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Dili, July 18, 2022 – As the world population is projected to hit 8 billion people on November 15 this year, it also calls for better preparation to ensure the needs of youths and other marginalized communities are addressed.

The first digitalized Population and Housing Census in Timor-Leste, to be conducted from September 4, offers a great opportunity for development planning for the island nation with one of the most youthful populations in Southeast Asia.

The census will generate critical data to aid in planning and implementation of development projects, and also aid in updating statistical information on demographic, economic and social characteristics of the population.

Speaking in an event to mark the World Population Day at Peace University (Universidade da Paz) in Dili, Mr. Cesar Martins, Principal Advisor, Vice Minister of Finance noted that data shows that the Timor-Leste population is youthful with one of the highest fertility rates in the region.  

“Timor-Leste’s population is currently in transitioning phase. We have a great opportunity to reap the benefits of demographic dividend -- but it can only be achieved if we have good plans and policies in place to avoid huge challenges in economic growth and development for our country,” said Mr. Cesar Martins.

UNFPA continues to provide technical and financial support to the Government of Timor-Leste to ensure that 2022 census is of high quality, credible, uphold international principles and standards, and produce data that are widely disseminated and utilized to support the development of the country.

In her opening remarks during a public lecture to mark World Population Day in Timor-Leste themed: “A world of 8 billion: Towards a resilient future; the youth bulge in Timor-Leste: challenges and opportunities”, Dr. Domingas Bernardo, UNFPA Assistant Country Representative in Timor-Leste, opined that the World Population Day is an excellent opportunity to celebrate human progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) -- despite the many challenges the world is facing.

“It is an important occasion to refocus our attention on urgent population issues. While we focus on the numbers, we must also look beyond the numbers to ensure rights and choices for all.

“Poor maternal health is experienced more in marginalized communities, therefore deepening inequalities and threatening to set us back in our efforts to leave no one behind. We must pay close attention to demographic diversity within the population growth like the youth bulge in Timor-Leste,” added Dr. Domingas Bernardo.

Director General of the General Directorate of Statistics (GDS) in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Elias dos Santos Ferreira, in his closing remarks thanked the government, UNFPA and other development partners for their financial and technical support in the census.

“The Government has set aside USD 3 million to support the census exercises in readiness for the 2022 Population and Housing Census.

“For the first time in our census, we will utilize computer assisted personal interviews (CAPI) -- incorporating the use of questionnaires administered via hand held electronic devices during face-to-face interviews," said Mr. Elias dos Santos Ferreira.

“We would like to particularly thank UNFPA for their continued technical assistance to GDS to conduct census since 2004 when the first census was held in Timor-Leste. We also appeal to all Timorese to turn-out in large numbers to be counted and co-operate with the field staff for a successful enumeration process.”

For more information, contact:


Suleiman Okoth

Communications and Programme Support Specialist

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Timor-Leste

UN House, Caicoli Street

Dili, Timor-Leste

Mobile: +670 75169796

WhatsApp: +254 780534026