Northern Regional Statistician, Mr. George Agbenyo

The Population and Housing Census slated in June this year will be an opportunity for Ghana to realize its performance in the implementation of the 17 sustainable development goals. Ghana is organizing the first digital census this year having missed last year due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Northern Regional Statistician, Mr George Agbenyo said most questions in the questionnaire for the census are meant to measure the country’s performance with the sustainable development goals compared to other nations. He believes this would be very beneficial to the socioeconomic development of the country.

In an exclusive interview with THE CUSTODIAN, Mr George Agbenyo said the benefits of the population and housing census cannot be overemphasised.

He noted this year’s census is expected to provide an update on the growth or otherwise of Ghana’s population from the previous ones.

“After every census we use the data to build what we call population pyramid and this pyramid in the third world circumstance is very broad at the base, which means we have much of our population at the very early stage and the population shrink as we climb in age.

So after this one, we will look at our population structure to see whether the structure is changing, it is off benefit to us if the structure changes from the base. When it is broad at the base like that, it means that much of our investment, our income, goes to take care of the people at the base and much of them don’t leave to reach the stage where the country will also benefit from them” he explained further.

However, the Northern Regional Statistician disclosed contrary to this the structure is like a barrel in advance countries, because the base is not too much broad from the middle where the working population is situated.

“So we will like to compare our structure with the previous ones to see whether we are making progress as a nation” he added.

Proper planning

Many development partners and the civil society believe the slow pace of growth and development in Ghana is due to inadequate or proper planning.

However, the Northern Regional Statistician intimated the census data will undercover the development gaps and housing deficit as well as other infrastructure deficit to inform the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies and the regional coordinating council to properly plan.

According to the United Nations, a population census is the total process of collecting, compiling and publishing demographic, economic and social data pertaining to a specific time to all persons in the country whereas the housing census should include every type of building and living quarters.

Meanwhile, the legal authority for conducting this population and housing is the Statistical Service Act 2019 (Act 1003). The Ghana Statistical Service will carry out the exercise across the 16 regions with thousands of enumerators recruited to conduct the survey.  

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