Macedonia Needs to Center its Focus on Implementing a National Census

October 20th is World Statistics Day. Built around celebrating the important role of statistics, the United Nations theme this year is “Connecting the world with data we can trust.” As United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) celebrates World Statistics Day, it also highlights the paramount importance of conducting a Macedonian National Census.

A Macedonian National Census has been absent in the country since 2002, as it further extends the 18-year drought. The Macedonian government needs to put a stronger focus on re-implementing a national census, especially with a continuous decline of demographics and questions over an inaccurate population count. The 2011 census attempt failed as there was an uncertainty on how to conduct the count and who should and should not be included. Indeed, a census has not been attempted since. Hence it is important to highlight that a census does not only count population numbers but is also used to provide necessary community benefits. These benefits help to uplift communities as a census influences economic policies intended to re-vamp the labor force, which is crucial in addressing mass emigration from Macedonia, especially with regards to the youth.

Today, data used in Macedonia from the 2002 Census points towards a population of 2.1 million people living in Macedonia. However, this is not an accurate depiction of the population or its demographics, nor does it help in outlining public policies. Data and statistics are what translates into the development of public policies, which influence education, health care, and infrastructure reform in every country.

On October 20th, UMD highlights the importance of conducting a Macedonian National Census. Current inaccurate figures within Macedonia hinder the country’s ability to effectively address the needs of the nation, and indeed its Diaspora. The government and opposing parties must come together promptly to define the statistical parameters in Macedonia, and indeed, bring an end to extending the National Census any further. Because Macedonia too, counts.

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