National census on population and housing in 2011
The Department of Census and Statistics will conduct the 14th
National Census of Population and Housing in 2011.
This will be held in all 25 districts after a lapse of 30 years,
Director H.R. Gunasekera told a press conference in Colombo.
Preliminary preparations for the census such as Grama Niladhari
division maps and census block maps in 18 districts are in progress and
the same process in eight Districts of the North and East will commence
shortly, he said.
The census is the only source of social, economic and demographic
information on each and every individual and on living quarters at a
given point of time and is the basis for national and subnational
development plans and policies. Therefore the public should be aware of
its importance and the media should create an awareness among the
public, he said.
A large number of numerators - 85,000 - would be taking part in this
census conducted from house to house all over the country and 30 million
questionnaires have to be filled from the households by the enumerators.
The last national census was held islandwide in 1981 and a census
held in 2001 was able to take in only one district out of eight in the
North and East, Ampara; terrorist activity in the other seven districts
prevented the census being conducted.
The first national census was done in 1871 under the Census Ordinance
of 1871 during British colonial government and the Census (Amendment)
Act No. 55 of 2000.
The current legal enactment covering the populations or housing
census gives authority to enumerators - agents of the Director Census
and Statistics to ensure the confidentiality of the information given by
householders and members of the public in answering the questionnaires
used in the census, the Director said.