Feedback on 2012 Census: an invitation to a public debate and discussion

The Census of Population and Housing, an official count of the population in Sri Lanka was held on the 26th March 2012 after a period of 30 years, covering all districts in the island. The 2012 census was a far more detailed one than the ones held in previous years and sought to obtain, from each citizen and each household, information beyond the basic demographic details. This included information about internal migration, education and occupation details, information about housing units, literacy and disabilities of individuals, ownership of electronic items, access to internet etc – making the final report and data set a valuable source of information not only for the Government, but also for academics, researchers and those working in the development sector. The enumeration stage, which was during 27th February – 21st March 2012, has now been concluded and every single household in Sri Lanka should have shared the relevant information with the census data collectors by now. 
 Feedback on 2012 Census is an initiative by Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives in Colombo, which invites the general public to share their opinion about the 2012 census. We start off with 4 key questions:

The site for this initiative – – allows people to share their feedback about the census and engage with the discussions also by commenting on the responses of others. Feedback is welcomed in Sinhala, Tamil & English, and requires no prior registration. The census questionnaire, which has been made available on the Department of Census and Statistics website, is also accessible on the site for those who wish to read through it before sharing their comments. Those who wish to share their feedback directly can do so by emailing Iromi Perera at

We hope this initiative will generate robust debate and discussion anchored to the content and execution of the census. Comments will feed into a report that captures the opinions of Sri Lankans about positive and negative aspects of the census, and will be available for download on this site.

###   Social Indicator (SI) is the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and was established in September 1999, filling a longstanding vacuum for a permanent, professional and independent polling facility in Sri Lanka on social and political issues.  Driven by the strong belief that polling is an instrument that empowers democracy, SI has been conducting polls on a large range of socio‐economic and political issues since its inception.

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