Thousands of enumerators accompanied by some 175,000 army personnel began the enormous, politically charged count today. The weeks-long process will deploy a team of more than 300,000 people and involve 55 million forms — as well as a second, separate form distributed by the military.
The first census in the country was conducted in 1951, the second in 1961, the third in 1972, instead of 1971 due to political turmoil, and the fourth in 1981. The fifth census, which was due in 1991, was conducted in March 1998 with the help of the army.
Under the constitution, the government is bound to conduct a census every 10 years.