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Pakistan Prepares To Conduct First Census In 19 Years

Pakistan’s statistics bureau says it is preparing to conduct its first census in the country for 19 years, hoping to end years of disputes by politicians who are concerned about how a survey might affect the composition of their local electorates.

Chief Census Commissioner Asif Bajwa announced on March 2 that the census would be conducted later in March.

Bajwa said Pakistan’s army has been tasked with providing security for census takers to ensure they are not harassed while carrying out the work.

Political leaders across Pakistan have expressed concerns about the survey, which is likely to cause some officials to lose influence because of changes in provincial demographics.

Analysts say the changes could be significant because about 60 percent of Pakistan’s population is now under the age of 30.

In 2015, the World Bank estimated that Pakistan's population about 189 million.

But Pakistan still uses its official 1998 census figure of 134.7 million.

Pakistan’s population has grown significantly since its first census in 1951 when the country had 33.8 million inhabitants.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Dawn