life, and then added a fluid into the salt that was being used in the house to test whether the household was using iodized salt or not.

And, while many of us were perplexed as to why anyone would be interested in how many people lived in one household or what kind of salt we used in our food, those people never returned, leaving the little minds with even more questions. Back then we had no idea that the magical salt test was the census being conducted in 2014, the last census conducted in the Maldives until this year.

While the young minds of 2014 have matured enough to understand what a census is, a new generation of children is about to experience the thrill of the 'salt test' once more when the census is set to take place in September 2022.

What is a census?

Census is the collection of specific data from all the individuals within a given period. In the Maldives, a population and housing census gets conducted at least once every ten years as is followed under the Maldives Statistics Act 41 (a). In the Maldives, census collection started as early as the 1900s with the first census being collected in 1911. Since then a census has been conducted in the Maldives in the years 2000, 2006, and 2014 and the latest census is set to take place in September 2022.

Why is census collection so important?

Considering statistics as an indispensable tool for the development of a democratic society, the census enables to produce statistics relating to the economic, social, environmental and population in the Maldives. It helps to assess the situation of the country and disseminate the information to the public and policymakers. 

What are some of the information gathered when collecting census?

When it comes to population and housing census data is collected on details such as housing, age, education, migration, employment, marriage and fertility and when it comes to economic census data is collected on identification, ownership, registration, employment, income and expenditure of establishments. 

Census 2022

With the slogan ‘count me in’ or ‘aharen ves baiveri vaanan’, the 2022 census is being conducted after seven years passed since the last census. The date for the 2022 census was launched last year and since then a pilot census has been carried out with other preparation works being conducted throughout this year. With the volunteers to work this year's census having already been selected and trained, census collection has officially been set to take place between the 13th to 25th of September 2022 and results are expected to be out sometime in October 2022. 

What is hoped to be gained from this years census?

Based on the housing data collected, we will be able to analyse the improvements in the housing condition compared to 2014. We are also interested in seeing data relating :

  • the resident population by island (local and foreign), age and sex disaggregated population at isand level
  •  inter-island migration including migration within the greater Male’ region
  • indicators needed to monitor Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) including fertility rate, unemployment rate, labour force participation rate, not in employment, education or training (NET) population
  • data needed to asses the conditions of children, youth, elderly and disabled population
  • Compile a survey frame for economic surveys (statistical business register)
  • Revise the population projections up to 2054.
  • Island level data to generate business statistics (size, employment, income, profitability of business by Industry)
  • Data needed to improve GDP of Maldives

Since the last census in 2014, without a doubt, much has changed in the world and within the Maldives as well in terms of living conditions, income and other forms of economic development.  With more than 4,000 participants including enumerators, supervisors, officials, managers and focal points, this year's census will surely show some big changes in data compared to 2014.

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