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Stats SL Hands Over Final Census Results To President Bio

State House, 15/09/2022: Stats SL has handed over the Preliminary Report of the Final Census Results to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr Julius Maada Bio at State House in Freetown.

In his opening remarks, Mr Moses Williams, Chairman of Stats SL Council thanked and heaped praise on the World Bank, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNECA and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), as critical partners who supported the census process. Mr. Williams also noted the contribution of the Government of Sierra Leone who came in at the nick of time and ensured the census went ahead. He recognised the contributions of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and the Ministry of Finance.

Making a statement, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr Francis Kai-Kai, whose ministry supervises Stats SL, reiterated the key objectives of the 2021 mid-term census, especially to correct the technical anomalies of the 2015 census which he said had constrained Stats SL to respond to the basic data needs of various users. He ended by emphasizing that the census met its desired purpose: “Your excellency, I am pleased to report that all the stated objectives of the Mid Term Census were achieved”, he concluded.

In his statement and presentation on the census, the Chief Census Officer who is the Statistician General and CEO of Stats SL, Professor Osman Sankoh, COR, noted that due to the robust processes that were put in place for the first ever fully digital census in Sierra Leone, the intensive data review that followed the release of the provisional results on 31st May 2022, did not result in significant changes to the final results. He continued that a total of 7,061 (0.001%) individuals were added to the provisional results of 7,541,641 making it a final population figure of 7,548,702. He underscored that the population increased by 456,589 which is a 6.5% increase from the last census of 2015. Prof. Sankoh informed all that the population has been growing at an average annual growth rate of 2.1 from 1963 when the first post-independence census was held to 2021, the latest. He intimated all present that as regards percentage share of the population, the Eastern Region has the largest share of the population at 25.7%, followed by the Southern Region at 24.3%, the Northern Region at 17.4%, the Western Region at 16.8% and the North Western region at 15.7%.
Regarding the percentage share of the population by district, Prof Sankoh disclosed that Kenema District has the largest share at 10.2%, Bo is second at 10.0%, followed by Western Area Rural at 8.8%, Kono at 8.2% and Western Area Urban at 8.1%.
At the least end of the population divide by district, Bonthe is at 3.9% followed by Karene, 3.8%, Koinadugu, 2.7%, and Falaba at 2.2%.
For population density, Prof. Sankoh stated that Western Area Urban is the most densely populated followed by Western Rural.
In conclusion, the Chief Census Officer mentioned that Sierra Leone is amongst one of the first five countries to have conducted a digital census in Africa which has enabled data of the most minute geography to be made available noting: “Stats SL is proud to announce that we will henceforth be able to provide population data at the Locality, Ward, Section, Chiefdom/Council, District and Regional levels and due to the digital methods used, these data can be generated in a timely manner”.

Receiving the report from Stats SL, His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio appreciated the excellent work of Stats SL and commended the coverage and accuracy of the 2021 mid-term census which was possible through digitization noting, “With this first ever digital census, therefore, there has been unprecedented national coverage, accuracy, verifiability, transparency, and professionalism.”
President Bio thanked development partners for their support throughout the process stating: “I, therefore, wish to thank our friends and partners who have generously supported us throughout this process. Especially, I want to thank Former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Government of the Republic of Kenya, the World Bank, UNFPA, UNECA, UNICEF, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, and sister states of the Mano River Union.”
President Bio noted the challenges faced by Stats SL in the conduct of the census created by some sections of the population but expressed forgiveness to all, “Politicians and some of their henchmen are on record spreading incendiary messages and persons associated with them acted to impede the work of enumerators – in some cases threatening them with physical violence. As the Minister has indicated, none has been prosecuted for spreading hate messages, misinformation, disturbing the peace, and threatening enumerators.All is forgiven for the sake of national cohesion and peace”.
His Excellency, Julius Maada Bio emphasized the importance of the use of the data that has been generated remarking “Until the next decennial census, this dataset will be used for making governance decisions, policymaking, planning, public service delivery, and various investments in key sectors of our economy. It will also be the basis of future national surveys”
He thanked Stats SL for a Job well done and gladly accepted the final results of the census: “I am, therefore, delighted to accept the final results of the first, fully-digital, 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census”

©️Stats SL Comms & PR Div.



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