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Nyakassi M.B. Sanyang, Statistician General

Press Release, December 12th 2022.

The slogan: Everyone Counts, Get Counted

The Gambia is set to conduct a digital population and housing census for the first time in April 2023. The 2023 Population and Housing Census (PHC) will be implemented by The Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBoS) in collaboration with all relevant government stakeholders including development partners. The last population and housing census was conducted in April 2013. Population and Housing Census is conducted every 10 years in The Gambia. A national census provides the most detailed information on the population, its age structures, spatial distribution, socio-demographic, and the socio-economic characteristics of households, as well as housing conditions. 

The Legal Authority for conducting the 2023 Population and Housing Census is the 2005 Statistics Act. This Law empowers the Statistician General to conduct statistical surveys (Nationwide Sample Surveys) when necessary and population and housing censuses every ten years. The law restricts publishing particulars on individuals so that only aggregate data will be published. GBoS will ensure that personal details are protected and removed from any information used in its work or shared with other users.

A Population and Housing Census consists of a population census and a housing census as one operation. A Population Census is the complete enumeration (counting) of all persons in a country at a specified time. A Housing Census is the complete enumeration of all living quarters (occupied and vacant) in a country at a specified time. The two censuses, though separate, constitute one statistical operation and they are not completely independent of each other because of the essential elements which are common to both and can be implemented as concurrent activities. A population census and a housing census are undertaken at the same time so that the information on the population and living quarters can be readily matched for processing and making it possible for extensive analysis to be carried out. It makes it possible to relate the housing census data to the information on demographic and economic characteristics of each household member that is routinely collected in a population census.

A Population and Housing Census (PHC) has many uses. In the first place, it will give us the total number of persons and housing types and their characteristics in every town or village, or a given area in the country. This information helps Central and Local Governments to plan for various social services such as education, health, housing, sanitation, and others. The information that will be derived from the census will also help the private sector, including businesses to plan their activities, which will be of benefit to the economic development of this country. 

The 2023 PHC will respond to the data needs of theNational Development Plan (2023-2027) and provide data for monitoring regional (ECOWAS vision 2050), continental (Africa Agenda 2063) and Global agenda (Agenda 2030). 

The digital 2023 PHC will involve the use of tablets for data capture instead of traditional paper questionnaires. The census will also use  Geographic Positioning System (GPS) to capture the location of all structures. Advanced data quality assurance procedures, including the use of real-time data quality monitoring and enumeration tracking dashboard for complete and accurate data will be put in place for efficient and effective implementation of the census. 

This first phase of the census (pre-enumeration) involvesa digital mapping exercise, which commenced in December 2022 and will continue to end of March 2023. This involves locating and counting of households,persons, buildings, and structures in The Gambia. In the second phase (population and housing census), the entire population will be enumerated as well as housing and housing conditions. All persons who spend the census night in The Gambia including non-Gambians(resident/non-resident) who are in the country at the time of the census will be enumerated. The census will cover both institutional and household populations. 

The 2023 PHC is a priority national development programme that requires huge resources to implement. The successful implementation of the Census seeks the leveraging of resources and support at all levels and among various partners, institutions such as the World Bank (WB), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), ECOWAS and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and other private individuals to achieve the set goals. 

For a successful conduct of the census, the government solicits the cooperation of the public (Gambians and Non-Gambians) especially governors, chiefs, village heads, religious leaders and family heads. 

Signed: Statistician General

For further information please contact:

Sanna Manjang, Director of Coordination, Statistical Methods, Quality Assurance & Dissemination

Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBoS)

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