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Constitution & Conflict Resolution

Population census includes questions on ethnic, racial, linguistic, religious lines,
etc. The release of total population by ethnic/religious groups may touch sensitive
controversial issues in the post-confl ict countries because census results can directly
aff ect the distribution of power and the allocation of public goods. The timing of the
census may follow ethnic/religious tensions. In this situations, censuses come aft er
ethnic/religious confrontations of serious consequences take place. Aft er confl icts the
society is frequently divided along political, ethnic, regional or other lines; in such
situations statistical data may assume political connotations. Sometimes the census
results are expected to be available within very tight time schedules for decision
making, raising additional demands on data processing and dissemination.
The Republic of Macedonia is a country with a substantial non-majority population,
which the question of number has excessive importance on account of the problematic
nature of state structures and because national, or ethnic groups are competing for
the political, material and symbolic resources linked to control of the state. Since the
independence of the country, the methodology and the politicization of the census
became the main problem. On the other hand as evidenced by the census in 2002,
census crisis and confl icts increase the importance of quality data.