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Statistical Service to conduct a trial census in preparation for 2020 Population and Housing census


Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) will begin a multi-staged Trial Census from 26 May 2019, with 2nd June 2019 as the Trial census night as part of the preparations for the 2020 Population and Housing Census.

The conduct of the Census is in accordance with the Statistical Service Law, 1985 (PNDCL 135) which empowers the Government Statistician to conduct statistical surveys and any census in Ghana. The Trial Census is in accordance with the United Nations’ recommendations guiding the conduct of Population and Housing Censuses worldwide.

For the first time, GSS intends to adopt the use of electronic data collection with other geo-spatial technologies, which has been recommended by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) for the 2020 round of Population and Housing Censuses. Consequently, the trial phase has been put into various stages with each stage testing a specifically different process.

The Population and Housing Census is an essential national exercise that takes count of every person residing in Ghana at the time of the census, and establishes other important demographic details about every individual in the country. In this regard, the 2020 Population and Housing Census will provide the current population of Ghana, by age, sex, educational level, marital status, literacy, educational attainment, occupation, type of economic activity, and geographic area of residence.

The count will also cover access to social amenities such as water, health care, educational infrastructure and housing conditions. The information collected will be for district, regional and national governance as well as for business decision-making, it will also be for industry, media, academia, research institutions and international organizations as the basis for informed decision making, effective planning and policy decision-making.

The districts chosen for the trial census, are Dormaa West District (Bono Region), Bunkpurugu District (North East Region), and Ashiedu Keteke, Ledzokuku, Osuklottey, Ayawaso West, Okaikoi sub metros all in the Greater Accra Region.

Starting from 26th May, 2019, i.e. a week prior to the Trial Census Night, census officials from GSS appropriately identified will start visiting the communities that have been selected for the Trial Census to identify and number houses and other structures which precedes the enumeration of the households after the census night. This is to ensure that there is complete coverage of all households in the selected areas during the trial census.

The Statistical Service entreats all persons residing within the selected communities to cooperate with the census officials in order to ensure a successful Trial Census.

This means that ONLY persons living within the selected areas will be enumerated in the Trial Census.

Together, we can all make the Trial Census for the 2020 Population and Housing Census a success.

“Total count, better development, get counted!”


Prof Samuel K. Anim

(Government Statistician)

P.S: Kindly note that, compared to the main census in 2020 which will cover all 16 regions and their districts i.e 6000 plus enumeration areas (EAs), the trial census is a test/pilot census and will cover only just about 250 EAs in total.

Therefore the Statistical Service will only be using its staff and some selected experienced field personel to test the census instruments ahead of the main census in 2020 which will require around 6,000 enumerators.

Online recruitment for the trial census is will therefore be limited to the Dormaa West District (Bono Region) and Bunkpurugu District (North East Region) .