All You Need to Know About the Upcoming National Census

They walk around from house to house and mark your gate once they are done. However, many questions arise from this exercise.

What for? Who benefits? Where do they take the results? How sure are they about their results?

This article will delve into the National census activity and the changes that will be in this years census.

1. What is a Census?

A population census is the total count of a population at a specified time within a country’s boundary or in a well delineated part of a country.

2. When will the next census be conducted?
Kenya’s next census will be conducted in August 2019 from the night of 24th/25th to 31st August, 2019.

3. Who will be counted?
All persons who will be found within Kenya’s boundaries on the night of 24th/25th August, 2019 will be counted regardless of whether they are visitors or not.

4. Who takes lead in implementation of Census in Kenya?
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, as part of its mandate, spearheads the undertaking of the Census on behalf of the government through, an Act of parliament and a gazetted legal notice. This is done in collaboration with different Ministries, Departments, Agencies, learning institutions private sector and development partners.

5. Who is Kenya National Bureau of Statistics?
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) is the principal Government agency responsible for collection, compilation, analysis, publication and dissemination of official statistical information and is the custodian of official statistical information.

6. Why conduct a census?
Census is the primary source of reliable and detailed data on the size, distribution and composition of the population in the country at a specified time. The information collected during census when analyzed gives an accurate picture of how many people are living in the country/county at every administrative level and their living conditions as well as access to basic services. This will inform planners on the social services people require such as education, healthcare, housing, and transport. The data is also vital for monitoring internationally and locally agreed-upon agenda such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Vision 2030, the Big Four Agenda etc.

7. What is new about 2019 Census?

The 2019 Census will be administered using computer-aided personal interviewing (CAPI) technique. A tablet will be used to capture the information directly for better accuracy and faster processing of the data. The Bureau has adhered to international guidelines which advocate for the values of professionalism, transparency, accountability, and integrity required of statistical systems in maintaining credibility and public confidence.

8. Who will answer questions in the census questionnaire?
The questions in the questionnaire will be answered by the household head or any other responsible member of the household who can provide the required information about all those who spent the night of 24th/25th August in the household at the time of the interview.

ALSO READ: Two Universities Named to Take Part In Kenya Census

9. Why do I have to participate in Census 2019?
Census data is used for planning purposes. If you do not participate, the data collected will not be a true reflection of the Kenyan population. The Government as well as private sector needs accurate information for effective planning and policy formulation.

10. How do I know that the person at my door is from KNBS?
KNBS enumerators will be identified as follows:
a) A branded reflector jacket with the Census and KNBS logos
b) Identification documents provided by KNBS
c) The enumerators will be accompanied by village elders or persons known by the residents who will introduce them to the household

Image result for census KENYA
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Director General Zachary Mwangi addressing Imara Daima residents on Friday 24th June 2019

11. How will you make sure I am counted?

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has been conducting cartographic mapping since 2016 where the whole country and existing homesteads and households in the villages are mapped. This will be used to create Enumeration Areas (EAs), each with its map for all villages in the entire country. Each enumerator will be assigned an EA with clear boundaries to guide him/her to ensure total coverage, with no omission or duplication. After your household has been visited a number will be written at a secure place in your household such as the top corner of the door to indicate that counting has taken place in the household.

12. What will show that a household has been enumerated?
After enumeration, the officials will write a number on the door or any visible place on the structure to indicate that counting has been conducted in the household. PLEASE DO NOT ERASE THE NUMBER.

13. Do I need to show any documents to the enumerator? 
The enumerator will take down all particulars as given by you. In case you are not sure of some information (e.g. age) you may check your documents to confirm and provide accurate information.

14. Will I be enumerated if I am in a hotel or on transit on Census night? 

Yes, you will be enumerated irrespective of where you will be on the census night provided you are within the borders of Kenya. There are five different questionnaires that will be used during enumeration. One main questionnaire and four short ones. The main questionnaire will be used to enumerate persons in conventional households; the short questionnaires will be used to enumerate people who are on transit (e.g. at airports, bus stops, etc.), those in institutions (e.g. schools, prisons, hotels etc.), outdoor sleepers and emigrants.

15. If on the night of the 24th/25th August, I am out of the country, will I be counted?
No. KNBS conducts a de facto census, which means that people will be counted depending on where they will be on the night of 24th/25th August. Anyone who was in the country before midnight of 24th/25th August will be counted; anyone who enters the country after the 24/25th August 2019 will not.
However, a short questionnaire on emigrants will be used to collect information in households that have had emigrants in the last 15 years. Their information will be provided by the head of the household and responsible member of the household.

Do you have any other questions about the Kenya National Census? Click here for more information.


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