Survey aims to resolve financial allocations

Positive political momentum surrounds upcoming Iraqi population census

BAGHDAD, December 23 — The spokesman for the Ministry of Planning, Abdul Zahra Al-Hindawi, stated that there is positive political momentum towards conducting a population census in Iraq. He emphasized that the upcoming census questionnaire will not include questions about ethnicity and sect, but will cover all Iraqi governorates, including Kirkuk and those inside the Kurdistan Region.

Al-Hindawi spoke in an interview with journalist Sarmad Al-Bayati, and said:

Al-Sudani’s government has decided to conduct the population census in 2023 and 2024. The High Census Authority, led by Minister of Planning Mohammed Tameem, determined that the census will take place in November of the coming year.

The population census, described by the United Nations as the largest undertaking by any government, will be conducted electronically. The process requires providing fully equipped tablets, with a need for at least 130,000 devices, meeting specific specifications. This entails contracting with foreign companies, and the entire announcement, contracting, and preparation process will take six months.

The triple budget will provide the financial allocations for the population census, addressing the issues that previously hindered its implementation.

The political atmosphere is currently positive, having been a factor in impeding the census before. The entire Iraqi scene is now supportive of its execution.

The census includes Kirkuk and all areas covered by Article 140, as well as the entire Kurdistan Region.

The population census will resolve and determine the financial allocations for all Iraqi governorates, revealing the true sizes of the governorates, and they will receive funds based on their size.

The census requires 130,000 employees, with significant reliance on personnel from the Ministry of Education, who will provide 120 field researchers, among teachers. The researchers will undergo training, and the census will require presentation of official documents.

The census has significant benefits, enabling the determination of the numbers of disabled individuals and school dropouts, as well as assessing the housing situation in Iraq through the questionnaire covering health, education, and more.

The upcoming population census will not include questions about ethnicity and sect but will focus on religion only. The census aims to study and improve the current situation.

The census will provide sufficient information to determine the locations for building hospitals and schools based on the population size and the necessary service sectors for that population.

As of now, there is no decision regarding Iraqis outside the country. An electronic census for Iraqis abroad was conducted, but over two years, only 500 Iraqis provided data, with a limited response.