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Census off to a good start, head statistician says

As of this morning, when the 2021 Population and Housing Census started, no one has refused to let in census takers who are gathering statistics in 50 census districts in the country, according to State Statistical Office director Apostol Simovski earlier on Sunday.

Skopje, 5 September 2021 (MIA) — As of this morning, when the 2021 Population and Housing Census started, no one has refused to let in census takers who are gathering statistics in 50 census districts in the country, according to State Statistical Office director Apostol Simovski earlier on Sunday.

The tally is non-partisan, he reiterated. Urging citizens to help census takers collect the data, the country’s head statistician said it would be translated into appropriate development policies.

“This information is for you and for your future generations. In the next 10 years, whoever may come into power should create development policies based on the data,” Simovski said.

He also said the census workers would show special IDs and follow health protection protocols to prevent any Covid-19 infections.

Also, if anyone were to request to be counted in their native language, they would be sent a census worker speaking their language.

The media will receive daily updates about ongoing census activities, he added.

Statistics for the once-a-decade tally are being gathered by a field force of over 5,000 census takers wearing KN95 masks. At least two-thirds of them are vaccinated, according to Simovski.

In line with the public health protection protocol developed especially for census workers, they will be disinfecting their hands and laptops before entering each household; asking their hosts to put on their own masks and to open windows, unless they are on their patios; keeping a distance of at least 2 meters from others; and never removing their KN95 mask while carrying out the 10- to 15-minute surveys.

The 2021 census is based on a combined model, in which some information is taken from population registers and other information is collected through field work.

It ends on Sept. 30, at the same time as the online census for the Macedonian diaspora that started on March 1 and has so far recorded data from some 191,000 nationals living abroad.

Although the SSO has a deadline of six months to process the data, the results will be published by January 2022 at the latest, Simovski said.

The last official population tally, released in 2002, showed 2,022,547 people. mr/

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