A report shows estimates are higher then previously thought and at least 50 percent of population is eligible to vote.
New Study Estimates Population To Be 34.4 Million
A survey conducted last year by a Swedish organization estimates the population of Afghanistan to be over 34.4 million.
However, information in the draft document, which TOLOnews was able to obtain, has not yet been made public.
According to the findings of the organization, at least half of Afghanistan’s population are eligible to vote.
The document states that “the high-resolution population mapping efforts follow methods successfully implemented in other settings and involve the integration of the Socio-Demographic and Economic Survey (SDES) data, small area surveys and high resolution geospatial datasets, many of which were derived from recent satellite imagery of 50cm spatial resolution or finer. A range of statistical methods were tested and implemented for integrating these data and to produce estimates of total population at different administrative unit levels and 100 x 100m resolution across the country, together with age/sex breakdowns and associated confidence intervals”.
The survey undertaken found the estimated population of Afghanistan using the approaches outlined is 34,442,108.
The report stated the estimated total is higher than current CSO estimates for 2016/17 of 27,657,145 but show a much closer alignment to data and current UN and US Census Bureau estimates.
The report also stated it is estimated that 15.6 percent of the population is under five years old and 42.5 percent is over 20 years.
The research has estimated Kabul population to be over 4.1 million which is 500,000 less than figures by Afghanistan Central Statistics Organization (SCO).
In other areas, differences can be seen such as the SCO has estimated Helmand population to be more than 900,000 while the organization has estimated the population as two million. This comes after insecurity and conflict have displaced thousands of Helmand residents in recent years.
The research estimates Baghlan population as more than 1.1 million while the figures of SCO shows it at least 900,000.
“Population counting from space by the help of a foreign country cannot be very accurate even if it has a political dimension,” said Robaba Parwani, an MP.
According to the research, the population in Khost, Paktia, Paktika, Laghman and Kunar provinces is more than the SCO findings. However, the population of Bamiyan and Zabul have been estimated higher than that of the SCO.
“This research is not accurate because Afghanistan’s security situation will not allow us to find an exact number of people in the country,” said Azim Qoyash, a senator.
According to the draft, the last national population census in Afghanistan was conducted in 1979, and this covered only 67 percent of the districts in the country due to security reasons.
Recent plans to conduct a full population census have also been hampered by ongoing insecurity.
Current national and subnational population estimates are based largely on projected population counts using a 2.03 percent growth rate from a 1979 baseline population, updated with information from pre-census household listing activities, where these are available.
Current estimates using these approaches put Afghanistan's population at 27.7 million. However, analyses shows that under scenarios of growth rates differing by 1 percent, as recent data suggest is possible, then the national population could be as low as 19.1 million or as high as 40 million.
Such uncertainties have prompted the initiation of a rolling census and the development of geospatial modelling efforts.
Starting in 2011, the Afghanistan Central Statistics Organization (CSO) has been conducting a form of rolling census, the Socio-Demographic and Economic Survey (SDES), one or more provinces at a time, which includes a full household enumeration and detailed data collection for 50 percent of households.
Currently, SDES has been completed for 12 provinces (Kabul, Kapisa, Daikundi, Bamiyan, Samangan, Ghor, Takhar, Balkh, Parwan, Nimroz and Herat, with partial SDES coverage of Khost). Within provinces for which SDES has been completed, some areas were not surveyed due to insecurity.
Due to a pressing need for spatially disaggregated, recent population estimates for the whole country, high-resolution population mapping, has been conducted by WorldPop-Flowminder, in collaboration with the CSO, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).