The 2001 Census of Population and Dwellings was undertaken on 1st December 2001. This census was conducted under the authority of the Statistics Act, 1966. The confidentiality provisions in this act provide against the
release or publication of any particulars relating to individuals.
This is the seventh 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 census counts all persons present in the Cook Islands on census night, thus it includes visitors temporary in the country. Cook Islanders who are living or are temporarily on vacation abroad are excluded.
The theme of the 2001 Census was “BE IN THE COUNT”. This theme followed on from that of the 1996 “COUNTING FOR OUR FUTURE” where it encourages everyone to participate in the census for better and reliable result.
The self-governing territory of the Cook Islands consists of 15 islands and atolls that are spread over 2million sq. km of the South Pacific Ocean. The Cook Islands is defined as all the islands between 156 - 167 ° West and 8-23 ° South. Such distances
over the sea linking small populations’ presents an imposing hindrance to the development of an efficient transportation and communication system. The islands are geographically divided into two groups, commonly referred to as the
Northern and Southern Group islands. The two groups of islands making up the country portray marked differences in their social, cultural and economic activities. The Northern Group islands remain relatively isolated from
the Southern Group islands.
The Cook Islands are the result of volcanic activity and coral growth. The islands of Rarotonga, Mangaia, Atiu, Mauke and Mitiaro are the emergent peaks of extinct volcanoes. The islands of Manuae, Palmerston, Penrhyn, Manihiki, Rakahanga,
Pukapuka, Nassau and Suwarrow are atolls, that is coral reefs around a lagoon on the top of submerged volcanoes. Aitutaki is part volcano and part atoll. The total land area of the Cook Islands is 23,261 hectares while its exclusive economic zone covers an area of nearly 2 million sq. km or 750,000 sq. miles. Rarotonga, with a total land area of 6,719 hectares is the largest and most populous island (over 50% of the population) and also the administrative centre.
The Cook Islands enjoy a South Pacific moderate climate. The mean monthly minimum and maximum temperatures in Rarotonga, the capital, range between 21° and 28° Celsius. Trade winds blow almost continuously.
Rainfall is normally spread evenly throughout the year but there is considerable variation from year to year. The islands lie within the hurricane belt and severe damage to crops, housing and coastal areas (harbours) can be expected once or twice each decade. The hurricane season lasts from November to March during which time storms of less than hurricane strength may also inflict minor damage to the islands.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
v01: Cleaned and labelled version of the Master file.
The final version of the Person dataset was produced by Statistics for Development Division in March 2019. It was done in order to create a unique Person ID in the Person dataset.
National coverage - Cook Islands
Unit of Analysis
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.
Producers and sponsors
Authoring entity/Primary investigators
Cook Islands National Statistics Office
Cook Islands Goverment
Statistics for Development Division
Methods Development, Monitoring, Data Processing and Reporting
Government of the Cook Islands
Dates of Data Collection (YYYY/MM/DD)
Post census night enumeration
Mode of data collection
The Statistics Office appointed the supervisors who in turn selected enumerators for their respective areas. The tendency was to employ persons who live in the locality because of their familiarity with the people and area.
Type of Research Instrument
The format of the questionnaires for the 2001 Census of Population and Dwellings was similar to that of the 1996 Census. The questionnaire was published in English and can be found in the External Resources section.
-The dwelling questionnaire contained 26 questions, requesting information on the number of persons in the dwelling, type of dwelling, year dwelling was constructed, appliances and amenities, subsistence agricultural and fishing activities, etc.
-The personal questionnaire was split into several parts:
Questions 1 to 6 - relates to every person in the Cook Islands on census night.
Questions 7 to 11(ii) - relates to every person in the Cook Islands on census night excluding visitors and those that were currently serving a sentence in jail.
Questions 11(iii) - relates to every person over the age of 1 year.
Questions 11(iv) to 12(d) - relates to every person over the age of 5 years.
Questions 12(e) to Q21 - relates to every person over the age of 15 years.
Questions 22 - relates only to females 15 years and over.
Cook Islands Statistics Office
Ministry of Finance and Economic Management
Data editing was done using Microsoft Access.
The availability of a network computer system has added a new dimension to data processing for the office. With new database software (Microsoft Access) also being 56 introduced, we were able to complete the data processing on time. Four temporary data entry personnel were employed to assist with the data processing while other statistical activities of the office continued.
The data was entered on an enumeration area (batch) basis. Two tables were set up to capture the information, one for the household details and the other for the personal details. The computer system carried out range checks and logical checks during the
data entry stage to minimise punching errors and detect obvious inconsistencies in the data. The system was also used to detect unreasonable relationships between one variable and another.
"Cook Islands Statistics Office, Population and Housing Census 2001 (PHC 2001), Version 01 of the licensed datasets (March 2001), provided by the Pacific Microdata Library. www.pdl.spc.int"
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.