What is Census?

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​​Census includes the total process of collecting, compiling, analyzing, evaluating, publishing and disseminating statistical data regarding the population and housing and their geographical location. Population characteristics include demographic, social and economic data and are provided as of a particular date (reference period).

Census Methods:

Population censuses typically use one of two approaches:

  1. De facto – meaning enumeration of individuals as of where they are found in the census, regardless of where they normally reside.
  2. De jure - meaning enumeration of individuals as of where they usually reside, regardless of where they are on census day. ​

Importance and Objectives of Census

The importance of the census lies in its being an integrated picture of society in a given time within numerous, multiple and continuous changes, which cannot be defined through other data collecting methods. The census provides a suitable database for comparisons and projections of demographic data as well as social and economic characteristics of society.

A comprehensive census is different from other statistical methods in the following ways:


  1. It provides comprehensive and detailed data on the whole population in addition to demographic, social and economic characteristics by the lowest administrative or geographical level and related rates and indicators (population growth rates, age and gender composition, educational features, Qatari and non-Qatari workforce).

  3. It provides necessary data enabling the assessment of the population status in Qatar during the inter-census period as well as monitoring demographic, social and economic changes taking place during the same period in various administrative divisions.

  5. It provides data on expatriates' number, distribution and characteristics in Qatar, especially the immigrant workforce, with a high degree of precision, instead of dependence on estimates.

  7. It provides a database on which are built population projections and workforce projections.

  9. It provides a database needed to study specific social phenomena.

  11. To provide basic data for all sectors in the country (education, health, population, etc.) with a view to contributing to the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of plans related to the provision of services needed by the Qatari society.

  13. To provide necessary frameworks for deriving samples for field research to be undertaken in the future.

  15. To provide data on housing units as well as their facilities and features related to living conditions, basic data needed to work out a clearly-defined housing policy aimed at ensuring prosperity for citizens, as well as indicators on houses conditions and extent of their relationship with public services.

  17. To provide a comprehensive and modern framework for buildings, houses and households by various administrative divisions. Such framework is necessary to design and use samples for conducting various household surveys. This will be positively reflected on the accurate measurement of the various phenomena to be investigated such as fertility, mortality and migration, which are used as the basis for calculating population growth rates and estimates of the post-census population.

  19. To provide an accurate picture of the status and features of houses for the purpose of assisting in drawing up housing and construction plan for the future.

  21. To provide data on the features of buildings of the public sector and private sector and status of their occupation so as to define various needs in the future.​

  23. To define the conditions of economic and social enterprises in the public and private sectors in terms of the legal status, economic activity and workforce size by gender and nationality.

Use Of Census

​​Population and housing census aims mainly at collecting and disseminating basic statistics including age, sex and relationship to head of household and other characteristics such as education and occupation at a specified period of time. Following are some uses of the census data.

1) Development planning purposes:
The census provides essential data pertaining to demographic, social and economic characteristics of the population and housing which can be used for planning at all levels.

2) Estimation of levels and variations in population and housing characteristics:
The census data identifies summary levels and standards as well as changes in the demographic and dwellings characteristics, the availability of basic necessities, neglected areas, and other National priorities.

3) Estimating sources of labor force:
The census is considered to be the main source of information related to the size of labor force and its characteristics, as well as other aspects related to the education and training, both present and expected levels, and national policies needed in this field.

4) Identifying the role of women and their economic and social standing:
Recent decades witnessed an increasing attention to the role of women in society. This matter has become a central issue. Governments all over the world are interested in collecting statistics on women for designing programs and identifying policies needed for improving and up grading their role, as well as their social and economic standing in the society.

5) Learning about special population groups:
There is an increasing concern in regard to specific population groups e.g. children, youth, elderly persons, disabled… etc. Indicators about these groups help in designing programs and policies which serve their interests.

6) Use for research purposes:
Population and housing census data provide a rich source of information for carrying out demographic, social and economic surveys.

7) Use for economic purposes:
Economic decision-making relies on scientific facts and the Census provides facts and actual data.

8) Census data will identify a comprehensive frame for all active:
establishments, and a base for an economic census/surveys which will follow the census e.g. annual economic surveys associated with the national accounts estimates.