2015 Census shows population growth moderating

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Díli, October 25th, 2015

2015 Census shows population growth moderating

The Preliminary Results of the Population and Housing Census 2015 were launched by Prime Minister, Rui Maria de Araújo, on October 21st at a special event in Díli. The 2015 Census is Timor-Leste’s third since the restoration of independence and provisional results show that the population of Timor-Leste was 1,167,242 at 00.00 hours on the night of July 11th/12, 2015. This number reflects a moderation in population growth with a 9.46 percent rate for the period 2010-2015 compared to a 15.51 percent rate for the period 2004-2010. Timor-Leste’s population has more than doubled in the last 35 years.

The book containing the Preliminary Results of the 2015 census is the first of several planned publications based on the information collected by 4,828 Enumerators, Supervisors and GPS Coordinators in the period between the 11th and 25th of July. Antonio Freitas, the Director General of the General Directorate of Statistics in the Ministry of Finance noted that the preliminary report “will be followed by a series of publications giving detailed priority tables up to Municipality, Administrative Post and Suco levels and thematic reports on various topics like Fertility and Nuptiality, Mortality, Population Projections, Migration and Urbanization, Housing, Labour Force, Disability, Literacy and Education, Gender, Youth, and the Census Atlas.”

The Preliminary Results set out the provisional figures for population, growth rates, sex ratio, density, urban/rural distribution and household size to the level of municipality and population/sex ratio to the level of Municipality/Administrative Post.

The Municipality of Díli continues to have the highest percentage of population with 21.67 percent of the national count, followed by Ermera [10.90 percent] and Baucau [10.63 percent]. The municipality with highest pace of growth was Liquica experiencing an annual average rate of 2.83 percent across 2010-2015. Dili’s annual average exponential growth rate for the period was 1.55 percent.

The mean household size has reduced slightly from 5.8 persons in 2010 to 5.7 persons in 2015.

The national annualized average growth rate of the population for the period 2010-2015 was 1.81 percent compared to 2.4 percent for 2004-2010.

At the launch of the preliminary results the Prime Minister thanked many of those involved in the 2015 Census including Minister of Finance, Santina Viegas Cardoso, Vice Minister of Finance, Helder Lopes, Director General of Statistics, Antonio Frietas, and all of the management and staff of the General Directorate of Statistics. He also expressed appreciation for the support of UNFPA, UN Women, UNICEF, BPS and the Indonesian and Australian Bureau of Statistics as well as noting the role of telecommunication companies Timor Telecom, Telkomcel and Telemor in this years campaign.

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira, reflected “the Population and Housing Census 2015 provides important data for our country. It is information that belongs to all Timorese, ‘a Census from People, to People’. The data that comes from the hard work of the census collection and the cooperation of the people is critical for good planning and the development of fact-based policy. On behalf of the Government I congratulate all involved and encourage those involved in the next step to make the careful analysis that will allow us to better understand the dynamics of our growth and to better serve the needs of our people.”