Estimation of Basic Demographic Parameters and An Assessment of the Afghanistan Census of 1979

by Mohtasham Shalikar, Master of Arts in Demography (1983)

In this paper the accuracy of the information obtained in the First Population Census of Afghanistan (1979) is evaluated and certain basic demographic parameters are derived. In the absence of relevant data from other sources the calculation of certain standard measures which will provide information on the approximate decree of reliability of the reported data is attempted. In addition, internal consistency checks are used to shed more light on the subject.

Taking into consideration the types of errors found in the reported data, specific techniques are applied to derive independent estimates regarding various demographic aspects of the Afghan population. Such estimates include the size of the Afghanistan “settled” population, its sex-age structure, marital composition and summary as well as specific measures of fertility and mortality.

The purposes of deriving these independent estimates are first, to serve as a source of information for evaluating the quality of data as reported in the census; and second, to provide certain statistics regarding basic demographic parameters. It is hoped that the findings of this study would meet the critical need for demographic information on the country and would yield some policy implications.