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Cameroon 2005 Census results: smack of diabolic geo-political planning

April 16, 2010

By Aloysius AGENDIA

When I wrote that a war of figures was ongoing in Cameroon with respect to the recent “release” of controversial statistics concerning the number of ghost civil servants in the public service, little did I know the time bomb in the war was yet to explode. The Cameroon government on April 12 released the result of the 2005 national population and housing census that puts the number of people in Cameroon at 19.4 million as of January 2010. According to the statistics, 50.5% of the population are women.  Equally, 52% of the population live in urban areas.  Though the total estimate of the population may not be of much worry to average Cameroonians, the various regional projections smack of government’s total dishonesty, bad intent, incompetence and diabolic geo-strategic calculations, pending imminent changes in the National Assembly as well as the distribution of senatorial seats. Look at the following table and read the follow-up analysis.



(Parliamentary seats  as of 1987 census)

Population Projection


Population Projection


Population Projection


1987-2010 Growth Rate


Adamawa (10)









Center (28)







East (11)






Far North (29)







Littoral (19)





Drastically  reduced

North (12)







Northwest (20)





Terribly reduced

West (25)





Drastically reduced

South (11)







Southwest  (15)






Drastically reduced

10 Regions

180 M.Ps








Writing in one of the Cameroonian forum, demographer Dr Sam Lamlenn, does not only question the unconventional style in which the results were released; after 5 years which in actual fact, were supposed to be disclosed in a range of 3 to 12 months. He goes further to write “My next major worry is with the figure that has been provided for 2005 - 19,406,100 persons. When I compare with the figure of 10,493,655 released for the 1987 census, I have an annual growth rate of 3.3%! That is far unreasonable for a country whose previous growth rate was 2.1%.”

 He further questions “What happened? Have we been producing more children so rapidly at home? Or did so many persons from neighbouring countries come into Cameroon? One has the impression we are rather living an exodus”

Ironically, speaking in state owned Cameroon Tribune, the UN Resident Representative of United Nations Population Fund, described the result as “prove of scientific rigour and unreserved professionalism”. What we doubt is how the UN representative got to make a such a blatant statement.


Though section 2 of Law No 91-020 of 16 December 1991 provides for 180 seats in parliament as decided by the national assembly, Law No 92/013 of January 15, 1992 gives the president the prerogative to allocate number of seats per division. This certainly accounts for why divisions with higher population have less MPs.  Mezam Division alone in the Northwest region for example had over 400.000 people but was allocated only 5 MPs while the whole of South Region with just 370.000 people as of 1987 census, was allocated11 parliamentary seats. It is exactly the same scenario that we are about to witness. 

An analysis of the data shows a disturbing discrepancy between the population projection presented in 2007 and what the government released in April 2010. Any a comparison with the 2010 estimates and 1987, show a frightening growth rate. The questions one is tempted to ask are; what is the death rate and birth rate in each region, what is the number of number migrating to other regions. The government cannot hinge on certainly any kind of exodus to explain the above figures.

How comes that Douala, the Economic capital of Cameroon is less populated than  Yaoundé in Centre and or Maroua in  Far North when actually, times have even become harder and more people seem to have moved to the economic capital  in search of jobs. What happened of the population of the West Region, traditionally notoriously for the high birth-rate?

It is on basis of the population and its distribution that parliamentary seats are distributed in Cameroon. Obviously, we know the role of the legislative in the functioning of any society. It on basis of the population allocation and demographics that budgets are allocated in various region and projects carried out. In fact, it is basis on census that real planning can be done.

The government persistently gloss over in the presentation of statistics and the culture of corruption and manipulation ingrained in our society. The conclusion seems to be simple. Littoral, West, Southwest and Northwest regions are the areas where the "winnings" of government have been very unconvincing. There is therefore every reason to reduce the population of these areas ahead of diabolic political agenda in 2011. The sad thing is that such unscientific presentation of result will only go a long way to hinder development planning in the whole country with devastating long-term consequences.

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Thanks for graphically exposing the discrepancies that have been troubling me. The figures for the Far North and the Centre have looked suspicious when compared to that of Littoral. The populations of the NW and SW regions also looked smaller than they should be.

Those results are accurate. On the contrary, the populations of the North and South west Regions were errorneously bloated because HIV-AIds has wiped out a good portion.

We are very fair in our conduct of government business.

Alain Dipoko:

HIV-Aid wiped out your mother's filthy arse!

What the meaning of the word 'bloated'?

La Republique is the one with the highest HIV/AIDS especially amongst La Republiques Gay Partners including Paul Biya.

I am aghast and greatly disturbed by the kind of distortion put in place by the regime in place in the just released Population census. When shall Cameroon ever release facts as they are are without doctoring them. I feel frightened by this kind of gestapo regimem Cameroon has in a world where democracy and trasparency has become the order of the day.

It is regrettable that in this era of CIT it takes 5 years for the results of a National census to be released. In April 1976 the 1st Population and Housing census was conducted in Cameroon and it took quite a short it me for the results to be released even at the time with lots of manual operations. Everything seems to be wrong with the figures released on14-4-2010. Whom are we deceiving . Where does our posterity lie. Let the authorities in place bring out the true results.

Nonsence to the so called Alain Dipoko. how can u say in a forum like this that HIV wiped put a portion of NW and SW. Is HIV only looking at these regions.Nonsence u idiot. You shld have said Paul Biya killed many people in NW during the strike of 2008. Rubbish if u don;t have something to say you should keep quiet

Alain Dipoko is a stupit and useless creature.What sought of statement is that? One day the sun will rise. I dont blame you for selling your conscience. Useless dog from La Republique.

A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. (to be taken every 10 years according to United Nations recommendations). Can we expect accuracy by disrespecting basic norms and publishing results 5 years after a census is conducted?Even a fool can guess the answer.

Nonsense called census results. I was living in the heart of the capital city during the so-called census but no one bothered to count me and mark you, eight of us were living in the house and nobody was counted. So what accuracy are they talking about?