Second Housing and Population Census this year

In order to carry out the 2016 Population and Housing Census of Bhutan (PHCB) on May 30 and 31, the National Statistic Bureau (NSB) has started its pre-census on population mapping and house listing.

Till date it has completed in three thromdes, like Gelegphu, Phuntsholing, Samdrupjongkhar and work is still being carried out in Thimphu with a team of 64 NSB officials.

The census comes in line with the government order issued by the Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay on December 21. NSB will further recruit 400 enumerators and will give various training, like supervisors and training of trainers. It plans to complete mapping and house listing in all 205 Gewogs and 20 District to complete by March 28.

Officiating chief of population, housing and GIS division, Tashi Dorji, said, “It is one of the biggest undertaking and will be one of the historical events in Bhutan.”

National Statistic Bureau could not mobilize funds from outside to support the huge manpower requirement for the census.

“2005 population and housing census was funded by the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA), the 2016 PHCB will be funded by the Royal Government of Bhutan and has allocated budget Nu 200 million.”

The housing and population census is conducted at an interval of every 10 years, but it could not be conducted in 2015 due to the lack of budget.  While carrying out the housing and population census, NSB will be following the de-facto method, which interprets that you are counted wherever you are during the time of census-be it national or foreigners.

Following the international census norms, on May 30, zero hours, any foreign national on this particular date and time will also be counted as a Bhutanese resident but not as a Bhutanese citizen.

During these two days as approved by the government, it will be declared as a national holidays and the pubic are requested to remain in their respective places of institutions and residence.

On  May 30 and 31, all the enumerators shall ask all questions listed in the census questionnaire of all persons within the limits of the local are for which he/she is appointed.

Every respondent shall be legally bound to answer all questions to the best of his/her knowledge, refusal to give access to the census officers and enumerators or removal, obliteration, alteration, damage of any letters, marks or numbers which have been printed on their houses for the purpose of census.

In addition, any intentional false responses and refusal to answer to the best of one’s knowledge or belief, any question asked of him/her by a census officer which he/she is legally bound to answer shall be deemed as legal offence.

It has been informed that all personal information furnished, in part or whole, by all respondents shall be published or used in aggregated forms, all primary information obtained from respondents shall be held under strict confidentiality and under no circumstances will any part of such information be used for legal and punitive action against any person.

Tashi Dorji said that on Monday, NSB together with the other government organizations and agencies will discuss on the draft questionnaires to carry out the nationwide project.

The second housing and population census of Bhutan is based on international standard and procedures. In the long run it will provide to collect, process, produce population data and basic housing information for various administrative and planning purposes.


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