VANUATU’S population has grown to 272,459, the 2016 Mini-Census Report has revealed.
This is an increase of 38,436 by population size from the 2009 population of 234,023.
From the overall population, 67,749 people are living in the urban areas while the bulk of the population of 204,710 still live in the rural areas.
The revelation was made by the Vanuatu National Statistics Office (VNSO) at the launch of the 2016 Post-TC Pam Mini-Census Report.
The mini-census was conducted in response to the recent disasters affecting the country, to update the list of households affected by the disasters.
The mini-census was an opportunity to update basic counts of certain government programmes and policies.
Apart from basic count of population and households, information such as the birth certificate registration, the electoral registration, the Recognized Seasonal Employers (RSE) and Seasonal Workers Program (SWP) participation and people with bank accounts can be found in the report.
Other household information include disaster related information, use of telecommunication network, agriculture, fisheries and livestock information, use of solar lighting and value adding activities. There is information on water, sanitation and many more.
“The mini-census information is very rich,” said Government Statistician Simil Johnson.
“It is important to release this information at this level to assist sub provincial level planning, as part of the government decentralization efforts,” he added.
Johnson said the mini-census was historical in many ways.
“It is the first time VNSO has ever conducted a mini-census and that Vanuatu was the first Pacific Island country to have used Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) in a census.
“The use of ICT devices that collects information and submits over the internet using the World Bank Survey Solutions application enabled the report to be released six months after fieldwork. This is important as far as timeliness of information is concerned, said Johnson.
The operation, costing VT60 million (just over USD$551,000), was fully funded by the Vanuatu government, reflecting the commitment and recognition towards evidence-based decision making.
For the first time also, VNSO is using posters and infographics to present information and data for people to better understand the findings of the census.