YOGYAKARTA- Population census (SP 2010) was held in May 2010. It is the sixth census after Indonesia’s independence. Previous censuses were conducted in 1961, 1971, 1980, and 2000. Census was also done during the Dutch East Indies Government in 1920 and 1930. The importance of the census is to renew the basis of demographic data, including demographic parameter, the main base of population projection for year 2010 and 2020, the source of data for targeting program (scholarships, the elderly, housing assistance, etc.). "Besides, it also seerves as the basic data for all departments/agencies to make policies, programs and targets in the future," said Dr. Hamonangan Ritonga, Director of Census and Survey Methodology Development Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) at the Public Lecture of Master Program of Policy Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) on Thursday (21/10).
Hamonangan added that even though the result cannot be 100% perfect, it covers more points. Moreover, there are more variables used, which is 43, ranging from literacy, births or deaths a year ago, to the use of fuel for cooking, as well as ownership of communication facilities, such as telephone. "The data was not 100% perfect, but we were sure that there was not much of sampling error, because we used more variables," he added.
It was found this year that the total of Indonesian population is 237.6 million (1.49% of population growth) or higher than the national projection rate which is 1.34% or about 234 million. This is the question, what is wrong with this condition? Has BKKBN gone wrong in implementing family planning program or has it been the success of Ministry of Health to improve life and health of Indonesian people?
The result of population census can also be used to assess the implication of development policies, such as those in the sectors of food resilience, employment, poverty, environment, healthcare to education.
In the food resilience sector, the population issue has become a threat because of the decline in production due to conversion of land area (0.1% each year). Meanwhile, farming is the main occupation of 40% of Indonesia’s population (42.82 million), whereas the number of poor people is still high at about 31 million with 19% living in the village, and 11% in the city. "Our agricultural production seems to be a surplus, but why do we still import rice? The uncontrolled population growth is also a problem," he said.
The census is also associated with employment problem. Employment opportunity in the formal sector is getting more limited with high labor force growth. On the other hand, total unemployment remains high at around 8%. But unfortunately, outsourcing is still accommodated by the government. In fact, this policy is considered harmful to the workers. "It means with the increase in the number of unemployed or informal workers who are actually still unemployed, the government or the private sector must be ready to create more jobs," Hamonangan added.