A household budget survey or Household Income and Expenditure survey (HES) as it is commonly called, is one of the most important economic surveys carried out by the Management and Information Systems Division (MISD). The survey is household-based and serves to provide up-to-date and comprehensive information on the components of the average household budget.
Household expenditure surveys are normally carried out every five to seven years so that updated information can be obtained on spending patterns and most importantly, on the composition of the 'basket of goods'.
In a HES, information on both income and expenditure is collected. Background variables such as household composition, age and sex structure and economic activity are also included to help classify the households in various demographic and socio-economic groups and to provide updated estimates on previous household surveys.
The primary purpose of the HES was to collect up-to-date detailed information on the expenditure of households to provide new weights for the calculation of the Cost of Living Index estimated here by the Retail Price Index (RPI).
A second important use of this survey is to provide data on aggregate consumers' expenditure and income to be used in the compilation of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and National Income accounts. The 'expenditure approach' of the GDP calculation usually estimates the consumer expenditure component. Results from this survey will thus provide data to crosscheck those estimates.
Another key purpose of the HES survey is that it makes available information on the level and distribution of household incomes. Such information is useful in the assessment of the social and economic planning systems. The distribution of household income provides an approximate measure of poverty in society.
In general, the survey provides the public with useful and interesting information on current spending patterns of the households in Seychelles. These patterns are expected to have changed considerably over the last decade.
Data, that was collected using Form HES-3 (consumption of food items) and Form HES-4, is not available.
The 1999-2000 Seychelles Household Expenditure Survey covered the following topics:
- Household Identification Particulars (including date of interview)
- Household Demographic Composition
- Housing Conditions and Utilities
- Other Regular Expenditure (non-food)
- Other Expenditure in Last 12 Months (non-food)
- Major Expenditure in Last 3 Months (non-food)
- Own Garden, Fishing, etc.
- Sales of Fish, Agricultural Products, or Other Goods Produced by Household in the Last Month
- Goods or Services Given Away Free by Household on the Last Month
- Main Source of Income
- Personal Income
- Personal Characteristics
- Income from Wages or Salaries
- Business Income
- Remittances and Other Regular Income
- Diary: Account Book of Consumption and Expenditure
The survey covered households on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue (the three mainly inhabited islands), and for practical consideration, excluded those on the outer islands.
Persons living in hospitals, military barracks, prisons etc. were excluded. Households headed by expatriates were also excluded, because the income and spending patterns of such households are expected to be different from those of the average Seychellois household.
Producers and sponsors
Management and Information Systems Division (MISD)
Republic of Seychelles
The most appropriate sampling frame available was the list of households obtained from the 1997 Population and Housing Census. Although not updated over the two years prior to the survey, the database provided the ideal frame for direct sampling given that the sampling units would be the households themselves.
The frame listed 17,878 households enumerated during the 1997 census covering all the islands. In consideration of logistic and administrative problems, the geographical coverage was restricted to the three main islands (Mahe, Praslin and La Digue), which account for 99% of all households.
The sampling was done in two stages. An overall sample of 10% (around 1788 households) was desired. In the first stage the households were stratified by district. The sample size was distributed among the districts representative of their size (number of households), to determine the number of households to be drawn from each district (i.e. proportional allocation). From each district, the allocated number of households was then drawn using systematic sampling method whereby households are selected at equal intervals starting from a chosen random number. With each household having the same probability of being selected, the sample becomes self-weighting.
The original sample drawn included 1696 households representing around 9.5 percent of households on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. The enumeration covered 1219 households but after post-enumeration checks, data from just over 800 or 67% of these households were used in the final analysis.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
A two-week training session was conducted for the interviewers. This comprised of going in detail through all the survey instruments (questionnaires and interviewer's manual) to explain and clarify the concepts and definitions; and also running role-plays of the interview.
Method of Collection
The Personal interview method was adopted for data collection. Enumerators from the Statistics Section of MISD administered the questionnaires and personnel from the same office supervised and coordinated all the operations. The data collection stage lasted thirteen months including the pilot survey stage.
Households for each district were grouped in batches of five; keeping households in the same batch within the same enumeration area as far as possible. Each household recruited was interviewed and asked to keep an account book of their regular expenditures for a period two weeks, and additional visits were made during the diary-keeping period.
Recruitment of households was done every week. However, after the first three months of data collection, the interviewers found that the workload was too much due to the high number of callbacks required. This was then reduced to four households per week to reduce the pressure.
Interviewers worked in all the five regions simultaneously changing district after every four recruiting periods to ensure all areas were included in all seasons/cycles. Thus there should have been 52 recruiting cycles in total. However, as mentioned earlier (in 1.3.2) enumeration in the Praslin/La Digue Region continued throughout the first quarter of 2001 due to serious human resource problems.
The data were captured on personal computers using a programme written in DELPHI. The software for data capturing made provisions to enter all details collected. For the account book (Form HES3) items purchased or acquired (although it would not be possible to analyse all the descriptive details because of the variety of specifications, units, packaging etc, description and units of items) were captured to help identify commonly purchased items for future pricing.
The data files were then merged into one database and processed in SPSS and MS EXCEL for tabulation .
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.