National census aims to track mental retardation, illiteracy and internal migration

Yasmine Saleh
3 Min Read

At a cost of LE 150 million, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (Capmas) will send out 120,000 trained surveyors to gather information about internal migration, illiteracy, and mental retardation in Egypt.

The information drive is the third stage of the 2006 National Census on Population kicking off on Nov. 20 and lasting till Dec.11.

Minister Abu Bakr Al-Gindi, president of Capmas, said the agency had undertaken an “enormous initiative to train its field workers prior to the start of the survey.

“We had 32 lectures to teach our surveyors how to deal with citizens, get the information and make sure it is accurate, he said at a press conference at the Ramses Hilton on Saturday.

He said the census this year seeks to go a step further than just being a mechanism for data collection and will try to accurately assess demographics, social-economic class and martial status.

“The unemployment rate and what the government can do about it in terms of providing job opportunities that go with the demands of the job market is among our main objectives, Al-Gindi said.

All the gathered information, except personal data on families and businessmen, will be available to the public. “Even insurance companies and the tax revenue services will not be able to access personal information, he said.

Al-Gindi said that Capmas is the only authorized, credible source for any statistical information on Egypt and journalists should use its resources for accurate data on the country.

“The numbers get updated every three to four months, he said.

Four major census bureaus have been established in Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia and Upper Egypt.

The agency recently purchased a LE 250,000 advanced scanner that will be able to read information gathered from the survey, and special computer software in Arabic to convert gathered information into statistical format.

The 2006 census began in June with an appraisal of roads and building infrastructure.

The result of the previous two stages indicated that the number of buildings had increased to 11.4 million, up from 9.5 million in the 1996 census, marking a 41.6 percent increase.

Stage two was completed in October and focused on companies and businesses.

A sampling of 75,000 families every three months precedes the National Census, which is held every 10 years.

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