Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – The government is set to conduct a population census, which are done every 10 years, next month to update data on the country's demographics.
Speaking at the State Palace in Jakarta, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo emphasized the importance of an accurate source of data as the basis for the government's policymaking, saying "data is a new kind of wealth."
"The census data [...] is aimed at generating single population data, [which is] the basic data needed to make plans in various [policy] areas," Jokowi said on Friday.
He went on to call on the public to participate in the upcoming census, which will be carried out by Statistics Indonesia (BPS) between February and July.
For the first time since the agency started to gather population data in 1961, people can opt to complete the census online this year rather than wait for BPS officials to come to their homes.
People can go to the official census website bps.go.id to fill out their basic data such as name, place of residence and nationality, among 19 other types of data gathered by the agency. The online census will be carried out between Feb. 15 and March 31.
For those who are unable to complete the online census, BPS' officials will conduct phone or face-to-face interviews in July, BPS head Suhariyanto said.
The BPS will follow up the data from this year's population survey with a sample census in 2021. The sample census will gather more detailed demographic data, as the BPS is set to ask respondents 82 questions on a wide range of topics.
Suhariyanto said the 2020 census would use a combination method, referring to data from the Home Ministry's Population and Civil Registration Directorate General (Dukcapil) as the basis of the census, as mandated by Presidential Regulation No. 62/2019.
He added that the BPS would gather data from Indonesian citizens both at home and abroad, while foreigners who have lived in the country for more than a year will also be included in the census.
Echoing Jokowi's message, Suhariyanto said the public's participation in the census was key to ensuring the BPS could successfully collect data.