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Jordan Launches Computerized Census, First in 11 Years

  • Associated Press

FILE - This handout picture taken on Jan. 22, 2014, and released on Aug. 29, 2014, shows Syrian refugees who stream across the border into Jordan at a remote border point in the east.

FILE - This handout picture taken on Jan. 22, 2014, and released on Aug. 29, 2014, shows Syrian refugees who stream across the border into Jordan at a remote border point in the east.

Jordan has launched a national census to provide greater clarity about a population that includes large numbers of Syrian refugees and foreign workers.

Some 21,000 field researchers began visiting homes Monday, for the first time using electronic tablets for data entry. Official results will be released in February.

One key figure will be the number of Syrian refugees, which will help determine how much foreign aid Jordan can request.

The U.N. refugee agency says some 628,000 registered refugees are in Jordan, but growing numbers have left regional host countries for Europe.

Planning Minister Imad Fakhoury says the government, using social media, has assured unregistered refugees and foreign workers that they will not face repercussions when participating in the census.

A 2004 census counted 5.1 million people living in Jordan.

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