CENSUS REPORT SHOCKS CABINET
The shock is said to have come from the figure of about 1.1 million, which indicates a growth rate of less than a per cent in the 10 years from the last census in 2007
The recent population census report is understood to have shocked Cabinet when it was initially presented.
The shock is said to have come from the figure of about 1.1 million, which indicates a growth rate of less than a per cent in the 10 years from the last census in 2007.
In fact, World Bank and United Nations statistics have always projected the Swaziland population at 1.3 million whilst the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) placed the country’s inhabitants at 1.5 million. It is only Wikipedia that is accurately reflecting the population to be at 1.1 million and it could have been revised after the publication of the report yesterday. Economic Planning and Development Minister Prince Hlangusemphi noted the figures which he said at this stage the report is still preliminary. “Our economics are yet to interrogate the figures to give us a clear picture of what happened. But speaking from off the cuff, without interrogating the report, there are certain trends which we have observed which may have contributed to this numbers. One of them on the practical side of the census is that some homes may not have been visited due to some people who were unwilling to participate in the exercise. We did receive some reports that some people were threatening our numerators with violence, or unleashing their dogs on them. That was disturbing to hear. Further, in some homes they did not find some people and did not make second visits.
“But on the other hand, with education, people are no longer bearing many children or even having multiple partners as it used to be the case. Such things have a bearing on population growth. The level of awareness in terms of child planning and prevention methods is now high, so such could have also contributed,” the minister said.
The minister said one area which also came out from the report is that the number of people between the ages of 16 and 64 has grown, which means government will now need to create more job opportunities.
“We also expect companies to think of ways to create more job opportunities and there is no shortage of skills or workforce based on what we have seen from these numbers,” he said.