Mistakes in the preliminary report of the population census are not abnormal. This could be in two ways. Firstly, any member of a family may remain absent during the data collection. Secondly, the data collector may fail to visit all the houses within his jurisdiction. Several people from different walks of life alleged that no data collector went to their homes.

Responding to the allegations, the government said the Population and Housing Census 2022 has been completed following all the international norms. All the doubts and suspicions would be dispelled once the final result is published, it added. According to the UN policies, post-census information needs to be verified through any independent and objective organisation. The government has appointed Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) for the task. Though BIDS is a government organisation, it has credibility in the field of research.

Information would not be collected from each home during the post-census data verification. Rather, this would be done through a representative survey. In that case, the concerned people must remember the areas that are likely to get omitted from the census, and the areas that are hard to reach. For example, the slum areas in cities are likely to get omitted. Besides, there was flood in Sylhet and northern districts during the census period. As a result, problems arose to collect from those areas. At the same time, language could work as a barrier to collect detail information from the foreigner staying in Bangladesh.

The census report would be somewhat free from mistakes if these issues are considered in verifying the answers in the post-census survey.

The most interesting information of this population and housing census is – the number of female is more than the number of male. The number of male is – 81,712,824 while the number of female is 83,347,206. In every previous census, the number of men was more than women. This time, the increase in women’s life expectancy could be the reason of this change. On the other hand, we consider the decrease in birth rate and improvement in other socio-economic indices as positive changes.

But the matter of concern is, the decline in population of minority communities including Hindus and other ethnic communities. But this was not supposed to be so if the ideals that led to the formation of Bangladesh could have been maintained.

A census is not only a report about increase or decline in the population. Development projects are taken up based on this. If there is any mistake in the census report, it is bound to affect the development planning. In this context, there is no alternative to an accurate census report for proper development planning.

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