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CensusMonitor: According to Census’ preliminary results, in Dobretići the population is 3 times bigger than in reality

Alisa Karović

The 2013 Census of Population, Households and Dwellings in Bosnia and Herzegovina was conducted with numerous irregularities, missed deadlines and violation of the law, also its preliminary results show serious issues regarding the statistical data about the population of BiH. In addition, the civic monitoring done as part of the CensusMonitor campaign indicated that only 14.9% of surveyed citizens believes that the Census results fully show the real situation in the country.

Published today, civic monitoring analysis of the Census 2013 shows that in some municipalities many more people than the actual number of the population were enumerated, while in other municipalities a large number of citizens probably failed to enumerate at all, so the enumerated population there is much smaller than in reality. The most dramatic examples of this are the municipalities of Dobretići (Central Bosnia Canton) and Ravno (Herzegovina-Neretva Canton), where 214% and 130% more people were enumerated than could be observed in the demographics in 2012. Huge differences were observed in the Canton 10 in municipalities of Kupres (67.06%) and Bosnia Grahovo (51.59%), while, on the other hand, in the municipality of East Mostar (Republic of Srpska) there were enumerated 69.13% less people than there were registered in 2012. The biggest differences between the number of enumerated people and the actual number of inhabitants were recorded in Posavina Canton, West Herzegovina Canton and Canton 10. It can be concluded that those huge differences when comparing different cantons, as well as discrepancies between the census results and statistical data, indicate the real possibility of an organized census fraud.

The civic monitoring included also of the analysis of the quality and implementation of the legal framework of the Census, the analysis of the official media campaign led by the Agency for Statistics, as well as of interviews with the enumerators and the results of public opinion polls. Unfortunately, due to the refusal of the relevant institutions to provide information about their campaign, it was impossible to make a proper analysis and evaluate its effects.

Public opinion survey showed that almost 40% of the population thinks that Census results are not showing the true picture of the situation, while only 14.9% fully trusts the results. The level of trust in institutions implementing the Census is also low — only 18.1% of the population is fully satisfied with their work, whereas 29.4% is satisfied partially. The situation is even worse regarding the work of Eurostat and the EU delegation — only 15% is very satisfied with their work, and 28.2% is satisfied partially. The citizens are also dissatisfied with the accessibility and quality of information provided by the authorities, and only 32.9% of the population believes that the Census was not jeopardized because of the violations of secrecy of personal data. Finally, only about one-third of respondents believes that the campaigns for ethnic declaration didn’t put in a risk the Census process, while 44.7% of respondents believes that the process was at least partially threatened by those campaigns.

Civic monitoring of the 2013 Census was conducted by the Association of Citizens “Why not” (UG “Zasto ne”) in collaboration with partners: Coalition “Equality” and the Center for Democratic Transition from Podgorica , which conducted a similar monitoring after the 2011 Census in Montenegro.

DOWNLOAD: Report on the Civic Monitoring of the Census in BiH 2013 –