The 2008 Sudan Population and Housing Census is the fifth Population and Housing Census conducted in Sudan.
The first Population Census was done by the British, in 1955/1956 and completed in a time span of one and a half years. It made extensive use of the traditional administration (chiefs of the tribes).Sampling was used in some difficult areas in the south and highly scattered populations in the Sahara, where chiefs were used to check their information. The total population enumerated was 10.1 million. This figure was adjusted to 10.3 million and was accepted by all the people of Sudan.
The second population census was done in 1973 and was delayed for five years because of the war in the south (The Addis Ababa peace Agreement was in 1972).The Total population in 1973 was 14.8 million. The preliminary result was only 12.3 million which was very much less than expected. It was unfortunate that the enumeration failed at the beginning to cover the labour camps in some Gezira areas, difficult areas in the South and the scattered Nomads in the North. The results were adjusted after the post-enumeration survey.
The third population census was conducted in 1983. The total population which was 20.6 million was also adjusted to 19.1 million. There were concerns about accuracy in the South due to weak logistics. It was noted that some enumerators who found it difficult to walk for long distances had used the chiefs of the tribes to fill the forms on behalf of the households.
The fourth population census was done in 1993 and came up with a total population of 24.9million which was adjusted later to 25.9 million. This count did not include the rural areas in the South because of war. Moreover no comprehensive coverage of the nomads had taken place due to lack of logistics. In the 4th Population Census the proportion of the nomads had come out to be only 3% while it was 11% in the previous census. In addition an over count was noticed in some areas where inhabitants wanted to increase their sugar ration.
The 2008 Sudan Population and Housing Census is the 5th Sudan Population and Housing Census conducted, and one of the most important censuses in the history of Sudan. It is based on the comprehensive peace agreement. It provides hope for Sudanese people to build a new Sudan, with a fair share in power, resources, services and development. To achieve these goals a population census with a high accuracy and a full coverage is a necessity.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
Unit of Analysis
The scope of the Sudan Population and Housing Census 2008 includes: age and sex and main geographical areas, enumeration, regional Group, state of birth, state of usual residence, etc.
The de facto method is applied for the enumeration of the population.
Producers and sponsors
Central Bureau of Statistics
Southern Sudan Commission for Statistics and Evaluation
Sudan Government of National Unity
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Central Bureau of Statistics
As mentioned above the census data is to be collected in two forms. A short form to be used for 90% of EAs with a minimum number of questions ( 11 questions ) and to satisfy the basic population data needed for the election and other basic demographic needs. A long form to be administered in10% of the enumeration areas (EAS) and will provide all other standard social and economic information. The details of these questionnaires are following closely the UN principles and recommendations for censuses as decided by the TWG. That had put sometimes the TWG in conflicts with the governing councils and politicians at the national and regional levels. For e.g. the MOC had requested the deletion of the questions on ethnicity after its endorsement by the PCC in its second meeting. The PCC decided to raise it to the Presidency as the TWG had reconfirmed its technical importance. Based on the understanding that ethnicity and religion are causes of conflicts in Sudan, the Presidency decided to delete these questions. It was suggested as a compromise to use the question on previous residence to give information about Southern people living in the North. The South Sudan Population Census Council (SSPCC) requested an amplification of the question to reflect household origin from the nine 1956 Provinces (Northern, Khartoum, Central, Eastern, Kordofan, Darfur, Upper Nile, Bahr Elghazal and Equatoria) in stead of (north/south). But that was not accepted by many members of the PCC and some politicians in the north who believe that it is another way of bringing back the ethnicity question. The SSPCC then insisted on the re-inclusion of the ethnicity and religion questions. That led to a lot of delays in printing the questionnaires. In order to get out of this dilemma the TWG with support of UNFPA had decided to stick firmly to the UN standards. That is to stick to the previous residence question (origin) which is core one and to neglect the ethnicity question which is an optional one.
For census data entry the Technical Working Group (TWG) decided with endorsement of the PCC that the data entry was to be decentralized. Nine centers were suggested. These are the capitals of old British provinces. The TWG also decided that the short and long forms to be scanned using optical mark recognition (OMR) technology. That decision was based on the field visits to some African countries which used the same technology in their censuses. For quality assurance a high level team from both CBS and SSCCSE were sent to DRS Company in UK to ensure that the forms were correctly printed in both Arabic and English so as to avoid occurrence of any errors or faults during enumeration and the scanning process. It was decided that the census data was to be processed, the results produced and the tabulation prepared centrally. The national and regional tabulation to be analyzed and published using different data dissemination methods such as:-printed reports, electronic media (websites, Emails), data archiving, seminars and workshops. The use of internet as another tool for data dissemination was also suggested.
Central Bureau of Statistics
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
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.