Mogadishu, 26 May 2015 – The Federal Republic of Somalia today launched the first comprehensive estimation of the Somali population in over four decades at the Police Academy in Mogadishu; a groundbreaking initiative that will inform development programmes in the country.
Carried out between October 2013 and March 2014 in collaboration with international partners, the survey collected information from 250,000 households in urban, rural, nomadic settings and camps for the internally displaced people. The survey provides crucial information on the size, gender and age of Somali citizens, as well as how they are distributed. It also determines how many Somalis live in urban and rural areas and camps for the internally displaced, and how many live nomadic lifestyles.
“In deciding to hold a Population Estimation Survey (PESS) 2013-2014, two years before the proposed 2016 official census, we were acting upon our critical need to obtain basic information and bridging the information gap, so that our plans should be based on the real situation. We are now paving way for the proposed census, which is a mammoth undertaking in itself in a country which is only beginning to emerge from a system that fragmented in every aspect of social and political life and entering a new era,” said Abdirahman Aynte, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation .
Among other findings, this unprecedented estimate indicates that about three-quarters of Somalis are below 30 years, and around 46 percent of the population is below the age of 15. These numbers further highlight the urgency to invest in young people today by ensuring education and employment opportunities and providing the young men and women with access to health services to improve the lives of future generations.
Another striking finding is the fact that about half of the total female population comprises women of childbearing age (15-49 years). This large proportion of mothers and potential mothers requires focused dedication for investment in maternal health care and health education in order to minimise the risks of mothers losing their lives during pregnancy or while delivering babies.
“For UNFPA, our focus is that no woman should die while giving life and the participation of these young women in substantive income generating activities could spiral the growth of the Somali economy, while improving their families’ quality of life,” UNFPA’s Deputy Regional Director for the Arab States, Francois Farah, said at the event.
The newly collected information will enable the authorities to better design the next phase of this work, which is official census.
“The completion of this survey is a historic event for the Somali people. It gives the Somali authorities and us international partners a much better understanding of how many schools are needed for school-aged children, where to build hospitals, and what kind of services the people around the country will need,” said Philippe Lazzarini, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Somalia.
In the near term, data that has been collected but still needs to be analyzed also has the potential to provide information on a range of socio-economic realities, including the use of basic social services such as education, water and sanitation, occupation, mobility and migration patterns.
For further information, please contact the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation.