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The Census Mapping Unit has compiled this atlas to illustrate demographic patterns and trends revealed in the data collected for Timor-Leste's 2004 population and housing census. The material is presented in a series of 23 thematic plates which are organized into 6 parts - Physical and Administrative Structure, General Population Characteristics, Age Structure, Economy and Employment, Language and Education, and Fertility and Mortality. Each plate contains maps, tables, charts and explanatory text on a specific demographic topic. Although most of the information presented here is derived from data collected for the 2004 census, in some cases we used data from other sources to make comparisons or to illustrate changes over time.
The census generated so much data that it would be impossible to present all of it in a publication of this kind. The maps, tables and charts presented in this atlas therefore show only a selection of the most important trends and geographic patterns in the demographics of Timor-Leste. The maps in particular are useful in this regard because they often reveal patterns that are not so easily discernable in tables or with sophisticated statistical methods. Because each of the graphics in this atlas offers just one way to view the data from the census, we have included the tables of the source data behind the maps and charts in each plate so that the data can be viewed in other ways as well.
It is important to emphasize that our purpose with this atlas is not just to present geographic and demographic information; our intention is to raise important issues about relationships among demographic, economic, social and cultural characteristics, issues we feel Timor-Leste's development planners and policy makers will want to consider and address. The atlas does not attempt to answer all the questions it asks or address all the issues it raises - it merely puts them on the table as topics for further discussion and research. We hope that Timor-Leste's development community - the government, the donors, the NGOs and the people - will use the information presented here to help them investigate and address demographic issues that have a significant bearing on the future of their country.
This publication should be recognized as one small group's interpretation of some of the data collected in Timor-Leste's 2004 population and housing census. No doubt some of the material will be controversial - indeed, it is our intention to catch peoples' attention, raise awareness of demographic issues and, hopefully, stimulate debate and analysis. This is not the atlas of Timor-Leste's 2004 census, it is an atlas of Timor-Leste's 2004 census. We hope you find it useful, informative and stimulating, but most of all we hope you enjoy reading it.
Dili, September 2006
Census Mapping Team