Every 10 years, we have come together as a nation to be counted. This year’s census will be the sixth since Kenya’s independence. As we have always done, we will stand together on the night of 24th August 2019 to participate in this national and patriotic duty

Census 2019 Frequently Asked Questions

What’s a population census?

A population census is the process of counting all people in a country at a specified time. The process of capturing census information is referred to as enumeration. Census is the total process of collecting, compiling, evaluating, analysing, and publishing demographic, social, and/or economic data at a specified time, pertaining to all persons in a country or a well-defined part of a country.

Who will be counted during the Census?

All persons who will be within the borders of Kenya on the census night will be counted. This will include persons found in the households, outdoor sleepers, persons on transit, individuals in hotels and lodges, and institutions such as hospitals, prisons and army barracks among others.

How will the Census data be captured?

For the first time, all the data required for the Census will be captured electronically through a tablet computer. The questions are being loaded on to the gadget and the whole enumeration process will therefore be paperless. This guarantees that the data will be captured faster than has been the case during previous censuses. It also ensures that the data will be more secure and that the census results will be available sooner than was previously possible.

Is there confidentiality of the census data?

Yes. Census data is strictly confidential. All information collected is strictly for use by census officials. All census officials will swear an “Oath of Secrecy” as embodied in the Statistics Act 2006. The Oath forbids census officials from divulging the information collected to unauthorized persons. 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.

What will show that a household has been enumerated?

After enumeration, the officials will write a number on the door or at any visible place on the structure to indicate that counting has been conducted in the household. PLEASE DO NOT ERASE THE NUMBER. In the event that there is no structure, a structure numbering card will be issued to the household after enumeration.

How is the census data used for planning?

The 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 when analysed gives an accurate picture of how many people are living in the country, the distribution across every administrative level and their living conditions as well as access to basic services. This will inform planners on policy formulation and targeting of development plans.

At what time of the day will the census officer call at the household?

Counting of people will start on the night of 24th August 2019 and continue up to the 31st August 2019 when counting is scheduled to end. People will be counted with reference to where they spent the night of 24th/25th August 2019. This is referred to as the Census Reference Night.

How long will it take to complete an interview for a household?

It is expected that enumerators will spend about 30 minutes in each house, though this may be shorter or longer depending on the size of the household.

What happens if one is not counted on the night of 24th/25th August 2019?

It may not be possible to reach everyone everywhere on the night of 24th August 2019.  The Census teams will proceed with enumeration throughout the week, but all information will be provided with reference to the night of 24th August – the Census Reference Night. Those not enumerated by 31st August 2019, should report to the local administrative office. However, care must be taken to ensure that you have indeed not been enumerated. It is not uncommon for members who are momentarily away from their households to be enumerated in absentia.

Will Kenyans in the diaspora be counted?

No. Kenyans in the diaspora will not be counted. However, household members will be asked some questions about members of their households who migrated to other countries in the last 15 years.

When will the results be released?

It is expected that preliminary results will be released three months after the end of the exercise. The basic reports of the census are expected to be released within six months, while the detailed analytical reports will be released within one year after the census enumeration.

Will data on ethnic composition be collected?

Yes, information on tribe or ethnicity and nationality will be collected due to its statistical and cultural value. Ethnic origin data paint a picture of Kenya’s cultural diversity and provide insight into the changing in-migration patterns and increasing diversity. Governments, community groups, ethnic and cultural organisations, school boards, hospitals, and researchers use ethnicity data to assess the socio-economic characteristics of people of differing backgrounds.

All previous censuses conducted in Kenya have collected data on ethnicity, reflecting a long-standing and continuing widespread demand for information about ethno-cultural characteristics of the Kenyan population.

What safeguards against data manipulation have been put in place?

Several quality assurance measures are in place to ensure complete and accurate information is collected. Experts and key stakeholders from various institutions will train the field personnel and oversee the actual enumeration. Qualified and well-trained ICT and Content Supervisors will control quality at the field level, while census committees will oversee the exercise nationally. Additionally, an independent team of experts in census-taking is expected to monitor the exercise nationally. Structures are in place to ensure secure transmission of data and adherence to the oath of secrecy and professionalism by census personnel.

What are the security arrangements?

The security agencies are fully involved and are part of the national and county census committees. Enumerators will have official identity cards and reflector jackets for ease of identification. They have been recruited from where they live and are therefore, known to the locals. Enumerators will also be accompanied by village elders, leaders of residence associations and in certain cases, assistant chiefs who are well known by the heads of households.

Whom do I contact in case my household is not covered?

In case your household will not have been contacted by 31 August, a toll-free number will be provided for you to contact KNBS to send an enumerator to enumerate your household.

If I have visitors on the night of the 24th/25th August, should they be counted as part of my household?

Anyone who will be present in your household on the night of 24th/25th August 2019 will be counted together with your household. Everyone will be counted depending on where they will be on the night of 24th/25th August 2019. However, there will be exceptional cases, for example, those who will be on duty working such as nurses on that night will be counted with the household that they will return to the following day after work.

What are the key questions that will be asked during the census enumeration?

The key questions that will be asked include: age, sex, marital status, births, deaths, migration, forms and severity of difficulties in performing of daily life activities, educational attainment, labour force particulars, access and ownership of ICT equipment and services, crop farming, livestock and aquaculture, housing characteristics, and ownership of assets.



2019 Census Backgrounder

Kenya is set to have its sixth national Census since independence on the night of 24th August 2019. The previous population Censuses were held in 1948, 1962 (pre-independence), 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999 and 2009. The practice of counting the population dates back to ancient times. Historical records show that ancient rulers needed to count their people in order to calculate the amount of taxes they would expect. Censuses have therefore formed the basis for planning of resources for many centuries.

This will be the first Census exercise being conducted since the promulgation of the new constitution and it will help in improved allocation of resources to the counties. For the first time, the enumeration process will be carried out using digital gadgets, a paperless process that will guarantee accuracy, speed of processing and security of the data.

The Census is an important process to which the Government attaches great value, due to the need for evidence in planning. Evidence-based decision making is a universally recognised approach to the efficient management of countries. Furthermore, the United Nations recognises the importance of population and housing Censuses and therefore has issued international principles and recommendations to assist statistical offices and Census officials, throughout the world, in planning and carrying out improved and cost-effective censuses.

The modern-day census is an integral requirement for development of plans to grow the economy and improve living standards. The data generated informs planners of current status and provides a guidance and justification for approaches taken in developing various sectors of development. Some examples of the use of census data are provision of:

• Comprehensive and detailed data on Kenya’s population, including their demographic and socio-economic characteristics at the lowest administrative of geographic level

• The necessary data for evaluating the population status in the country during the ten-year period separating the two censuses

• Data on available housing units, their utilities, characteristics and living conditions and the essential basic data for formulating housing policies

• The basis for updating population databases up to the lowest level of administrative unit

• Valuable input in monitoring the progress towards achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other national aspirations including Vision 2030 and the Big Four agenda

• The basis for preparing population projections

• The benchmark data for studying the direction and trend of population changes.
• Delinieation of boundaries
• To create a sampling frame from which household-based surveys will be undertaken

Apart from government planning and policy development, the data collected in the census also serves data users in the private sector at various levels. This can help private companies to base their investment, sales and marketing strategies on empirical data.

The census data is also widely used by researchers in conducting social and economic studies.

The Kenya National Bureau for Statistics (KNBS) has received support from the government and development partners to implement the Census, which will cost about Kshs. 18.5 billion. All activities of the census are being coordinated by the National Census Steering Committee, which is headed by the Principal Secretary, State Department for Planning. About 165,000 enumerators and supervisors will be engaged during the Census.

County census committees have already been set up and were responsible for recruiting the enumerators and supervisors, who are expected to work in their respective areas.

The enumerators are expected to visit households from 6:00 p.m. on Saturday August 24th, 2019 and will spend about 30 minutes in each house, though this may be shorter or longer depending on the number of members in the household. Among the information to be gathered includes, age, sex, date of birth, nationality, ethnicity, religion, mental status, place of birth. Females will be asked about how many living children who were born by them.

The KNBS adheres to international guidelines which advocate for the values of professionalism, transparency, accountability and integrity required of statistical systems in maintaining credibility and public confidence.

Preparations for the Census are proceeding well with major activities, particularly recruitment and training of enumerators and supervisors, being completed. After the actual counting stage (what is known as the reference night), the Bureau will carry out the data processing and analysis after which it is expected that preliminary data will be released in three months.

Public confidence in the media is well-documented. As part of a publicity and advocacy campaign to support this year’s Census, KNBS is engaging with the media in Kenya by providing them with sufficient updated information about the Census process. The intention is to enlist their support towards publicizing the Census but also explaining why the census is important.

Get ready to be counted

Press Statement by the Acting Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning Hon. (Amb.) Ukur Yatani on the upcoming 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census

Get ready to be counted

I wish to inform the public that plans for the 2019 Population and Housing Census which will start from night of 24/25th August 2019 and continue up to 31st August 2019 are complete. This will be the eighth Census since, 1948 and the sixth since independence. The Census is an important process to which the Government attaches great value, due to the need for evidence in planning. Evidence-based decision making is a universally recognized approach to the efficient management of countries.

The implementation of the Census is anchored on the United Nations Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses and guidelines for conducting the 2020 round of censuses. These guide statistical agencies throughout the world, in planning and carrying out improved, internationally comparable and, cost-effective censuses.

It will be the first Census to be undertaken since the introduction of devolution in line with the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The census is implemented in three phases namely; Pre-enumeration, Enumeration and Post enumeration.

The Government through the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), has completed most of the pre-enumeration activities as follows:

• Cartographic Mapping of the whole country to establish enumeration areas (EAs). The mapping started in 2016 and was completed in May 2019. A total of 129,123 enumeration areas were established with each having an average of 100 households. Each EA will be served by one enumerator.
• Census Questionnaires. The census questionnaires were developed through a consultative process with the stakeholders. The key thematic areas covered include individual information regarding sex, age, religion, marital status, ethnicity/nationality and migration status, fertility levels of females aged 12 years and above, information regarding persons with disability, education attainment, labour force particulars, information regarding ICT, agriculture and household conditions and amenities.
• Data capture: For the first time, the census data will be captured electronically through a mobile device (tablet). The data capture application has been designed and has in-built checks to ensure data quality. This paperless process will further guarantee data security and timeliness of processing and release of results.
• A pilot census was undertaken in August 2018. It sought to test various aspects which include; logistics, accuracy of the maps, questionnaires, adequacy of personnel and data capture application.
• Recruitment of census personnel who include 2,467 ICT supervisors, 22,268 content supervisors and 138,572 enumerators has been undertaken through the County Census Committees.
• Mobile devices and other accessories to be used for data collection have been assembled locally by Moi University in Eldoret and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kiambu County. It is worth mentioning that the assembly process has indeed created employment opportunities for many young Kenyans while also promoting the “Buy Kenya Build Kenya initiative.” At the same time, the process resulted in acquisition and transfer of valuable knowledge and skills. All ICT infrastructure as well as security of equipment are in place thereby guaranteeing a smooth enumeration process.

I wish further to inform you that:

• The Training of the ICT supervisors was completed on 2nd August 2019, while the training of the content supervisors that started on 5th August 2019 will end on 11th August 2019. The final training of enumerators will commence on 14th August 2019 and be completed on 21st August 2019.
• On publicity and advocacy, which has been intensified from today, we are embarking on an intensive campaign with a view of creating the needed awareness of the exercise. The purpose of the campaign is to minimize mis-conception about the various pertinent concerns by the members of the public regarding census. I wish at this stage to appeal to our political leaders to take their respective roles in preparing their regions/ Counties to support the census process.
• I further confirm that all necessary security arrangements regarding census have been completed. I wish to assure Kenyans that the security of all persons who will be visited during the census enumeration and for the personnel who will be conducting enumeration is fully guaranteed by the government. In this regard, the census officers will be accompanied by the village elders or residents’ association leaders, known to the household members for purposes of comfort setting.

The Government wishes to assure Kenyans that the utmost level of the confidentiality of the information that will be collected will be guaranteed in conformity with the UN fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and as stipulated in the Statistics Act, 2006.

I thank the Cabinet Secretary for Education for agreeing to our request for moving the opening of schools to 2nd September 2019 for purposes of the census.

We have also requested the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to liaise with His Excellency the President to declare 26th August 2019 a public holiday to facilitate a smooth enumeration process.

All residents are encouraged to cooperate with the teams that will visit them for the census enumeration and provide accurate information. We are therefore saying to all Jitokeze Uhesabike!


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