LSB and UNFPA Leading the Preparation of the 5th Population and Housing Census 2025 in Lao PDR

Lao population will reach 8 million in 2030, according to UNFPA.

The 2nd stakeholders briefing on the 5th Population and Housing Census 2025 (PHC) was chaired on Monday by Mme. Phetsamone SONE, Deputy Head of Lao Statistics Bureau, and co-chair Ms. Mariam A. KHAN, UNFPA Representative to Lao PDR.

The detailed plan and budget for PHC 2025 were presented. Participants from the government, development partners and potential donors attended the virtual meeting.

Following the initial stakeholder meeting conducted last year, today’s meeting presented progress on preparations, the detailed plan and budget, and the steering and technical committees to oversee the Census process.

Mme. Phetsamone SONE, Deputy Head of Lao Statistics Bureau, thanked UNFPA and partners for contributing to the previous PHC both financially and technically, “the next census V will serve as a solid reference for the evaluation of the implementation of the 9th National Social and Economic Development Plans (NSEDP) and the preparation of the voluntary national review on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Mme SONE.

The PHC collects information about everyone in the country. The census data are at the core of NSEDP and SDGs, with 45 percent of SDG indicators requiring reliable population disaggregated data, geographically precise data are vital to leaving no one behind and serving those with the greatest need first. For the 5th PHC, the Government will innovate, use digital technologies which will also be environmentally-friendly for data collection.

It is estimated that the next census will cost approximately 22.2 Million USD. As in the previous census, the Government of Lao PDR is expected to cover around 50% of the census costs, however, donors are requested to support the remaining census costs through provision of resources and in kind contributions as well as technical expertise.

Ms. Mariam A. KHAN, UNFPA Representative, said, “the census is one of the largest and most complex peacetime exercises a country undertakes. It is often the sole data source on all persons in the country. It underpins national statistical ecosystems.” She added that “as the lead UN Agency supporting census, UNFPA prioritizes strengthening national capacities to successfully conduct census operations and analyze, disseminate and use the census data.

In Lao PDR, a PHC is conducted every ten years under the country’s Statistics Law No.03/NS, dated June 30, 2010 (amended May 11, 2017) and the United Nations recommendation on conducting a nationwide census. The next PHC is set to run in 2025. UNFPA and LSB are preparing for the next census according to the census roadmap which outlines activities and stakeholder engagement in each phase leading up to 2025.