Census, Identity, and the Politics of Numbers: the Case of Macedonia

By: 
  • Roska Vrgova
A census is a statistical procedure which can provide detailed information on demographic characteristics including the fluidity (or stability) of identities with which a population identifies in a given period of time. A census also represents a political process which can play an essential role in ethnic politics, especially when power is distributed on the basis of numbers. As such, censuses often have results that are contested, and the case of Macedonia is no exception. This article provides an overview of the census taking processes in the years following Macedonia’s independence in 1991, the dynamics and the challenges of the process itself and implementation of the results, and potential implications for the creation of identities.