Macedonia set for census in 2020, State Statistical Office Director tells BIRN

The census of national population is planned to take place in 2020, State Statistical Office Director Apostol Simovski says in an interview with BIRN.

Simoski says he will not succumb to any pressure regarding the operation, especially political one, as the census should provide information not only of the ethnic structure of a country, but also of its overall development.

‘Presidential and parliamentary elections are to be held in Macedonia in 2019 and 2021 respectively, so we have decided to schedule the census for 2020 – a year that should be free of political turbulences,’ Simovski says.

About EUR 8,5 million should be allocated for the census, says Simovski, who considers that the question on ‘ethnic origin’ should be excluded from the operation’s questionnaire, as it is the case in many other countries.

He considers that the 2011 unsuccessful census, if not scraped, would have offered an unrealistic number of about three million citizens.

It was a political census, run by a political body – the State Census Commission, Simovski says, notifying that the State Statistical Office will be in charge of the upcoming one.

The future census should also register the citizens of Macedonia living abroad to get the number of emigrants, Simovski says.

‘I expect that we will not like the results as we are about to find out that a great number of citizens have left the country to live abroad,’ Simovski says.

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