North Korea says it will conduct a census next month that is believed to be the impoverished nation's first in 15 years.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency says tens of thousands of census takers will be mobilized for the face-to-face survey scheduled for Oct. 1-15.

It says the survey will collect information about dozens of social and economic indicators.

The census is believed to be the reclusive country's first since 1993.

The official agency's 2007 yearbook says North Korea's population was 23.6 million in 2004, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

Source: International Herald Tribune