Monday, April 9, 2012

Population statistic 2011

As expected, the full population statistics from the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) for the year 2011 (2554) has become online. The main index page wasn't yet updated, so it can only be found right now in case one guesses the URL - or follows the links in this post.

However, unlike previous years the data has quite a lot of problems. The most obvious one is that the new province Bueng Kan is missing - while listed in the index page with a population of 407,634, but the pages with the district and subdistrict data are still 404. The other big problem is the big number of strange subdistrict entries. Already in past years, there were occasional subdistricts with one or two citizen added in a municipality where they actually should be found, something that in past I had interpreted as a municipal border not exactly identical with the subdistrict boundaries. However, this year a total of 33 such entries were so much wrong that my algorithm could not parse them anymore. To give a few examples
  • In Bangkok, Bang Na subdistrict (แขวงบางนา) is additionally to its correct data within Bang Na district, one male in one household is found in Bang Na subdistrict in Phra Khanong district - the district which in past contained Bang Na subdistrict (see here).
  • In Fao Rai district of Nong Khai province, the subdistrict Kut Bong (ตำบลกุดบง) is listed with a single unpopulated household, whereas Fao Rai subdistrict (ตำบลเฝ้าไร่) has 1220 citizen in just 2 households. But in fact, all of Fao Rai subdistrict belongs to Fao Rai subdistrict municipality (เทศบาลตำบลเฝ้าไร่) listed one page later, and Kut Bong is actually in Phon Phisai district (see here). Whereas Kut Bong must be wrong, the Fao Rai case may be real, as it also found in the 2010 data - maybe the two households are military barracks, which are not under the jurisdiction of the municipality.
  • In Chai Prakan district, Chiang Mai province, the subdistrict Nong Bua is listed twice, once marked with an asterisk and one unpopulated household, and a second time with the actual population. Additionally, a single unpopulated household is listed under Wiang subdistrict, which isn't within Chai Prakan at all (see here).
Except the Fao Rai case (which also made no problems for my parsing algorithm), all these strange entries must be bogus. I have not much hope it will create any reaction if I send an email with the above questions to DOPA, I guess I nevertheless should give it a try, at least to get the data for Bueng Kan.

The data for Bueng Kan showed up one day after this posting - wonder if that was a coincidence or if I have a reader within DOPA who called the right official?

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