US embassy cable - 02TEGUCIGALPA2981

HONDURAS ISSUES 2001 CENSUS FIGURES; POPULATION TOPS 6.5 MILLION

Identifier: 02TEGUCIGALPA2981
Wikileaks: View 02TEGUCIGALPA2981 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Tegucigalpa
Created: 2002-10-29 20:40:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PGOV ELAB ECON SOCI PHUM HO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS TEGUCIGALPA 002981 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR EB, DRL/IL, WHA/PPC, WHA/EPSC, AND WHA/CEN 
STATE PASS AID FOR LAC/CEN 
DOL FOR ILAB 
DOL PASS BLS 
COMMERCE FOR CENSUS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV, ELAB, ECON, SOCI, PHUM, HO 
SUBJECT: HONDURAS ISSUES 2001 CENSUS FIGURES; POPULATION 
TOPS 6.5 MILLION 
 
1. (U) On October 18, National Institute of Statistics (INE) 
Director Magdalena Garcia presented the numbers from the 2001 
census to Acting President Vicente Williams.  The last census 
in Honduras was conducted in 1988 and INE utilized the 1988 
statistics during the presentation as a reference point for 
comparisons.  Projected numbers for 2015 were also featured. 
 (Note: The following statistics are the national average 
unless specified.  End Note.) 
 
2. (U) The population of Honduras is currently 6,535,344, up 
from 4,614,377 in 1988, with 44.8 percent of the people 
living in urban areas.  A growth rate of 2.64 percent per 
year (down from a 3.11 rate of growth in 1988) leads INE to 
estimate the population to reach approximately 8,958,301 in 
the year 2015.  Average life expectancy has increased from 65 
years in 1988 to 71 years in 2001. 
 
3. (U) To determine the poverty level, the definition of 
people with "unsatisfied basic necessities" was utilized. 
From this, INE determined that 65.5 percent are living in 
poverty while 47.4 percent are living in extreme poverty.  In 
the eastern department of Gracias a Dios on the Caribbean 
coast, almost 90 percent of the people are living at or below 
the poverty level.  Teenage mothers have increased in number 
from 20,113 in 1988 to 32,475 in 2001.  On the positive side, 
the literacy rate of persons 15 years old and above has 
jumped from 66 percent in 1988 to 80 percent in 2001. 
 
4. (U) Other census statistics are currently being processed 
and finalized.  For further information, refer to the INE 
website at http://www.ine.online.hn. 
 
5. (SBU) Comment: PolOffs previously met October 16 with 
Garcia to discuss Honduran statistical issues as they related 
to labor and human rights issues.  Garcia, who is  favorably 
known to Post and has a strong background as a statistician, 
was confident that the census figures were accurate.  This 
was despite the fact that the numbers were gathered by a 
temporary executive branch agency established solely for the 
census that left the raw data for INE to tabulate and 
analyze.  Garcia said she had been besieged by requests from 
congressmen for detailed census information and that she was 
determined to put everything on the Internet to have the 
information available to all (and to reduce requests on her 
relatively small staff).  INE also collaborates with the 
Honduran Central Bank on economic statistical issues.  End 
Comment. 
 
6. (U) Post will be sending septel in the coming month with a 
more detailed USAID analysis of the 2001 census, including 
more comparisons to the 1988 census. 
PIERCE 

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