Instability forces Ethiopia to postpone population census

During their joint meeting this morning the Ethiopian Parliament and the House of Federation decided to postpone national population census of Ethiopia by over one-year period.

After debating on the plan to extend, the parliament has extended the national population census by one year. Of the total 547 members of parliament, 30 have opposed the proposal to extend the census while 3 have abstained. Some members of the parliament have suggested that the country should conduct the census after six months claiming that peace and stability in the country is improving. While others suggested that it has to be extended for more than one-year period.

The decision to postpone came following the instability and displacement in some parts of the country as well as politicization of the census which is extension of the ethnic politics Ethiopia has been pursuing. It is recalled that before the joint meeting the Ethiopian Parliament has passed a resolution to postpone the census.

The decision was made after the central Statstics Agency of Ethiopia has finalized preparations to undertake the census a few months ago. Meanwhile because of instabilities and internal displacements, the country was forced to abandon undertaking the census. Since the current regime came to power in May 1991, Ethiopia has undertaken national population census two times every ten year since 1994 and 2007. Estimates show that the total population of Ethiopia at the moment is around 100 million.