2019 CENSUS

What you will be asked on census night

Sh18.5 billion exercise will target everyone within national borders on August 24

In Summary

• Enumerators will not only go to homes but also knock on hotel room doors.

• Prisoners and suspects in police cells, soldiers in the barracks and students in boarding school will be counted in those institutions.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) Director General Zachary Mwangi during a press conference on the upcoming census on July 8, 2019.
Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) Director General Zachary Mwangi during a press conference on the upcoming census on July 8, 2019.
Image: MONICAH MWANGI

If you spend the night in Kenya on August 24, you will be counted whether you are a citizen or immigrant.

And if for some reason you miss out on what statisticians call the reference night, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics enumerators will still catch up with you by August 31.

In an exclusive interview, KNBS director general Zachary Mwangi said the Sh18.5 billion budget will enable his team to count everyone and the figures will accurate and credible.

 
 
 
 

In 2009, census figures for Wajir, Garissa and Mandera counties were disputed and the row ended up in the High Court.

Enumerators will not only go to homes but also knock on hotel room doors.

If you spend the night in Kenya on August 24, you will be counted whether you are a citizen or immigrant. See story https://bit.ly/2MG3ebS

Prisoners and suspects in police cells, soldiers in the barracks and students in boarding school will be counted in those institutions.

KNBS officers will administer a digital questionnaire for those admitted to hospital, travellers and street families.

Those outside the border, including persons in the diaspora, will not take part in the count. However, KNBS has developed a form where households will declare if they have relatives living outside the country.

“We do not count people who are outside the boundary of Kenya. Census is a total count of all the persons living in the country at a specific period of time within a well-delineated boundary.”

 

He explained: “Census is done at a specific period. We are looking at a reference night hence will count the people who will have slept within the boundaries of the country that night.”

 
 
 

 Kenyans will be asked questions regarding their age, sex, ethnicity, nationality, religion, marital status and county of birth.

The 2009 census report that was launched at the KICC in Nairobi.
The 2009 census report that was launched at the KICC in Nairobi.
Image: /FILE
Kenyans in the diaspora will not be counted but there is an emigrant questionnaire. We will get the data by asking respondents whether they have relatives living outside the country.
KNBS director general Zachary Mwangi

Questions about one’s previous residence will be asked with a view to capture reasons why people migrate internally such as seeking a job, education or getting married.

Females of 12 years and above will be asked particulars of births to assess fertility rate.

Kenyans will declare their highest level of education with the data capture focusing on the status of learning and current school attendance status.

The government will know not only one’s highest level of education but also whether they are working in sectors of their main training.

Data on the number of people employed, underemployed and unemployed in the occupation of training will be sought.

The study will also employ an ICT module to check the level of ownership of the new technologies, access and e-commerce.

“We will require information about births and deaths in a household. This is key information which during the projection of population as factored on mortality, fertility and migration,” Mwangi said.

Questions about crop farming and fishing have been introduced for this year’s count. In the last census, there were only questions about livestock.

A household is expected to declare if it owns exotic or indigenous cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, pigs, indigenous or exotic chicken, bees, fish ponds and fish cages.

For crops, data will be generated on whether a household farms tea, coffee, avocados, citrus, mangos, coconuts, macadamia, cashew nuts and miraa.

The census will check whether one has farmed maize, sorghum, rice, potatoes, beans, sugarcane, cassava, sweet potatoes, wheat, green grams, bananas, cabbages, tomatoes, onions, groundnuts, millet, watermelons, cotton and kales.

The KNBS boss said the data will provide information for future agricultural surveys.

Housing conditions and amenities will also be listed, with the focus on the number of dwelling units in a household; the number of rooms; whether one owns the house; the construction material used for the roof, walls and floor.

The study will also asses sanitation with a view to generating data on families’ sources of drinking water, mode of waste disposal and mode of cooking – wood fuel, gas, and solar; as well as the mode of lighting.

On the critical question of income, Mwangi said the process would factor the ownership of household assets as a wealth indicator.

“There are various ways of deriving income. Assets can give a wealth indicator. With this kind of information, we can know expenditure patterns of Kenyans,” the he explained.

Mwangi supported the inclusion of intersex as an option on the sex categories, saying it was a result of public participation where it was agreed the condition is natural.

On August 23, the teams will be on a familiarisation tour of every household to do a quick count and take some basic information.

Mwangi said even when there are repeat visits, the first question will be about those who did not spend the reference night at their homes.

“We recognise it will not be possible to count each Kenyan even with the thousands of personnel. The in thing is to do much on the reference night then look at the coverage of areas we did not reach,” he said.