There is concern in Papua New Guinea that delaying the census by a year will affect preparations for the 2012 general elections.
The census, due to begin in two weeks, is being deferred because of logistical problems such as difficulties in releasing funds and lack of preparation.
The Director of PNG's Institute of National Affairs Paul Barker says the census is now likely next year, which will impact on preparations for the elections the year thereafter.
"At this stage there are a number of reforms that need to be made for those elections. There's a little bit of uncertainty exactly what will be pushed through in terms of those reforms because there are two new provinces being planned."
Paul Barker says although a 2010 census is preferred, the key factor is that it's carried out in a correct manner.