Government conducting financial survey, and census in 2014

The government has decided to conduct a national census in 2014 while the Department for National Planning is currently conducting an economic survey to gauge the country’s productivity.

The last census was conducted in 2006 by the Ministry of Planning and Development after the 2005 census had been delayed after the previous year’s tsunami.

The first modern census in the Maldives was said to have been carried out in 1977.  Following this, the government conducted the survey once every five years from 1985.

The 2006 census required just under 3000 staff to conduct and collected data relating to the size, geographical distribution, and socio-economic characteristics of the population including age, sex, educational attainments, marital status, and employment.

Data relating to size, geographical distribution, and socioeconomic characteristics of the population such as age, sex, educational attainments, marital status, and employment. will be collected.

The 2006 census found the population to be 298,968 although the most recent statistics from the department give a figure of 330,652.

The Department of National Planning also revealed yesterday that the Planning Ministry’s five-yearly economic study has commenced.

The information gathered from establishments involved in economic activities, between now and next May, will be used to determine the country’s productivity as well as to re-base GDP, local media has reported.

Real GDP – which uses a base year to measure the growth of an economy, in order to take account of price changes – currently takes 2003 as the base year, although the last economic survey was conducted in 2007.

Nominal GDP suggests that the Maldivian economy has grown by 261 percent since 2003, while real GDP shows that the rate is just 174 percent.

The 2007 report suggested that the retail, manufacturing and hospitality were the country’s largest employers, provided jobs for 19, 18, 16, percent of the working age population, respectively.

Fishing, traditionally one of the country’s largest employers, only accounted for 7 percent of the workforce according to 2007’s data.

In financial terms, tourism continues to be the economy’s greatest source of income this year, with the most recent figures predicting that over 30 percent of real GDP will come directly from this sector in 2012.

The service sector as a whole is expected to account for just over 80 percent of 2012’s real GDP.

The Minister of Finance and Treasury Abdulla Jihad told the Majlis last month that this year’s budget deficit can be expected to be double the original estimate of MVR3billion (US$195million) – over 18 percent of nominal GDP.