A population census was taken for the first time in the year 1911. This was followed by decennial censuses in 1921 and 1931. Decennial census taking is carried most of the countries of the world till today. The practice was interrupted during World War II and was resumed again in 1946. For reasons not easily ascertainable, the next census was held in 1953, followed by another in 1957. Thereafter annual censuses were taken until 1972 and then in 1974, followed by the 1977 census. The Ministry of Home Affairs was responsible for census operation throughout.
For the first three decennial censuses, the office of the Superintendent of Census of Sri Lanka prepared the questionnaires, which were translated into Dhivehi in the office of the Maldivian Government Representative in Colombo, and forwarded to the Maldives for canvassing. In the 1911 census, the filled questionnaires were sent back to Colombo for tabulation of data, while in the next two censuses only abstracts of necessary information were sent, which was tabulated by the Maldivian Government Representative in Colombo. From 1946 onwards, the census data were tabulated in the Maldives itself.
In the censuses during the period 1969-74, particulars of individual members of a family were collected in separate rows of a household schedule. Information was collected on sex, age, literacy, education, marital status, occupation and activity status.
The enumeration in the outer islands was done by the island chiefs, and in Male’ by selected secretaries and clerks of the Government departments. The island chiefs prepared tabulations of data for each island and the atoll chiefs did tabulations for the atolls. Compilation of data at national level was done in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Male’.
In all the past censuses, only the Maldivian citizens were enumerated on de jure basis and no information was collected on de facto resident at census time.
The first modern type census was conducted in 1977, with financial and technical assistance from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which laid the foundation for a new era of census taking in the country. The enormity of the cost involved, and the experience of the 1977 census, as well as the rapid change in population characteristics led to the decision by the government that censuses at a regular interval of five years would be appropriate in the Maldives. The new quinquennial series began in 1985. Next census was in 1990, 1995 and then in 2000. However, the 2005 census was delayed to 2006 due to the Asian Tsunami in December 2004.
The most important aspects of the coverage and data collected in the Population and Housing Census 2006 are:
- As in all past censuses, all Maldivian citizens were enumerated in the Population and Housing Census of Maldives 2006 living in the country as well as abroad.
- Foreign nationals who were in the country with work permit were counted in the listing operation but their individual information was not collected. Tourists on tourist visa were not counted in the census.
- Information were collected in the census regarding the types of materials used for the construction of walls and roofs of all houses in the country regardless if occupied or unoccupied, either by Maldivian or foreigners.
- Data were collected on the available source of water, latrine and electricity facilities in the houses only in respect of the living quarters that were occupied.
- As in the past four censuses, the enumeration of people in the census 2006 was carried out on de facto basis, i.e. where they were currently residing. Information was also collected of the Maldivians living abroad. Maldivians living abroad at the time of census for various reasons were collected at the place where they were residing before leaving the country.
- In addition to the general information on social and economic characteristics of the enumerated population, attempts were also made in the census 2006 to collect data on migration, education, economic activities, nuptiality, and data on the past and current fertility.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
Unit of Analysis
The 2006 Maldives Population and Housing Census covered the following topics:
- Household information
- Personal particulars of household members
- Education (for all people age 6 years and above)
- Employment (for all people age 15 years and above)
All Maldivian citizens were enumerated in the Population and Housing Census of Maldives 2006 living in the country as well as abroad.
Foreign nationals who were in the country with work permit were counted in the listing operation but their individual information was not collected. Tourists on tourist visa were not counted in the census.
Producers and sponsors
Ministry of Planning and National Development
Government of Republic of Maldives
United Nations Population Fund
Government of Republic of Maldives
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
The supervision of the field work in Male’ was carried out by 61 supervisors and 6 senior officials of the Statistics Section of the Ministry. The results proved to be quite satisfactory. In the atolls, the coordinators visited most of the islands in their respective atolls to supervise the fieldwork of the enumerators. The coordinators in the atolls collected the population figures for each island. These population figures were sent by fax to census center in Male’, where daily progress checks were monitored.
Data Collection Notes
Around 3200 enumerators, supervisors and officials were engaged in the data collection phase of the census 2006.
This was the first time that Maldives has given a strong emphasis to engendering the census 2006. Separate workshop were conducted to aware the enumerators, supervisors and all the officials who were involved in census operations. Different training sessions were conducted for the master trainers, publicity of the census campaign; posters were prepared and distributed to all the inhabited islands on engendering the census.
Training of enumerators and supervisors in atolls were conducted in three rounds for a period of seven days in each.
Coordinators were sent to each atoll during the census period. The coordinators role is to over sea the whole census operation within the atolls during the census period.
During the enumeration of population and housing census of Maldives 2006, each enumerator visited every household in the assigned census block. Census enumeration team consists of two person, each team was assigned around 50-60 households to complete within the census period. By interviewing the head of the household or responsible member of the household, data were collected regarding each person in the household within the census reference period. The enumeration of population was completed in 8 days, from 21-28 March 2006.
A slip of enumerations was provided to the travelers from island to islands or for island to other countries in order to avoid duplication. Another slip was given to people who work in the National Security Services and in the industrial islands where they have 2 usual places of residence. This was another measure to avoid duplication.
Ministry of Planning and National Development
Data processing activities were handled by a team of twelve staff of from the Statistics Section and additional 20 persons recruited on temporary basis for the special operations, such as editing, coding and data entry.
It took four months to complete editing, coding and scanning the census data. A total of 20 computers were used for data entry and its verification. Intelligent Character Recognition (ICRSmart Form) is a system to capture Digital information from the scanned images. ICR is one of the latest and advanced technologies in the field of data capturing. Advantage of ICR system is speed and accuracy using ICR the speed can be tremendously increased to 3-10 times faster than a normal data entry process.
The data entry system was set up by the assigned staff of the Statistics Section, coding and editing was done simultaneously. Consistency checks of the recorded information were made during the coding operation. If there were any mistakes or errors in the forms, the information was edited according to the given procedures. If there was a major error, first the forms were checked and corrections were made after discussing with the technical and subject matter persons. The data editing process also involved correcting the data. This required checking the raw data and removal of the errors. For the data editing, a program was developed so that it was possible to impute correction automatically. Validation procedures were built into the system and permit to edit the data.
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
Ministry of Planning and National Development, Government of Republic of Maldives. Maldives Population and Housing Census 2006. Ref. MDV_2006_PHC_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from www.measuredhs.com on [date]
Disclaimer and copyrights
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.