Venidora Oliveira – The Vice Minister of Finance Helder Lopes said based on the preliminary results of the Population and Household Census 2015, the Timorese population has grown from 1.066.409 in 2010 to 1.167.242 five years on in 2015.
The Vice Minister added the population growth has been consistent and can be disaggregated by gender with 588.561 males and 578.681 females.
"The census have been undertaken three times and our population has steadily increased to 1.167.242 in 2015. This does not include our people living overseas though," said recently Vice Minister Lopes, in Dili.
Looking back historically at the Timorese population he said also that back in 1980 there were only 555.350, in 1990 some 727.557, in 2001 some 787.340 and post-independence in 2004 Timor-Leste had a population of 923.198 inhabitants.
The Vice Minister added that the rapid increase in population over the years relates to the high fertility and birth rates in the country.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister Dr. Rui Maria de Araujo said the appreciated the work by the Ministry of Finance through its National Directorate for Statistics in undertaking the 2015 Population and Household Census so that clear statistics about the composition of communities across Timor-Leste could be ascertained.
"This is very important and the Ministry of Finance is tasked with undertaking the Population and Household Census every five years," he said.
Prime Minister Araujo added that the Census is just one instrument that allows Timor-Leste to determine the number and demographic composition of its population and that there are other instruments that also assist in this regard such as the birth registry under the Ministry of Justice that would assist in aggregating more population data.
He added that the Ministry of Health also has established such programs as the health and family program which collects data on families so rather than waiting for new data to emerge every five years, existing data can already be used in planning.
"We are a small country with a small population. We have other ways to count the number of our people so we don't just have to wait for the census," said PM Araujo.
The Prime Minister urged the General Director of Statistics of the Ministry of Finance to work with the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Health to coordinate more regular data collection and analysis.