Date set for 5th National Population and Housing Census

Updated: Aug 16, 2019


Minister for National Planning the Honorable Richard Maru (left) announcing the official census date to the media as the Census 2020 Director Mr. Bernard Kiele (Right) looks on.

PORT MORESBY, THURSDAY 2ND MAY 2019 --- Minister for National Planning, Hon Richard Maru, today announced that the date has been set for the 5th National Population and Housing Census.


The National Executive Council (NEC) in its Special Meeting No. 07/2019 held on 10 April 2019, approved for the National Statistical Office (NSO) to conduct the 5th National Population and Housing Census with Sunday 12th of July 2020 as the Census Date (Reference Night).


The Population and Housing Census besides the national elections is one of the most important national events in the calendar of the country conducted every ten years. Since 1980, four (4) full Censuses have been taken; 1980 Census, 1990 Census, 2000 Census and 2011 Census.


The conduct of the Population and Housing Census is a universal practice and adopted by many countries including Papua New Guinea as valuable source of population count and basic socio-economic data.


As stipulated under the Statistical Services Act 1980, Revised 1981, the NSO is required to regularly compile and disseminate timely and reliable statistics. These can in turn enable the Government and other relevant stakeholders to formulate policies and decisions that are well informed and evidence based.


The Population and Housing Censuses are conducted in compliance with set standards and in accordance with the UN’s Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses. PNG as member of the United Nation conforms to these UN standards.


The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will be the lead partner in the delivery of Census 2020, with the Census Director engaged by the UNFPA to head the Census 2020 supported by the National Deputy Census Director (NSO).


NSO will establish the Project Management Unit to provide full-time management and technical advisory support to itself to plan, coordinate and implement the Census project.

The Government is advocating a whole of Government approach in support of the Census by setting up the National Census Steering Committee chaired by the Secretary Department of National Planning and Monitoring. Other Census sub-committees including: Users Advisory Committee, Publicity Committee, Coordination and Security Committee and Logistics and Procurement Committee will be set up to assist NSO.


Similarly, Provincial Census Steering Committee will be set up to support the implementation of the Provincial Census operations.


These sub-committees will comprise of all the heads of relevant Government Departments, Statutory Organisations, Line Agencies, Donors/ Development Partners and Non-Government Organisations.


As the Census is a national event, the NEC has directed that all provincial governments and administrations, district governments and administrations, LLG presidents, ward councilors and ward recorders, assist with the costs and manpower requirement in undertaking all 2020 National Population and Housing Census phase activities from 2019 to 2020.


NSO is the national implementing agency and will be supported by the provincial census coordinators appointed by the provincial administration to coordinate the provincial census operations utilizing the provincial and local level government political and administrative structure.


Currently, inhouse NSO has set up the 2020 Census Office with the appointment of acting Census Director and recruitment of Census staff. Now NSO is finalizing operational plans and census collection instruments.


Given the importance of the Census as a national event, the Prime Minister will be launching the 2020 Census in the coming weeks.

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