news 30 Aug 13

Bosnia Statistics Agency Readies for October Census

The Bosnian Statistics Agency on Thursday said most of its preparations were now done, ahead of the October census, Bosnia's first in 22 years.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

The Statistics Agency Director, Zdenko Milinovic, on August 29 said that the questionnaires are part of the final preparations for the census that will be conducted in the first half of October.

"This will just be a census to determine the actual size of the present population in Bosnia and Herzegovina," he explained in Sarajevo, noting that it will not take account of people who have left the country in recent years.

He added that the final lists of all enumerators will be ready soon and that all other necessary information and material was already available to citizens.

“The significance of this census is that it will be an overview of economic and social data in Bosnia and Hezegovina since 1991, on the basis of which the planning and implementation of economic and social development policies... will be possible,” the head methodologist, Nora Selimovic, said.

She added that citizens will be obliged to answer questions, among others, on their place of residence, migration, education and economic situation.

“Interviewed persons are not obliged to answer about their ethnic and religious affiliation or their mother tongue,” she said.

“Nevertheless, the enumerator is obliged to write down each answer that the interviewed person gives to each questions, even if someone declares they are from Mars”, Selimovic noted.

The issue of questions about ethnicity and religious affiliation in the upcoming census have been a hot topic for months.

Various groups campaigned for the right not to have to affiliate to any of the country's three largest ethnic groups - Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats.

The data in the 2013 census will answer many questions about the current structure of the population in this Balkan country, which experienced a three-year war from 1992 to 1995.

As a result of the conflict, hundreds of thousands of people were either killed, forced to move home or fled the country.

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