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Ministry refutes claims that 2019 census is flawed

Sun Mesa / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Planning Minister Chhay Than. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Ministry of Planning yesterday refuted claims that the census it carried out last year had flaws.

Hang Lina, director-general of the ministry’s National Institute of Statistics, told a press conference that 97.5 percent of the data is accurate and this had been verified by an international advisor.

“I am sure that our data is accurate for anyone to use for planning or other purposes,” she added.

Ms Lina said during the census the Ministry of Planning used the face-counting system where only respondents who were found living in a place were counted and not people who had migrated elsewhere.

“The methodology that we use is perfect for the situation in Cambodia because we only count people who are living in their home currently,” she said. “We do not count family members who have migrated overseas or other provinces.”

The ministry’s international advisor is Ricardo Newpert a consultant with the United Nations Population Fund.

Mr Newpert said yesterday the margin of error in the census count was about three to four percent overall but it rose to nine percent in Phnom Penh because of complications arising from numerous people moving in and out of the capital.

“A census cannot be 100 percent correct but if it is over 95 percent it means that it is accurate and reliable and can be used,” he added.

The ministry will announce its national preliminary data of the 2019 national census in July. According to the data, Cambodia’s population rose by more than one million from 13,395,582 in 2008 to 15,288,489 last year.

The ministry press conference came about after Supreme Consultative Council member Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung, who is the president of the Khmer Rise Party, last week questioned Minister of Planning Chhay Than over alleged flaws in the  2019 National Survey Census.

He said there were discrepancies in the number of residents in the capital as recorded in the census.

Mr Vathana Sabung said while the Phnom Penh authority recorded a population of 1.4 million in 2019, the Ministry of Planning cited more than two million people – accounting for a difference of about 600,000 which could spark a lack of confidence from the public.

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