Provisiona­l cen­sus re­sult puts pop­u­la­tion at 51.4 mil­lion, says min­is­ter

Mizzima Business Weekly - - NEWS ROUNDUPS -

The provisiona­l re­sult of Myan­mar’s first cen­sus in three decades shows the coun­try has a pop­u­la­tion of 51 mil­lion, Min­is­ter of Im­mi­gra­tion and Pop­u­la­tion U Khin Yi told a news con­fer­ence in Yan­gon on Au­gust 30.

The pre­vi­ous cen­sus was in 1983 and re­cent es­ti­mates by the gov­ern­ment had put the pop­u­la­tion at about 60 mil­lion.

“The provisiona­l re­sult of the pop­u­la­tion in Myan­mar is 51,419,420. The fe­male pop­u­la­tion is 1.7 mil­lion more than the male pop­u­la­tion,” U Khin Yi told the news con­fer­ence.

The full re­sults, in­clud­ing break­downs by re­li­gion and eth­nic­ity, will be re­leased in May next year.

The cen­sus did not in­clude about 1.2 mil­lion peo­ple in parts of Rakhine State and con­flict-torn Kachin and Karen states, said Daw Khine Khine Soe, the di­rec­tor of the min­istry’s Pop­u­la­tion Depart­ment.

She said the 60 mil­lion pop­u­la­tion es­ti­mate was based on the 1983 cen­sus and an ear­lier pop­u­la­tion growth rate, adding that a de­clin­ing birth rate may help ex­plain the lower cen­sus fig­ure.

The cen­sus, con­ducted in March and April, trig­gered in­ter­na­tional con­cern after au­thor­i­ties back-tracked on an ear­lier agree­ment and re­fused to al­low Ro­hingya Mus­lims in Rakhine State to self-iden­tify their eth­nic­ity,

Myan­mar re­gards the Ro­hingya as il­le­gal im­mi­grants from Bangladesh, de­spite many hav­ing lived for gen­er­a­tions in Myan­mar.

Crit­ics had warned the United Na­tions and donors in the run-up to the cen­sus that the tally had the po­ten­tial to spark un­rest, point­ing out con­tro­versy over ques­tions of eth­nic­ity and re­li­gion in the survey.

The cen­sus was largely car­ried out by hun­dreds of teach­ers and its 41 ques­tions will pro­vide data that will be es­sen­tial for pol­icy mak­ing and na­tional plan­ning.

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