Putting people first: Liberia launches Final Report of National Population and Housing Census

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Monrovia, Liberia: On December 17, 2009, the Government of Liberia, in collaboration with the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), officially launched the Final Report of the 2008 National Population and Housing Census. The first of its kind since 1984, the 2008 census presents a milestone in Liberia's effort to put people first on its development agenda.

"For the first time in twenty-four years, we know where our people live, how many schools there are and how many students are in those schools. We can now use data to effectively plan and respond to their needs." Amara M. Kone, Liberia's Minister for Planning and Economic Affairs noted.

Guests at the event included the United Nations Deputy Special Representative for Recovery and Governance, Moustapha Soumaré, Cabinet Members, the Head of the Council of Chiefs, Members of the Diplomatic Corps as well as other Dignitaries.

Executive Director of LISGIS and Census Manager, Dr. Edward Liberty, presented the agency's official website to the public and urged all Liberians and development partners to make use of the census results for informed decision-making and policy-formulation.

According to the Final Report of the census, Liberia presently has a total population of about 3.4 million inhabitants and a growth rate of 2.1. If this continues, the population is expected to double in 33 years.

To face this challenge, UN Deputy Special Representative, Mr. Soumaré highlighted the need for an increase in the provision of social services and facilities in all parts of the country to ensure that Liberia's current standard of living is maintained. He congratulated the Government of Liberia, LISGIS and all stakeholders for a job well done and renewed the UN's commitment to support the Government and people of Liberia towards a better and truly prosperous future.

The main supporters of the 2008 Population and Housing Census were the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Paris 21.