Congregationalists still ahead Population Census Analytics say

Bureau of Statistics employees who were in charge of the census analytics

By Unumoe Esera

APIA: MONDAY 29TH OCTOBER 2012: The Samoa Bureau of Statistics has something to be proud of after accomplishing the compilation of the third and final report for the Population and Housing Census 2011 Analytical Report.  It was taken on the 7th November 2011 and out for publication this month.

The report cost over $2 million tala and was funded by AUSAid to be completed between 2010-2013. Government also provided funding which was estimated at more than a million tala. UNFPA donated over $300,000 for advertisements.

The report which was launched at the Samoa Conference room of the Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi Building on Friday by the Prime Minister and Minister of Statistics Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi who delivered the keynote address.

“This report is important as it has statistics from last year and is divided into different sections such as the births and deaths categories.  It helps to determine what action should be taken from the figures given.  For example we find out how many children there are and plan how many school building to be built to accommodate the number of children who will grow up and be educated in this country,” said Tuilaepa.

He also said this information was important for the Government to be aware of to solve problems and to know what the standard of living is like for households.

“The increase or decrease of deaths in this country is something that the Government should know so that they can prevent the cause of deaths. In households, some families live in one house but it is overcrowded with many people cohabitating in the same house. This helps us to know whether the standard of living is improving and moving forward or backsliding in terms of development,” said Tuilaepa.

He quoted some figures from the report which includes the tabulation for the various denominations in the country and has statistics of how many church goers are attending which church.

“The Church population (aged 5+) stands at a total 160,961 with males 83,013 and females 77,948.

The percentage of people attending EFKS (Congregational Christian Church of Samoa) ranked highest at 31.8, the Roman Catholic’s came in at second highest percentage of 19.4, the Latter Day Saints followed in third at 15.1 per cent, the Methodist had 13.7 percentage of church members, Seven Days Adventists at 8.0 per cent, Assembly of God at 3.9 per cent and all other churches 7.8,’ he read out.

The total population for Samoa is 187,820 with 96,990 males and 90,830 females. There are 71,891 children less than 15 years old and there are 34,646 youths under 24 years old. This represents 56.5 per cent of our population indicating that Samoa has a young population.

“This is an increase of 3.9 percent or an addition of 7,079 persons when compared to the Population census in 2006 with 180,741 persons. Out of 27,908 listed households, 94 percent or 26,205 households were enumerated. The other 1,703 households or 6 percent were not available during the enumeration period,” said ACEO of Census and Surveys Malaefono Taua Taaloga.

She also gave figures for the numbers of births and deaths collected from their surveys and census included in this report.  The number of births was born 12 months prior to the census date and was tallied at 5,703 while deaths or mortality rate which was the number of new-borns that had died 12 months before the census was 89.

Malaefono said that an increase of 1400 people were added every year while others migrated overseas as they were travelling for school and job opportunities and some through the NZ quota scheme.

She also added that the compilation of reports were becoming more efficient as the now had new technology which enabled them to scan the tables which they tallied the amounts instead of having to type and enter everything into the system as they did in previous years.

“We had to do this for up to two or three years as we had to rely on the figures to be entered into the system but now we can release a report every 12 months instead of the long gap between years and reports before,” said Malaefono.

The challenges her employees faced she said was not having the necessary skills needed to compile the reports and she acknowledged the Secretariat for Pacific  Communities  whom she said were a ‘big help’ in putting together the questionnaires by scanning them and putting together the results together with her team.

They started preparations for this report in 2010 and conducted land survey for families using the Global Positioning System (GPS) which was a huge step up in terms of technology as before they had to draw or map out the surveys by hand. She also added that all the officers were required to go out and carry out the field work in July last year with a few volunteers.

The Ministry of Education Sports and Culture helped out by providing teachers to become enumerators and conducted the questionnaires and surveys in their spare time. There were 1450 enumerators who did the field work.

“They went out into the field in November last year and trainings were held in October. The preliminary report was released in December last year,” she said. In August this year corrections were made from that report as ‘no job is 100 per cent all the time,’ said Malaefono.

Other figures touched upon was the employment and unemployed rate which is 94 per cent for employed and 6 per cent for the unemployed whom they classify as those who have the intention to find a job or are awaiting results from job interviews but do not have employment yet due to limited opportunities.  Those who stay and have no intention to work are not labeled as unemployed but come under the category of domestic duties which is 45 per cent these include students as they are not earning an income and secondly elderly people who have retired.