Saudi authorities prepare for launch of 2022 census
Authorities in Saudi Arabia are preparing to launch the 2022 census, which will be the fifth in the Kingdom’s history.
The last general population and housing census in the Kingdom took place in 2010, and the total population at the time was 27,136,977, according to the General Authority for Statistics.
“The past decade witnessed rapid transformations with regard to technical developments, social and economic changes, and living and consumer patterns, and all of this had many important effects that will show in the results in the upcoming census,” it added.
Most countries conduct a comprehensive census every 10 years to obtain accurate and detailed data about the population, including where people live and their social and economic characteristics. Accurate statistical data of this kind enables officials, planners and policymakers to allocate budgets and develop comprehensive strategies that will keep pace with urban development, meet future needs base on expected population growth, contribute to development plans, and provide public services such as education, health and public transportation.
The authority said that in preparation for the full census it began a trial pilot process in September in seven areas: Tabuk, AlUla, Makkah, Asir, Diriyah, Riyadh, and the Eastern Province. Census takers used tablet computers to record the data they collected in the field, rather than printed questionnaires, to ensure accurate and timely results.
They gathered information about residents and their families in various types of housing, along with demographic, social and economic information such as income levels, living standards and educational levels.
The authority said that it prepared its executive plan for the Saudi Census 2022 after a comprehensive study of the requirements of the government agencies that will use its results, based on the best international population census models and standards used by G20 countries and the member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
It added that for the first time it is using modern technologies to assist the census process, including satellite images to ensure more comprehensive coverage of all the Kingdom’s regions and identify unregistered dwellings. In addition it is developing a system that will provide a mechanism that allows the public to enter their census data through the authority’s website.
The authority also confirmed its “full commitment to the highest levels of privacy, confidentiality and data protection of those included in the census, or any personal information related to their identities, and not to share or disclose it to any third party.”
A date has yet to be announced for the start of the census.