Feature

Head count

The week's news at a glance.

Lagos, Nigeria

About 1 million census workers went door-to-door across Nigeria this week, attempting the first official count of Nigerians in decades. Census-taking is a politically fraught issue in the fractious country, as rival tribes in the Muslim north and the Christian south each seek to inflate their numbers to win a greater share of government resources. Every census since the 1960s has been canceled or rejected as flawed. The government hopes that this year’s survey, which omits questions about ethnicity and religion, won’t be so contentious. “I wish to stress once again that census-taking is not politics and should therefore not be a contest for political supremacy,” said President Olusegun Obasanjo. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, with between 120 million and 150 million residents.

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