The first digital census in Pakistan is expected to be a success due to the advantages it brings, such as time savings, tracking using geographic information systems (GIS), real-time progress assessment, and rapid data availability. This was emphasized at a seminar titled “Census 2023: Everything You Want to Know About” held at the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
According to the Chief Statistician of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), Naeem Uz Zafar, the preparation for the 2023 digital census in Pakistan is now complete, and teams are ready to begin. He noted that the census is a critical national activity that is linked to the distribution of provincial resources, representation in national and provincial assemblies, and the process of delineation. The census is also being conducted in line with global best practices, utilizing advanced technology.
The PBS has established a National Census Coordination Committee at the national level, which will have centralized decision-making and a command center with real-time progress tracking and analysis. Additionally, this census will adopt a self-enumeration approach for the first time. 126,000 tablets will be used during the census procedure.
The questionnaire will consist of approximately 40 questions covering eight major themes: home, basic utilities, demographics, education, health, career, disability, and immigration.
It is worth noting that the first official population census in what is now Pakistan was conducted in 1881. Censuses were conducted every ten years up to 1981. Six censuses have been conducted so far: in 1951, 1961, 1972, 1981, 1998, and the most recent in 2017.