The main objectives of a census are:
- to provide current information on demographic and related socio-economic characteristics of the population at national and sub-national levels. Such information facilitates effective planning and evaluation of development programmes;
- to provide and maintain a time series of demographic data at national and sub-national levels. These data enhance appraisal of the past, assessment of the present and estimation of future trends;
- to develop the national capabilities to produce, coordinate and disseminate relevant, accurate and timely statistics to meet the information needs of various users;
- to improve the capability to advise other users and producers of statistics; and
- to develop and maintain an efficient sampling frame for surveys.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
The geographical frame for the 2012 Census followed the spatially defined structure of provinces, administrative districts and wards. In an effort to ensure that the whole country was covered during the enumeration period, the whole country was demarcated into small areas known as enumeration areas (EAs). Each one of these EAs was covered by one enumerator. The identified boundaries of the EAs were such that they did not cut across existing provincial, district, or ward boundaries.
There were also special population categories which, by definition, did not belong to any defined area, or for some reason, required special arrangements in order to be enumerated. The special population categories included among others, the homeless, vagrants, persons who were travelling on trains or buses on the census night, persons in camping sites, prisons, hotels and in other unstable population situations.
A population census can be taken either on a de facto or de jure basis. The latter involves enumerating people at their place of usual residence. The 2012 census however, was conducted on a de facto basis, relating to the night of the17th of August. This means that all those people who spent the night of the 17th /18th of August in Zimbabwe were counted, irrespective of their citizenship, nationality or residence status. Consequently, Zimbabweans who were out of the country on t
It should be noted that the main objects of the enumeration are i) the individual and ii) the household. A household, as defined for the 2012 Population census, is a person or group of persons who stayed the census night i.e. Friday night of the 17-18th of August, 2012, together in a dwelling unit, whether or not they were related by blood or marriage. he census night were not counted.
Producers and sponsors
Authoring entity/Primary investigators
Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency
Dates of Data Collection (YYYY/MM/DD)
Time periods (YYYY/MM/DD)
Mode of data collection
In the field, the completed questionnaire was checked for completeness, accuracy and consistency and was also edited by the enumeration area supervisor. Corrections were made on the spot and call-backs were done to collect missing information. After the enumeration exercise, all the completed questionnaires were checked at district and provincial levels.
Population figures for the districts were manually compiled at the district office. These figures were entered into the computer to facilitate the production of various tables for ward, district and province and finally the whole nation.
Type of Research Instrument
Census information was collected using a pre-coded questionnaire (see copy in Appendix 1a). The questionnaire was made up of the following sections:
A. Identification of enumeration area and household
B. Socio-economic and demographic characteristics of household members. Disability was included here.
C. School attendance and level of education attained by all household members age 3 years and above. Current attendance for those age 3 - 24 years.
D. Labour force characteristics for those age 10 years and above
E. Fertility questions for women age 15-49 years
F. Living conditions
G. Deaths in the household in the past 12 months
H. Total number of people in the household by sex
A simplified version of the questionnaire was used for some special population categories, e.g. the vagrants and those in prison.