Kiribati has been carrying out population and housing censuses in a "modern sense" at intervals of about five years since 1985. This population census is the fifth in its series conducted by the Kiribati National Statistics Office (1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 and this one in 2005) though first censuses took place in non-regular intervals since 1921.
The primary objective of the Census is to determine the official count of the number of persons and households in Kiribati in 2005 and can be used to compare their socio-economic characteristics with those 5 years ago collected in the 2000 Population Census. Results of the census are most useful for government of Kiribati for planning and policy formulation and thus have a direct impact on the Kiribati population.
The Population Census for 2005 is one of the requirements of the NSO and has been stipulated as one of the key development areas in the National Development Strategy (NDS) 2004-2007 report.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
Unit of Analysis
Households and Individuals.
Version 01: Cleaned, labelled and de-identified version of the Master file.
-HOUSEHOLD: Housing and Lands, food, livestock and fishing, capital goods, energy and waste management, cash inflow, environmental issue.
-INDIVIDUAL: Population's characteristics, education, use of narcotics, work status, fertility.
De facto count: only those present in the country at the time of the census enumeration were counted and interviewed.
Producers and sponsors
Kiribati National Statistics Office
Government of Kiribati
Government of Kiribati
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Forty six supervisors were recruited a month prior to their training, these recruitments were to follow criteria established by the Census Commissioner, however, they were recruited according to the procedures established by local island councils. For this census, the Commissioner had raised the minimum required academic level for supervisors to at least a form 5 school leaver.
The supervisors’ roles were to be responsible for all aspects of the census collection on their respective islands.
-Training of supervisors:
Supervisors from the outer islands were invited for a one week of training program to enhance their capabilities to conduct the census on their respective islands. Ad hoc training included the overall management of the resources and field work including some practical applications.
Data Collection Notes
A total of around 370 staff were hired to assist in conducting of the Population Census, including 301 enumerators.
The Census commissioner was the first to be appointed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
The enumerators were recruited two weeks prior to their training. In total, 301 enumerators were recruited from all regions in Kiribati. The majority of the enumerators came from South Tarawa with 101 enumerators i.e. one for each EA. Their recruitment was also done through their respective island councils, using specific criteria provided by the Commissioner. Due to the complications of it being a more densely populated island, various types of economic activities, a wide range of ethnic groups in the urban areas, the focus of the recruitment was for South Tarawa to increase the level of quality enumerators. For instance, the enumerators were targeted at a much higher level even though a criterion of at least a form 5 school leaver with fluency in English was sought.
Most of these staff will be occupied temporarily for a certain period of time after which they will be released.
-Training of Enumerators:
The training of enumerators in the outer islands was conducted by the trained census supervisors, and were simultaneously provided with programs and modules used in the training of the South Tarawa enumerators. On South Tarawa all the enumerators were trained by the Census Commissioner following the enumerator's manual. Training of enumerators in the Line Islands followed the same procedure as for South Tarawa and was conducted by the Deputy Census commissioner.
The questionnaire was printed and formatted into an A3 sized booklet. The Pilot Census was conducted during the first two weeks of August, 2005. Ten census officers carried out the pilot Census in 200 households. Each officer enumerated 20 households. After the pilot test, the completed questionnaires were returned to the NSO to be coded and data captured using the processing system. Apart from the testing of the contents of the questionnaire, the length of time was recorded to ensure the number of households required for each enumerator in the field work was sufficient. No significant comments were raised regarding either the contents or the length of time allocated.
The key results from the pilot census were to:
• Test the consistency of our coding system for data entry.
• Conduct a trial for the data processing system of CSPro, prior to the fullcensus.
National Statistics Office
Government of Kiribati
The questionnaire, published in English, is divided into 2 forms:
-Personal Questionnaire. It collects information on: Individual characteristics, education, health issues, fertility, economic activity.
-Household Questionnaire. It collected information on: Household characteristics, livestocks, capital goods owned, energy, fishing involvement, sanitation, waste management, cash inflow, environmental issues.
The Questionnaire design is to determine the contents of the Questionnaire that will capture as much of relevant information as possible. The priority; however was to ensure all questions included were in a simple and understandable format. As part of designing the questionnaire, a workshop was convened on 11th February 2005 to invite the Census users to comment. These users were a combination of technical personnel in the various government ministries as well as nongovernment organization representatives.
There was a significant amount of input to the questionnaire at this workshop. There were a number of suggestions, ranging from the addition, deletion and alterations of existing questions. The National Statistics Office (NSO) however, was not able to accommodate the needs of all users in the Census questionnaire. The questionnaire was revised and processed. The initial questionnaire was based on the previous census (2000). At the end of the workshop, the common understanding of all the stakeholders was that the design was best left to be formatted by the Statistics officials and passed on for review, before the Pilot Census was undertaken. In the process, a draft was prepared and presented to the Director of Planning & Statistics to review and copied to the participant with a deadline for the final views to be incorporated. Other parties that received a copy of the questionnaire for reviewing included the Secretariat of the South Pacific (SPC). An Asian Ddevelopment Bank (ADB) representative also showed their interest in having a copy of the draft questionnaire which they were provided. Most reviews were received in written and verbal form and then edits were adjusted. This confirmed a final draft of the questionnaire.
Not all comments were acceptable for the questionnaire in the view of the NSO. The questionnaire however, was prepared and finalized using the best of knowledge of the NSO about what information needed to be collected, while maintaining consistency with previous censuses. The final review of the questionnaire was made after the pilot testing.
Software used was CSPro.
The data was primarily captured using MS Access in order to permit an early release of the preliminary figures. At this stage, elimination of the double counts was also conducted.
Assistance was provided from SPC throughout the second data processing stage. CSPro version 2.5 initially was utilized to set up the data processing capture system by the census commissioner. Subsequently, the Pacific Community (SPC) Techinal Assistance (TA) was requested to fine-tune the system.
The Census data is protected under the Statistics Act 96 in the Kiribati constitution.
"National Statistics Office of Kiribati, Population and Housing Census 2005 (PHC 2005), Version 01 of the licensed dataset (April 2015), provided by the Pacific Microdata Library. http://pdl.spc.int/index.php/home"
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.
DDI Document ID
Statistics for Development Division
Documentation of the study
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 01 (May 2019): This is the first attempt at documenting the 2005 Kiribati Census. Done in New Caledonia by the Statistics for Development Division.