Nepal has more than 110-year-old history of population census. In 1911, the country carried out the first population count. The initial censuses were less precise and scientific as compared to the modern ones owing to lack of educational and technological advancement. Four censuses undertaken prior to the 1952/54 census are dubbed as ‘head counts’ because they enumerated only the population. The 1952/54 census was taken in two parts of the country in two separate years. The nation began undertaking a harmonised census only in 1961. Since then, a census has been taken every 10 years. National censuses are very important as they portray an integrated picture of society within a given timeframe. No other data collection methods can provide such an exact picture. They offer a suitable database for comparisons and projections of demographic data and social and economic features of society. They also provide comprehensive and detailed data on the entire population.
In addition, national censuses make available demographic, social and economic characteristics and interrelated rates and indicators like population growth rate, age and gender composition and education traits. They provide a database required for analysing specific social phenomena. With the theme of ‘My Census, My Participation’, the National Census 2011 has begun in Nepal since Thursday (November 11). This is the country’s 12th census. The 15-day event is going to run till November 25. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has made all the necessary preparations for carrying out the census in a successful manner. Enumerators are scheduled to reach all the households, including those missed during the household listing as well, across the country, and collect detailed information about the individual, family, income and other activities. It may take around 20 minutes for an enumerator to fill up a questionnaire of a family, which will also include information about economic, social, service, facilities, infrastructure and disaster situation from all 6,743 wards across the country.
Earlier in September and October, the CBS had concluded the survey for household listing through the mobilisation of 8,500 supervisors. They had collected the details of about seven million families living in residential and community buildings across the country. The CBS has made arrangements for about 40,000 enumerators to visit every household nationwide to make the actual record of the population which is needed for planning, budget allocation and other administrative works. As many as 8,500 supervisors are going to be mobilised during the national census. It has hired youths who have completed their high-school education as enumerators while supervisors have the education qualification of the Bachelor's degree. Other employees have also been mobilised at all levels to make sure that the quality data are collected.
Seven Provincial Census Offices, 87 district census offices and 349 local census offices have been set up nationwide. The CBS hinted that there was a possibility of taking census in Kalapani, Lipulek and Limpiyadhura, the areas encroached upon by India. The census will be managed at a cost of Rs. 4 billion. President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and leaders of different political parties have wished for a success of the National Census 2021. The data and information collected by the census are expected to be instrumental in formulating development policies, plans and programmes. So, everyone must extend their support in making this national event a great success.