Whv is there a need for a National Population and Housing Census?

A National Population and Housing Census provides answers to questions like:

  • How many people do we have in the country?

  • How many of them are men and how many are women?

  • How many are married?

  • How many are children, how many are boys and how many are girls?

  • What are their ages, how many are going to school and how many are not going to school?

  • How many people are citizens and how many are not?

  • What do people do for a living, how many live by farming, fishing or hunting?

  • Do people sell their garden produce or fish, chicken or other animals for money?

  • Do they grow cash crops such as coffee, cocoa and coconut?

  • What church or religion do people belong to?

  • What language can people speak, write, read with understanding?

  • What kind of housing do people live in, and do they own them?

How is the Census organised?

The National Statistical Office (NSO) is the mandated agency responsible for the conduct of national censuses and surveys in the country. The NSO will work very closely with all the provincial Departments/Governments who are the main users of the Census information to conduct the census. The information collected will show areas where proper services are lacking and that will help Provincial and District level planners to plan for improvements in those areas.

History of Population Censuses in Papua New Guinea

  • 1966, only a sample were selected as a basis for estimating the size of the whole population under the colonial, old kiap system
  • 1971, a similar census was conducted as in 1966
  • 1980, the first attempt to count the whole population after the Independence. The population was 3 million.
  • 1990, used as a longer list of questions to meet the growing demand for more census information. The population rose to 3.8 million.
  • 2000, covered the whole country and used more questions to collect much more information about the people. The total population was 5.2 million.
  • 2010/2011, was crucial to the Government as it needed the information to serve its developmental plan such as Vision 2050, national Development Strategy, National Health Plan, National Education Plan, National Agriculture Plan and many others.

The population has then increased to 7.1 million in the 2011 census.

What power does the interviewer have to get information from the people?

There is a law that covers the census workers. This law is called the Statistical Services Act 1980 (amended 1981)

  • The interviewers are acting under instructions of the National Statistician who is being given the power under this law to conduct the census for the Government of PNG.
  • The interviewers are working under this law to ask people questions for information and without this information, the Government of PNG will not know how many people it has to plan for them.

What will happen to the information people give during the census?

  • All the information will be recorded on the census forms.
  • After every census form is completed for a particular area, these forms are packed and sent to the census headquarters in Port Moresby
  • In Port Moresby, all information is entered into the computers for data processing and analysis to produce statistical reports for planning.
  • Only the National Statistical Office staff will deal with the information and the forms are destroyed.
  • No individual information will appear on the statistical reposts.

Who are the main users of Census information?

  • The main users of the information are the National Government, Provincial and Local Level Governments. Decisions are made about the distribution of funds and resources to Local Level Government and wards by using information collected in the census.
  • This information helps Departments like Education and Health to plan for services such as schools and hospitals.
  • It will also help planners to plan to train enough teachers and health workers to teach school children and provide medical services to sick people.

The Census information will tell us...?

  • How has the country changed in the last 10 years?
  • Are there more people living than 10 years ago?
  • Where are the people living?

It is important for you to tell other people to know...?

  • What the Census is?
  • When it will happen?
  • Why it is important for the people?
  • And what they can do to help others understand the census better?