In the middle of February this year, the Namibia Statistics Agecney crisscrossed the entire country in order to take statistics to the people. To be precise, we met with our stakeholders in all the regions to bring them feedback on the findings of the Namibia Intercensal Demographic Survey (NIDS) and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) results conducted in 2016.
As is common knowledge now, the NSA has a mandate of collecting, producing, analyzing and disseminating official statistics. What we conducted over the last two weeks was the dissemination part. This is because, during the period of collecting statistics, we engage our stakeholders to assist us and take part in this process. It is just good courtesy to come back and present the findings of the surveys.
The NIDS is a demographic study conducted every five years in between of Censuses that have a ten-year interval. The purpose of such a study is to essentially provide updated figures as waiting for ten years will really leave one with no option but to use data that is outdated and not current. As per the NIDS 2016 report, Namibia’s population is estimated at around 2.3 million people. This means that Namibia is still one of the least densely populated countries in the world. The urban rural trend shows serious signs of change as more people move to the urban centers. Whereas first the majority of the population used to live in rural areas, in a few years’ time, the majority of the population will be living in urban areas.
The report further shows that great strides have been achieved in the early childhood development, education, information, and communication technology sectors since 2011. More households have improved access to safe drinking water now whilst the literacy rate has also improved since 2011. The indicators that did not look too good is the fact that since 2011 Namibia has seen a rather serious increase in shacks, jumping from 16 to 26 per cent. This of course comes with declining sanitation conditions as urban households with access to sanitation have considerably declined. The main source of income remains wages and salaries, farming, pension and non-farming businesses.
Concerning the labour statistics, Namibia still has a high unemployment rate of around 34 per cent with the female unemployment rate still much higher than the male unemployment rate. The female unemployment rate hovers around 38 per cent whilst that for males around 30 per cent. These figures of course differ from region to region ranging from 53 per cent to 23 per cent. The youth unemployment, at 43.4 per cent, is significantly higher than the national average of 34 per cent. The majority of the unemployed still fall in the category of those that have not completed high levels of education indicating that the higher the level of education the lower the unemployment rate. The majority of employed people in our country are employed in the agriculture, fishing and forestry sectors, which is then followed by the wholesale and retail trade, as well as the construction sector.
For the month of March 2018, the NSA released many statistics. First was the monthly NCPI, Quarterly Trade Statistics as well as the Annual Trade Statistics. The much-anticipated Namibia Household Income and Expenditure Survey (NHIES) followed these. More about this will come in the next editions of these articles. Lastly, in March we will release the quarterly GDP.
In order to access these statistics, you are all kindly urged to get them from our website, from our offices or we encourage you all to download our Statistical Mobile Application in order to be up to date with statistics for development. It is free and once you have it on your phone you are statistically updated no matter where you find yourself. Our statistics are available for free and by using them, you can improve your decision making for whatever purpose. Let us use statistics for development.
*Iipumbu Sakaria is the Manager of Corporate Communication at the Namibia Statistics Agency.