Kosovo Census - Unexpected Results
PRISTINA, KOSOVO – Not even 2 million people are living in Kosovo. After the registration of 98 percent of the resident population, first figures - spread by press and broadcasting media - say that about 1,8 million persons were counted. This is significantly lower than expected. Preliminary figures reveal that the population of Kosovo’s capital city Pristina counts around 250 thousand inhabitants instead of estimated 500-600 thousand. Even considering those who are living in Prishtina due to their jobs or studies, but remaining registered as citizens of their hometowns, the results will not be without impact: With only 1/3 of the estimated population remaining in Prishtina, financial grants are expected to be downsized accordingly.
Further on the census shows a demographical structure, which is clearly different to former believes: 200 thousand persons counted above the age of 64 years equal a share of 11 percent pensioners, which is almost twice as high than beforehand assumed by the Statistical Office Kosovo and further sources.
According to current outcomes of the census, in addition to the resident population, more than 700 thousand Kosovars are living abroad. Ongoing immigration is seen as a key factor for the unexpected results.
The census for sure was not implemented without shortcomings referring to the boycott of the Serb population, possible registration mistakes, wrong answers, hesitations and regional disparities as to incomplete procedures of municipal registration offices. Nevertheless, regardless some aspects, which require biasing the results, already these preliminary figures are expected to cause tremendous changes regarding political planning and policy implementation:
"Now everything is debatable, including the figures of unemployment and poverty - and every segment of life of the citizens of Kosovo", says Safet Gërxhaliu, head of the Kosovar chamber of commerce.
Official results of the census are said to be available in June 2011. The complete report will be published in December 2013.
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