Namibia’s population hits 2,1 millionBy: NICO SMIT
NAMIBIA’S population grew by 15 per cent to 2,1 million over the ten-year period from 2001 to 2011.
This is according to the preliminary results of the 2011 National Housing and Population Census released by the National Planning Commission (NPC) yesterday.
Over the ten years the population grew at an average rate of 1,5 per cent per year, from 1,8 million people in 2001 to 2,1 million in 2011. This figure is four per cent lower than was expected.
NPC director general Tom Alweendo considers this growth to be “good” and “manageable” in comparison to the country’s economic growth which has averaged 4,7 per cent over the past decade.
Alweendo said the preliminary report is the first in a series of reports to be released from the 2011 census and it provides preliminary population counts by male and female according to region and constituency.
Slightly over one million Namibians, or 51 per cent, are female and the remaining 49 per cent male.
About 58 per cent of Namibians were counted in rural areas on the census enumeration night at the end of August last year, and the remaining 42 per cent were counted in towns.
The majority of Namibians live in the Khomas Region where 340 900 people were counted. The region with the second highest population is Ohangwena in the far north, where 245 100 people were counted.
These two regions were followed by Omusati, Kavango and Oshikoto, where 242 900, 222 500 and 181 600 people were counted respectively.
The Omaheke Region in eastern Namibia is the most sparsely populated region, as only 70 800 people were counted there.
Karas, where 76 000 people were counted, has the second lowest population.
Alweendo said the Namibian population has grown steadily from about 250 000 people in 1921 to 1,8 million in 2001 and 2,1 million in 2011.
According to him, this growth has immediate policy implications for education, health, social amenities and shelter.
Alweendo said the census data can be used as a yardstick for the provision of social services, and will aid the planning and decision-making of policymakers as well as businesses and investors.
Also present at the launch of the Census Preliminary Report was UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) country representative for Namibia Lawrence Mgbagson, who said that successful data collection and processing in the census is an important accomplishment and commended the NPC and the Namibian government on the work it has done.
Mgbagson said the next steps, which include analysis, dissemination and utilisation of the data, “are even more important since they will lay the foundation of the socio-economic development of the country for years to come.
It is expected that the final census report will be released in 2014.