This is the ninth census undertaken by the Statistics Office, the first being in 1971. Prior to this the Cook Island censuses were conducted by the Registrar General of the Justice Department. Since the annexation of the Cook Islands by New Zealand regular census activities have been held every five years.
The scope of the early Cook Islands censuses was limited; in fact they consisted of head counts only. With the passage of time the census has expanded. Gradually, questions on sex, age, marital status, religion, education, employment, etc have been included. Questions on unpaid work and income earned were included for the first time in the 1996 Census. In the 2011 Census, questions on renewable energy and culture was included.
The census counts all persons present in the Cook Islands on census night, including visitors temporarily in the country. Cook Islanders who were abroad permanently or are temporarily on vacation abroad are excluded.
The Census provides a unique source of detailed demographic, social and economic data relating to the entire population at a single point in time. The most fundamental questions it will answer concern the size and distribution of the entire population, the extent to which men and women participate in the economy, and the nature of housing and household facilities.
Our country is constantly changing and information collected will allow policy planners to measure the developments of our society and to make decisions about future needs of our communities. Emphasis for the CPD is on renewable energy. Government has set itself policy goals that by 2015, 50 percent of Cook Islands electricity demand will be provided by renewable energy and 100 percent in 2020. Culture has also been identified as a priority of Government.
Taking account of the many comments, evaluations and recommendations arising from the 2006 Census, the design of the 2011 Census was based on a number of key strategic aims:
1. to give the highest priority to getting the national and local population counts right
2. to maximise overall response and minimise differences in response rates in specific areas and among particular population sub-groups
3. to build effective partnerships with other organisations, particularly local authorities, in planning and executing the field operation
4. to provide high quality, value-for-money, fit-for-purpose statistics that meet user needs
The overall organisation and control of the census, by virtue of Section 20 of the Statistics Act 1966, is vested upon the Government Statistician who, for the purpose of the census will be referred to as the Census Officer. A number of sections of the Act apply in carrying out the census. These include the "confidentiality" clause, which provides against the release or publication of any individual particulars and the offences and penalty clauses, which may be invoked against any persons failing to abide by the provisions of the Act.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
Unit of Analysis
Version 1.0 - Basic raw data, obtained from data entry (before editing). Not for public use.
The scope of the 2011 Cook Islands Census of Population and Dwellings includes:
- PERSON: Individual characteristics, disability, education, employment, and reproduction.
- DWELLINGS: Housing characteristics, water supply, energy, and livelihood.
Population & Reproductive Health
Solid Waste Management
Clean Energy / Renewables
- every occupied dwelling as at midnight on Census Night.
- each and every man, woman and child alive at midnight on Census Night within the geographical boundaries of the Cook Islands, excluding those persons on foreign vessels, yachts and aircraft flying through or stopping temporarily (transit).
Producers and sponsors
Cook Islands Statistics Office
Ministry of Finance & Economic Management
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)
TA in Questionaire design
Vanuatu Statistics Office
TA in Data processing
Cook Islands Government
Secretariat of the Pacific Community
National Statistics Staff
Training of Supervisors and Enumerators
National Police Headquarters
Transport to Northern Group of Islands
This is a full Census, therefore no sampling was employed.
Dates of Data Collection
Pre Census enumeration
Post Census enumeration
Data Collection Mode
Face-to-face [f2f], and Self enumerated
Data Collection Notes
1. Staffing - efforts to mobilize field enumerators have been slow but as of end of July we have managed to confirm 20 Field Supervisors and 120 Field Enumerators.
2. Transportation - Transportation to the Northern Group has always been difficult and expensive. Arrangements have been made with Police Department for the use of the patrol boat "Te Kukupa" to transport staff and census materials to the Northern Group islands. Cost of chartering Te Kukupa is estimated to $47k and plans to cost share with other agencies are now being negotiated.
3. Training - A training manual is being developed but will be finalized as we finalize the questionnaires.
1. Acquiring GPS. This is an example of technology that could be used to find the exact location of houses.
2. Changing the Census date. Currently the date of taking of the census is at the beginning of festive periods where the population is very mobile. Last Census we had to enumerate the "Tere Parties" (travelling groups) in Rarotonga and repatriate them back to their island of usual resident. We will identify a time where the population is at least stationary.
3. Re-formatting the Census Questionnaires - The 2011 Census questionnaire is designed to be machine readable that is questionnaires will be scanned. Traditionally census is collected via questionnaires and then manually entered into some sort of data processing system. The accuracy is often confirmed/improved by double entry. New technologies such as scanning can improve the speed and accuracy significantly-freeing up resources (people and equipment) and providing for faster access to results.
Concepts and Definitions
A full list of definitions and terms used for the Census of Population and Dwellings 2011 is contained in the instruction manual, but the following should be emphasized.
1. Census night is the night between the 30th November and the 1 December 2011. The census time-point is midnight of that night.
2. Dwelling is a building or group of buildings or part of a building occupied by at least one household on census night.
3. Household is a group of persons, related or unrelated, living together under the same kitchen or contributing to a common budget. One member of the group is regarded as the head. The term family is synonymous in this respect. (Note: a household can consist of one person)
The topic content of the 2011 Census has been driven principally by the demands and requirements of users of census statistics, the evaluation of the 2006 Census, and the priorities of the Government as stated in its manifesto, and the advice and guidance of organisations with experience of similar operations. These have been determined by extensive consultations with various Ministries of government and non government organizations (NGO).
The topics proposed for the census are those that have been shown to be most needed by the major users of census information and for which questions have been devised that can be expected to produce reliable and accurate data. In each case, no other comparable and accessible source of the information is available in combination with other items in the census.
Consultation on the topic content for the 2011 Census has (as ever) resulted in a much larger demand for questions than would be possible to accommodate on a census form that households could reasonably be expected to complete. Consequently a number of difficult decisions have had to be made in assessing the different requirements for information and balancing the needs for change against continuity.
Emphasis for this Census was on Renewable Energy and Cultural Statistics. Government had set itself a policy goal that 50 percent of its electricity demands to be provided by renewable energy in 2015 and 100 percent in 2020.
In assessing which topics should be included in the census, Statistics Office has had to consider a number of factors. The criteria for evaluating the strength of users' requirements for information were that:
1. there should be a clearly demonstrated and significant need
2. the information collected was of major national importance
3. users' requirements could not adequately be met by information from other sources
4. there should be a requirement for multivariate analysis (that is the ability to cross-analyze one variable against other), and
5. there should be consideration of the ability for comparison with the 2006 Census wherever possible
A personal questionnaire is completed for every man, woman and child alive at midnight on census night within the geographical boundaries of the Cook Islands. The Census excludes those persons on foreign vessels, yachts and aircraft flying through or stopping temporarily (transit). A dwelling questionnaire is completed for every occupied dwelling as at midnight on census night.
Estimates of Sampling Error
Ministry of Finance and Economic Management
Ministry of Finance and Economic Management
The Census of Population and Dwellings 2011 is being conducted under the authority of the Statistics Act, 1966. The particular provisions relating to this census is set out in sections 18 to 25 of the Act. Other sections of the Act that apply are the secrecy provisions that provide against the release or publication of any individual particulars.
The secrecy provisions of the Statistics Act, 1966 (section 17) apply in full to all census officers. Part 3 of the Act provides for a fine for improperly divulging information. Before the commencement of duties all census staff will have taken a statutory declaration of secrecy.
Every person commits an offence that obstructs or get in the way of any persons employed to carry out their duties or exercising any functions under this Act. Penalties are stipulated in the Statistics Act 1966.
1. The data and other materials will not be redistributed or sold to other individuals, institutions, or organizations without the written agreement of the Cook Islands Statistics Office.
2. The data will be used for statistical and scientific research purposes only. They will be used solely for reporting of aggregated information, and not for investigation of specific individuals or organizations.
3. No attempt will be made to re-identify respondents, and no use will be made of the identity of any person or establishment discovered inadvertently. Any such discovery would immediately be reported to the Cook Islands Statistics Office.
4. No attempt will be made to produce links among datasets provided by the Cook Islands Statistics Office], or among data from the [Cook Islands Statistics Office] and other datasets that could identify individuals or organizations.
5. Any books, articles, conference papers, theses, dissertations, reports, or other publications that employ data obtained from the Cook Islands Statistics Office will cite the source of data in accordance with the Citation Requirement provided with each dataset.
6. An electronic copy of all reports and publications based on the requested data will be sent to the Cook Islands Statistics Office.
The original collector of the data, the Cook Islands Statistics Office, and the relevant funding agencies bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
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
Cook Islands Statistics Office, Census of Population and Dwelling 2011. Ref. COK_2011_PHC_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from http://www.mfem.gov.ck on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
(c) 2012 , Cook Islands Statistics Office
DDI Document ID
Cook Islands Statistics Office
Data Processing Manager/Documentation
Accelerated Data Program
International Household Survey Network
Editing for the IHSN Survey Catalog
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 01 (April 2013). This is the first documentation of Cook Islands Census of Population and Dwellings 2011 created using IHSN Toolkit. This is an edited version produced by ADP Asia after review of the documentation produced in the July 2012 workshop in Nadi, Fiji.