1 Sep 2004

Census begins in New Caledonia

10:19 am on 1 September 2004

Officials in New Caledonia have begun a census in the French territory.

The operation, started yesterday, is expected to last most of September

The Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper reports there are 5-hundred and fifty census-takers, who have to seek out all residences in their assigned areas.

Each family will have to fill out two questionnaires. The first concerns identity, family situation, level of education and profession.

The second concerns their residence, the number of rooms and the method of construction.

Gabriel Gamblin, the head of Insee, the organisation carrying out the census, says it'll take about fifteen minutes on average to interview a family of four or five people.

Ethnic Kanaks have threatened to boycott the census because it doesn't ask a question about their ethnic identity.