dailyEXPRESS enquiries have revealed that a new population census would be conducted in 2010, intended among others to update the country's statistical data.
2010 will be ten years since the last census, and according to a senior official of the Ghana Statistical Service, the timing of the next census is in line with the policy of conducting a population census once every decade since the first headcount of 1960.
The Service is hoping to receive the much and badly required financial support from government and donors to conduct the 2010 census.
Records obtained from the Service on the last population census (conducted in 2000) reveals that the population of Ghana seven (7) years ago, using the de-facto method, stood at approximately 18.9 million people.
But going by statistical projections, Ghana's population today could be a little over 21 million.
“The results of the 2000 population census going by internationally approved standards quotes the most reliable and accepted figures for Ghana” explained a source who is a senior official of the Ghana Statistical Service.
Despite plans to have a census every decade after 1960, there were some missed years resulting from economic and political interruptions, pushing the next census in the country to the mid 1980's.
After that, more unfavorable socio-economic conditions in the country did not make it possible for a census in the '90s, which resulted in two decades without a headcount. The last census was in year 2000.
Asked about the accuracy of data collected by the Service, our source affirmed that “we are highly reliable and the very best methods are used to make them precise…even when these methods become outmoded with time, we're reengineered to improve upon them.”
Besides carrying out censuses, the Ghana Statistical Service performs other essential activities that ensure timely release of relevant statistics to users and stake holders for good governance and business decisions.
It also does collection, compilation, abstraction, dissemination and publication of data on economic and social life of Ghanaians as outlined in the statistical service law of 1985.
“We as part of our functions make efforts to coordinate the national statistical system by conducting surveys, census and collecting administrative data from concerned institutions and providing core data indicators used by government to monitor developmental strategies like the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy currently being pursued by the country” he added.
Other tasks executed by the Service include the compilation and monitoring of national GDP and inflation, gauging and determination of poverty levels among respective populace, determining of purchasing power and producer price index, researching and gathering data on health, employment and demographics.