Frequently Asked Question

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A Population Census is the complete enumeration of all persons in a country at a specified time. The enumeration implies the collection, compilation, evaluation, analysis, publication and dissemination of demographic, social and economic statistics relating to the population.

A Housing Census is the complete enumeration of all living quarters (occupied and vacant) in a country at a specified time. This enumeration also implies the collection, compilation, evaluation, analysis, publication, and dissemination of statistical data pertaining to these living quarters and the occupants.

A Population and Housing Census consists of a population census and a housing census as one operation. The two censuses, though separate, constitute one statistical operation and they are not completely independent of each other because of the essential elements of each census which are common to both and are also with well-coordinated activities.

The information on the population and living quarters can be more readily matched, and processing is facilitated, and extensive analysis can be carried out. This also makes it possible to relate to the housing census data, the information on demographic and economic characteristics of each household member that is routinely collected in the population census.

A Population and Housing Census (PHC) has many uses. In the first place, it will give us the total number of persons and housing types and their characteristics in every town or village or a given small area in the country. This information will be of great help to the Central and Local Governments in planning various educational, health, housing and other social services. The information that will be derived from the census will also help the private sector, including businesses to plan their activities, which will be of benefit to the economic development of this country. In addition, international bodies, including Development Partners (DPs) and Non-Governmental Organizations will also utilize the Population and Housing Census data when planning for Ghana.

It is a legal requirement to hold a Population and Housing Census in Ghana every 10 years. This is stipulated by the Statistical Service Act 2019 (Act 1003). The last Population and Housing Census conducted in Ghana was in 2010. The 2021 Population and Housing Census which was originally scheduled for 2020 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yes. Census officials will be trained to observe all health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during training and data collection. In addition, all enumerators will be provided with face masks and sanitiser for their safety and that of the respondents.

  • The use of Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) to ensure efficient data, collection, management, and processing. This will help receiving real time data and also minimise the data processing period so that processed data could be released shortly after field data collection.
  • Use of Geographic Positioning System (GPS) to capture the location (coordinates) of all structures and all localities to ensure complete coverage and also improve data analysis.
  • Expansion of the sanitation module and ICT modules to collect more data to help solve the challenges in the country.

The use of technology for data collection as recommended by the UN eliminates several operational and data processing steps in traditional face-to-face paper interview data production (such as printing, data entry and physical management of the questionnaires). This reduces the time lag between data collection and analysis. Overall data quality is improved because the use of electronic questionnaires enables automatic skip patterns to check entry quality during the interviews. Data validation can be done during data collection, as the information is ready for statistical analysis as soon as an interview is completed.

Check your home’s external walls for either a unique number preceded by “2021 PHC” in chalk or a special census sticker. Ask other members of your household whether a census enumeration officer has visited and interviewed them. If not call the Census hotline for an official to be dispatched to count you and any other such person (s) with you.

The Ghana Statistical Service, as the National Statistics Office, is the lead agency implementing the census in collaborating with other government agencies, development agencies and other stakeholders. Census implementation is a complex and resource-intensive activity and requires strategic partnerships to be implemented successfully. Due to it being a priority development activity, all stakeholders are needed to contribute financial and human resources to make the census a success.

The census will ask questions on a wide range of topics including, but not exclusive to: age, nationality, ethnicity, place of birth, religious affiliation, marital status, number of children, occupation, literacy, education, ownership and use of ICT devices, sources of drinking water, housing conditions, sanitation, and ownership of household assets

Yes. All responses provided to enumerators during the census are strictly confidential. Disclosure of any information obtained in the census without lawful authority is an offence liable to a fine, a term of imprisonment or both per the Statistical Service Act, 2019 (Act 1003). To enforce this confidentiality, all census officials including enumerators are required to take an oath of secrecy.

No. The census data will be produced in aggregate form. That means Ghana Statistical Service ensures personal details are protected and removed from any information used in its own work or that of other organisations including government agencies, academia, development partners and private sector users of census data.

You count so be counted – decision-makers need to make provision for everybody in their policy planning. The nation needs to know how many toilets, schools, hospitals, markets and other services that are in our communities in order to effectively plan services over the next 10 years and beyond.

It is also a civic responsibility and a legal requirement, so do your bit to help make Ghana an even better place to live for everybody.

The census will go beyond the information collected by the National Identification Authority (NIA) and the Electoral Commission (EC). The census will collect information from every individual in the country irrespective of age or nationality – this includes more people than the EC and the NIA’s data. The census collects a variety of socio-demographic information on the population including literacy, fertility, migration, difficulties in performing activities of daily living, economic activity, assets owned and usage of ICT. The census also collects information on housing, housing characteristics and sanitation that are not collected by the EC nor the NIA.

An Enumeration Area (EA) is the smallest geographical area with a well-defined boundary and features that is assigned to an enumerator which can easily be canvassed and enumerated during the data collection period.

Before census enumeration, special serial numbers are assigned to structures in every Enumeration Area (EA) for the purpose of identifying the structures for actual enumeration. The procedure for undertaking this exercise is termed listing operation and this would start two weeks before enumeration begins. During listing, a serial number preceded by 2021PHC will be written in chalk on the external walls of all structures that listed.

During the period of enumeration, a census official (enumerator) will visit each household and administer a questionnaire to the head of household or any other adult in the household. The enumerator does not need to speak with every individual household member during their visit. An adult household member can respond on behalf of household members who are not present at the time of enumeration.

Census night is the reference point for census enumeration and all questions in the census will relate to that night. Everyone must take note of the census night date and remember to answer the questions accurately during enumeration. Reference the census night is necessary to tell a complete and accurate story about the population in Ghana for the 2021 PHC. To help make the census night memorable, events will be organised in communities throughout the country to mark the night.

  1. All persons who spend the census night in a household in Ghana;
  2. All persons who spend the census night in an institution (Group Quarters) in Ghana; and
  3. All outdoor sleepers and those in transit in Ghana (floating population) on census night.


  1. Anyone who does not spend the census night in Ghana;
  2. Babies born after the census night; and
  3. Persons who die before the census night.

No. You will be counted in your usual place of residence. A census official will visit every household and institutions (boarding houses, hospitals, hotels etc.) to enumerate the persons residing there. Persons who are homeless or in transit on census night will also be enumerated where they are found that night.

Yes. Everyone found within the borders of Ghana, irrespective of nationality or duration of stay will be counted. The Census is interested in knowing all persons who reside in Ghana, not just Ghanaian citizens. Remember that non-Ghanaians, as long as they are here, also use the facilities and resources available, so we need to factor them in planning decisions

No. Only persons who spent the census night in Ghana will be enumerated. However, information on household members who are living abroad will be collected as part of the migration module in the questionnaire.

All census officials will wear reflective jackets showing the census logo and have an ID card. They are to present their ID card when introducing themselves.

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The shortlisting of Data Field Officers will commence in January. Kindly ensure that all your application details are complete and correct to ensure you are eligible to be shortlisted.

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