TASHKENT-Uzbekistan will hold its first census in 2022 since it became independent in 1991, according to a presidential decree published on Wednesday.

The decree approves the concept of conducting a census, which is guided by the United Nations (UN) resolution on "Principles and Recommendations for the 2020 Population and Housing Censuses."

The UN urges member states to conduct at least one population and housing census as part of the 2020 World Population and Housing Census Program, taking into account international and regional recommendations related to population and housing censuses.

"Reliable information about the population of the Republic of Uzbekistan and its welfare is the most important basis for developing long-term forecasts and state target programs for socio-economic development," said the decree.

It will help develop state programs to create new jobs and provide employment for the population, form the indicators of the national Sustainable Development Goals, as well as studying the allocation and use of labor, and the implementation of scientific research, according to the document.

The changes that have taken place in the country in the past years "radically affected the population, gender and age structure ... and other socio-demographic characteristics, and significantly restricts the use of existing data from the current population census," the presidential decree said.

Since independence, no census has been conducted in the Central Asia's most populous country with about 33 million people. The last census was held in 1989 when Uzbekistan was a former Soviet republic.