Census shows population stagnant

Samoa’s population did not increase in the last five years and is less than 200,000.

This was revealed in the final phase of the census 2016 brief reports released recently by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics, which had statistics on the country’s education and economic characteristics. 

Giving details to the media at a press conference, A.C.E.O. for the Census and Survey division, Taiopo Faumuina said the total population of Samoa in 2016 was 195,979 with males making up 100,892 and females 95,087.

“Our population has not increased that much because of international migrations in the past five years and also since the Samoa quota to New Zealand was introduced, affecting our population numbers. There was only an increase of 1,632 annually and 4 percent overall,” she said. 

In terms of education, Taiopo said the 2016 data showed that out of early childhood age (three-five years old – 16,713) only 21 per cent (3,568) attended school and is higher in rural residence (84 per cent) compared to urban residence (16 per cent). 

For Primary school age (six-14 years old - 41,120) 98 percent (40,218) attended school in 2016 and the majority were female (62 per cent) compared to 38 per cent male. In secondary schools, (ages 13-17, 20,136) 81 per cent (16,166) attended school in 2016.

The bureau holds a census every five years following consultation with all relevant stakeholders and sectors leaders on the types of information required. 

Taiopo emphasised that the findings are important for users and policy planners. 

“We collect, compile and we release them for the users,” she said.

“This is mainly about making the public aware that this important information is out now for their use. We already released briefs one and two and this time it’s about the third brief to do with education and economic characteristics. All of this information was collected from population housing centers 2016 and we conduct these censuses every five years.”

In terms of communication, she said the housing brief had questions for households on how many radios and televisions they owned in order to determine to the most popular radio and T.V. station. 

“2AP was the most popular radio station with T.V. 1 being the most watched T.V. station,” she said while indicating that the print media was not included in the survey as it was not raised by the sector coordinator. 

“It really depends on the need of the sector. Before any census, we hold questionnaire consultations with the 14 different sectors of society, each one with their designated leader who brings us their recommendations,” she added.  

The 2016 Census briefs are available online to view or download. Booklets of each brief are also available and are on sale for between $10 and $20.

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