Ethiopia began a nine-day national census on 29 May to determine demographic trends in the country, but the exercise was delayed in Afar and Somali, officials said.
"Due to the mobility of their populations, the census does not include the Somali and Afar regional state," Gebeyehu Abelti, acting deputy director-general of Demographic and Social Statistics Sector at the Central Statistics Agency said. "The census will be carried out [in the two regions] in November."
The northern Afar region is a remote, hot and arid area, while the eastern Somali region, which hosts a large nomadic Somali population, is far away from the capital of Addis Ababa. In 2005, it experienced flooding after the Shebelle River burst its banks, leaving up to 100 people dead.
The census, which began after a two-year delay, will be conducted in seven regional states and two city administrations (Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa) by 81,024 enumerators, plus thousands of primary school teachers.
Ethiopia conducted its first census in 1984 and the second 10 years later. The third national census is costing US$45.7 million, but an additional $13.1 million is needed for the Afar and Somali regional state.
"The findings will be released to the public after the October census in Afar and Somali," said Yehualashet Mekonnen, technical officer for the Addis Ababa census commission.
According to government statistics, Ethiopia has an estimated population of 77.1 people, of whom 64 million live in rural areas.