Current population not known

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NO one, including Prime Minister James Marape, knows the current population of the country, and an updated common roll expected to be released next month should give a rough estimate.
Marape told Parliament yesterday that the common roll update would also indicate how many eligible voters would participate in the general election.
Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marat asked Marape to tell Parliament what the country’s population was and the number of eligible voters.
Marat also queried how the numbers on the common roll could be verified to determine the accuracy as the national census, which was supposed to be conducted in 2020 was not done.
Marape said while there was a legal requirement to carry out the census in 2020, it was impossible to do so because of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the political crisis then.
“There is no up-to-date population data indicating the integrity of the common roll update,” Marape said.
He said Marat was right in pointing out the legal requirement to conduct a 2020 census.
“It was not possible because of the Covid-19 and 2020 politics and power-play, which derailed government programmes,” he said.
“I have given assurance that we will do a head-count.
“I assure our citizens that the common roll is important.
“While the latest update hasn’t taken place, the population growth rate is known and projected at 3 per cent.”