National Planning Minister Richard Maru said data collected through the census is vital for the government and policy makers.
An exercise that is bigger than the national elections, its primary objective is to fully obtain the side of the population in terms of demographic and age profile for government planning.
An exercise previously conducted in 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2011.
“The Census will cost between K150 and K200 million,” said Maru.
“The last one cost K150 million however, it was a failure because the census was late; two years late in terms of providing the census report to the state and stakeholders and also there were a lot of issues on the credibility, validity and accuracy of the census.
“So basically it was accepted that we failed the last census, and our people our government is not going to fail our coming census.”
From the 2011 census, PNG’s population was 7.1 million however, the 2017 National Election electoral roll had over 5 million people over the age of 18 enrolled.
“The Census will start in 2020 when we do the counting and the results must come out in the first quarter of 2022.”
This week, 23 provincial census coordinators from across the country gathered in Port Moresby for a workshop to equip them on their operations.
Acting chief national statistics officer, John Igitoi, said: “We will have 360 LLG coordinators, 7600 ward coordinators and 30,000 plus interviewers. So you see the magnitude and size of this exercise, it will involve more than 40,000 Papua New Guineans to conduct this massive exercise.”
The remoteness of some areas in terms of accessibility, security and funding of the exercise will be challenges for this census exercise.
UNFPA Chief Technical advisor, Mercedita Tia, said: “The UN are just supporting the government in terms of the technical aspects of the census, making sure that we are following not only the national but international standards.”