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“Where are the 2007 Census Reports?” (Letter to the Editor, Fiji Sun, 31 Oct 2013)


Dear Sir

The last Census took place in 2007 and the population numbers were made public within a year, with the most popular use to date being the projected numbers of voters in Fiji, differentiated by ethnicity.

However, the more technical and useful Analytical Reports, full of fascinating information on fertility, mortality, employment and internal migration, have still not been made public, six years later.

The Ministry of Health professionals are rightly alarmed about the increasing impact of Non-Communicable Diseases on our people and would, for instance, want the public to think about the startling 2007 Census results on life expectancy (LE):

(a)   Why has Fiji’s LE barely improved since the 1996 Census, especially for males?

(b)  Why do males (both Fijian and Indo-Fijian) have a lower 65 LE compared to 69 for females?

(c)   Why is Fijian females’ life expectancy (67) an incredible five years less than that of Indo-Fijian females (72)?

It is scandalous that these Analytical reports, full of much more useful information for public policy, are not only not published six years later, but have apparently been sitting on someone’s desk for more than a year, waiting for “approval” for release to the public.

Such data and analysis belong to the nation and are not the private property of the government of the day.

Is it too much too hope that these Reports will be published and made public before the Fiji Bureau of Statistics begins its preparation for the 2016 Census?

Professor Wadan Narsey

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