7 Nov 2006

Solomon Islands gathers data on household income and spending

3:56 pm on 7 November 2006

The Solomon Islands has made major planning progress by gathering one of the first sets of comprehensive data to use in government planning since the ethnic tensions.

The household income and expenditure survey was carried out primarily to provide information to set up a national consumer price index as the current index is only for Honiara.

But the statistics deparment says this information has been carefully collected across all provinces and more than four thousand people were spoken to.

The chief statistician, Nick Gagahe, says the figures obtained in the 1999 census were distorted by the effects of the ethnic tensions, which prevented proper collecting of information in such areas as population figures:

"According to the census, it should be around 485 thousand people and that much is our assumption that there is under count in the census by fifty, sixty thousand. So with the population of 530 thousand now, I would say 534 or 35 thousand now with the survey I would say that's the population on the ground."

Mr Gagahe says a full set of figures on areas such as population will be gathered in the next census in 2009