Development planners know that population census is an essential condition of policy formulation.
It is key to the success of development planning by any nation. That is why serious countries take the matter of conduct of census as a national priority.
Like most things in Ghana that are treated with laissez-faire attitude by our leaders, the conduct of census, which is essential for planning and national development has been relegated to the background.
To show how unserious we are as a country when it comes to the conduct of census, the last time census was conducted in the country was in 2000.
By the United Nations (UN) prescription, which is seen as the best practice, another census ought to have been conducted in 2010.
It therefore means that by UN standard, nations are expected to count their population every 10 years. The reason for this is not difficult to understand.
It is expected that within such a period there must have been fundamental changes on the figures of births, deaths, population figure in general, as well as changes in number of properties and other essentials of life that have been added to the environment to cope with the changes in population.
In 1985, the Statistical Service Law (PNDC Law 135) established the Statistical Service, which instrument had the effect of raising the status of the Central Bureau of Statistics from a Government Department under a Ministry to that of an autonomous, independent public service.
The first time Ghana, which was then known as the Gold Coast conducted a census was in 1921. The census covered the entire land area of present Ghana.
The first post independence census was conducted in 1960. Censuses were then held in 1970, 1984 and lastly 2000.
This newspaper believes strongly that the importance of census cannot be overemphasized. Population census plays an essential role in giving detailed information on the regions with a high or low density of population, which is vital in resource distribution.
It also helps to identify the various religions we have in the country and how to shape the national conversation.
In 2020, the Statistical Service announced it was going to conduct a population census, but whatever reason, the exercise was postponed to this year.
It is our considered position that in view of the key role census data plays in policy formulation and national development, the Statistical Service, should ensure that census is conducted this year.