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News of the week: Population and housing census 2022: Population growth rate drops to 1.22pc from 1.37pc

The country’s women have outnumbered men for the first time in its population census history in a sign of a demographic shift, which, according to experts, is not unusual in the global context.

According to the preliminary report of the population and household census 2022 released on Wednesday, the county’s total population is 16,51,58,616, up from 14,40,43,697 in 2011, with a 1.22 per cent growth rate in place of the previous 1.37 per cent.

Of the population, the number of women stands at 8,33,47,206, against the number of men at 8,17,12,824, with the ratio being 50.50 per cent to 49.50 per cent.

After the previous census in 2011, the number of men was recorded at 7,21,09,796 while the number of women was 7,19,33,901.

Former chair of the department of population sciences at the University of Dhaka Dr Mohammad Mainul Islam said that females had outnumbered their male counterparts for the first time in six censuses since 1974.

The change in the pattern is not unusual given the falling maternal deaths, the rising life expectancy and higher number of men seeking overseas jobs than women, he said.

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics that conducted the census digitally for the first time recorded the sex ratio at 98.04 at the national level, meaning that there are 98.04 men against 100 women.

The sex ratio was 100.3 in 2011.

Mainul Islam said that the sex ratio between 95 and 105 was acceptable but higher or lower than this figure reflected various problems, especially on the social and economic fronts in a country.

Though the population growth rate is falling, the population density is still growing at the national level to 1,119 than previous 976.

As usual, Dhaka led the divisions with population density of 2,156 in place of the previous 1,521 while Barisal has the least population density with 688 in place of the previous 650.

Among the city corporations, Dhaka South City Corporation has topped the population density with 39,353 compared with the Dhaka North City Corporation’s 30,474.

However, the population under the Dhaka North City Corporation at 59,79,537 is higher than the population under the Dhaka South City Corporation at 42,99,345.

Thus, the population in the country’s capital city has been calculated at 1,02,78,882, which was around 69,76,105 in 2011 under the undivided Dhaka City Corporation.

Dhaka Division also leads the population growth with 1.74 among eight divisions but the rate has fallen by 0.20 percentage point in the last one decade.

The latest housing census has found 31.51 per cent living in urbnan and 68.49 per cent in rural areas

Except Muslims, the populations of other religious communities have diminished in the country, according to the preliminary report of the sixths census.

Muslims constitute 91 per cent of the population while Hindus are down to 7.95 per cent in 2022 from 8.5 per cent in 2011. The Buddhist population has gone down to 0.61 per cent in 2022 from 0.62 per cent in 2011.

The sizes of ethnic minority populations have decreased to 1 per cent in the 2022 total population from 1.10 per cent in 2011.

The population capable of giving signature has increased to 74.66 per cent from the previous census figure of 51.77 per cent.

The number of internet users is 30.68 per cent of the total population.

For the first time, the BBS that used digital devices for head-counting recorded the number of transgender persons at 12,629, with the number of these people slightly more in urban than rural area.

The total number of restaurants in the country is 4.10 crore. In the last census, it was 3.21 crore. The number of families — with four members — is now 4.10 crore.

The provisional data of the ‘6th Population and Housing Census 2022’ was revealed by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics at a press conference at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka on Wednesday.

The census was supposed to end on June 21 but due to floods in the north-eastern districts, it continued till June 28.

Jatiya Sangsad’s speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, planning minister MA Mannan, state minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain and state minister for Planning Shamsul Alam were present on the occasion.