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The President of Sierra Leone on March 31, 2016 formally launched the Provisional Results of the Sierra Leone 2015 Population and Housing Census at the Miatta Conference Hall, Youyi Building, Freetown.

President Ernest Bai Koroma said Sierra Leone has come a long way in this journey, in providing the baseline data that will continue to serve as a reference point for Sierra Leone’s development planning.

He described the launch of the provisional results as part of the process of publication and dissemination, and a continuation of a long journey in Sierra Leone’s development trajectories.

‘By all indications, the 2015 Census has been the most comprehensive data collection exercise ever undertaken in our country’s history’, he said.

President Koroma commended Statistics Sierra Leone for the hard work and the people of Sierra Leone for the overwhelming interest and extraordinary participation in the process.

He applauded all international partners, including, UNFPA, DFID, IRISH AID, UK AID and UNDP for their overwhelming support in the census process.

The President said Government whole-heartedly accepts the provisional figures.

‘We believe that the figures give us an indication of the country’s development needs and challenges; we get a pointer to how far we have come, how many of our compatriots are being left behind, in what areas and what we should do to bridge the gaps in order to bring many more on board our unstoppable journey to prosperity’.

Making his remarks at the ceremony, the UNFPA Officer-in-Charge, Dr Sennen Hounton expressed delight to be part of the event, as UNFPA has been working closely with SSL and other partners, notably DFID, Irish Aid and UNDP to ensure a very credible and acceptable census outcome.

Dr Hounton seized the opportunity to congratulate the President and the Government and People of Sierra Leone and all stakeholders, including development partners, for what he described as a ‘sustainable development investment’.

‘I stand here today as a proud African to participate in the first ever release of the census provisional results conducted during a major and unprecedented Ebola outbreak’, he said.

The process which has been given a pass by onternational monitors, was commended by the UN Resident Coordinator and other speakers.

The results, indicates an increase in the overall population by over 42%, with Western Area Urban standing out as the most highly populated administrative district, followed by Port Loko districts.

The data indicates that the population grew from 4,976,871 in 2004 to 7,075,641 in 2015, registering an average annual growth rate of 3.2 percent. Males represented 49.1% of the total population, females 50.9%.

The national census, conducted in December 2015, is the second post-war enumeration exercise conducted by the Government of Sierra Leone with financial and technical support from UNFPA and partners.

The final results of the census will be released in December.