(CNN) -- Togo's government Tuesday released provisional results of its first census in 29 years, taken in November.
Provisional results put the West African country's population at 5,753,324, more than twice the population in 1981, and show an annual population growth rate of 2.6%. The results show the population is 49% male, 51% female, and that one of four Togolese lives in the capital city, Lome, said Dédé Ahoefa Ekoué, Togo's minister for planning and development.
Togo's failure to hold a census for the past 29 years violates the United Nations Development Program directive to hold a national count every 10 years and has affected the nation's economic planning, U.N. officials said.
But Ekoué said the present results would help correct imbalances in economic growth.
"Knowing the exact number of our population will now help us set up better education and health policies according to Millennium Development Goals to which we are committed. We need to have good data to formulate policies that are in line with the reality of the population in terms of urbanization. ... We need to know the population in the cities, because based on that we will know how to plan," she said.
But the census results will "also be useful for elections" purposes as Togo prepares to hold parliamentary elections next year. Opposition leaders have protested past presidential and parliamentary elections, suggesting that unreliable electoral rolls enabled the ruling RPT to rig elections.