August 3, 2010

Text-Messaging Plays Big Role in Indonesian Census

Indonesia, the world’s fourth-largest country, is taking a census this year, as it does each decade. Conducted in May, it relied heavily on text-messaging to convey data from enumerators in the field to their supervisors at central headquarters. According to a report on the Population Reference Bureau website, these day-by-day reports helped census officials monitor how well the count was going.

Also on the PRB website is a link to a video interview with the report’s author, Terence H. Hull, a consultant to the Indonesian census who is professor of demography in the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute. Because of improvements in Indonesia’s census-taking this year, he forecasts that more than 240 million people will be counted, higher than the official prediction of 235 million.