Rwanda: National Census Set for August Next Year

The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) is readying for next year's national population and housing census, officials have said.

Key pre-census operations which involve preparatory activities, census mapping and pilot census, it is noted, will be wrapped up this year.

Venant Habarugira, the Director of the Census Department at NISR, told The New Times that: "The 2022 Population and Housing Census is planned in August 2022. We are now completing the census mapping by June 2021."

Census mapping, he explained, involves things such as drawing village boundaries and counting the number of households in each village to help plan accordingly.

"Prior to the main census, we have a pilot census in August 2021 to test all materials and methodology to use in the main census," Habarugira said.

A pilot census is enumeration conducted in a sample, to test material to be used during the real exercise.

The sample will have 600 villages; at least one village in every sector in the country.

According to Habarugira, the national census will be conducted in a period of 15 days and each enumerator will handle around 150 households.

Use of technology

The previous one which put the population at 10.5 million was done in two weeks, in 2012.

The particularity of the 2022 census, he said, "is about the use of technology in all census operations" in replacement of paper questionnaires, to reduce the time between data collection and publication of census results.

The upcoming census will be the fifth to be conducted in Rwanda.

The first, in 1978, put the population at about 4.8 million.

The second was conducted in 1991, with the population rising to 7.1 million. The population growth rate between 1978 and 1991 was 3.1 percent.

The third census, in 2002, indicated that the population had grown to 8.1 million.

"The PHC (population and housing census) is the most important official statistics activity, very robust and complex statistical activity in terms of logistics: human and financial resources but also in its use."

The 2022 census will, among others, benchmark key development indicators in all sectors, and update the current size of the population of Rwanda and spatial distribution.

According to NISR, it will also update: the demographic, social, economic and cultural characteristics of the population of Rwanda; the level, structure and trends of fertility, mortality and migration; and indicators for particular groups of the population such as female, children, youth, elders, and disabled persons.

Characteristics of households, housing conditions and household welfare in Rwanda as well as an elaborate non-monetary poverty mapping of the country will also be the end result.

Habarugira said it will also provide: national and subnational population projections; a database providing information to the smallest administrative unit for policy of urban settlement; and clear details of the current boundaries of all administrative units and their geo-codes of the country.

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