Revised population stands at 14.80crStaff correspondent
The country’s population stands at 14.80 crore with the addition of an estimated 57 lakh people who the post-enumeration checks found to have been dropped from the primary count of the 5th population and household census done in March 2011.
The Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, which conducted the post-enumeration checks, on Monday said the average net error in the primary enumeration was 3.97 per cent. The average net error in the fourth census conducted in 2001 was 4.98 per cent.
The primary count of the fifth census conducted by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, published on July 16, 2011, put the population at 14.23 crore.
The net error in the primary count was 3.799 per cent in rural areas, 5.256 per cent in municipality areas, 4.073 per cent in upazila headquarters and 3.857 per cent in city corporations, said BIDS director general Mustafa K Mujeri.
The BIDS conducted the post-enumeration checks in 280 sample enumeration areas, 140 each in rural and urban areas in April 10-14, 2011 across the country. In urban areas, 20 sample areas were selected from upazila headquarters, 60 from municipalities and 60 from city corporation areas.
BBS officials, however, said that the population would finally cross the mark that BIDS had estimated as there remained some flaws for ‘non-inclusion’ of every ‘tally sheets’ in the preliminary reports.
‘The revised figure of the population is likely to be higher than the BIDS estimates,’ said BBS director general Shahjahan Ali Mollah.
Shahjahan said the final report of the census would be published in June.
Mujeri said while conducting post-enumeration checks in the particular areas, the BIDS had also done scrutiny comparing the figures of the preliminary report with the post-enumeration findings to find out whether it was more or less that the primary count.
He attributed the reason for comparatively higher rate of net error in urban areas to mistakes by the enumerators or a faster lifestyle among urban people.
Dhaka University population sciences professor AKM Nurun Nabi told New Age the net error rate was not too high rather it was usual in every census. ‘Many can say if more sample areas were selected for post-enumeration checks, the figure could be more accurate.’
Nabi questioned selection of sample areas at an equal ratio for rural and urban areas when the rural and urban population ratio was 70:30. He was also doubtful about the lower net error rate in city corporation areas than municipal areas.
‘I think the net error rate should be higher in city corporation areas where people are available at home at a particular time. When the primary count was published, about half of the audience had said they had been dropped from the count. So I expected a higher rate of error in the city corporation areas,’ he said.
The five-day population census began with the counting of floating population a minute after midnight past March 14, 2011 by 3.10 lakh enumerators. The census ended on March 19, 2011. The count found 71.255 million male and 71.064 million female populations.
The United Nations Population Fund in its World Population Report 2011 on October 26, 2011 estimated the country’s population at 15.05. The UNFPA’s World Population Report of 2010 had estimated Bangladesh’s population to be 16.44 crore.
During the census process and after the publication of the preliminary report, a number of lawmakers and ministers, National Human Rights Commission and rights activists raised questions over its authenticity as the enclave population and transgender people were left out and more than 40 ethnic groups were not counted by their ethnicity in the census.
BBS officials on several occasions also admitted that some of the households were left out as the enumerators had faced problems such as not being let in some houses.
The first population census in the subcontinent was conducted in 1872. Since then, censuses have been conducted almost regularly at an interval of 10 years.
After independence, population and household censuses were conducted in 1974, 1981, 1991 and 2001. According to the fourth census, the number of households was about 2.54 crore and the population was 12.43 crore.
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