The Census provides a great deal of useful information about demographic, social and economic characteristics of the population.
The 1991 Census counted all persons who were living in Western Samoa on census night. It excluded Western Samoans living in other countries. The 1991 census was processed in house in the newly established Data Processing Division of the Department of Statistics. Two publications of the 1991 census have already been released. The village directory was released in October 1992 and a publication of selected tables in May 1993.
The census process began with a decision by the Statistics Advisory Board late in 1989 to take a census in November 1991. A project document was prepared with the assistance from ESCAP, through its Regional Adviser for Censuses and Surveys, and submitted to UNFPA for support. The document was subsequently approved and UNFPA assistance was secured. The Minister of Statistics also gave assurance of government suport which provided the impetus for preparatory work. The first step was to draw up a detailed work plan complete with timing and duration of each activity its cost and its expected output. Once this plan was approved, some important elements could be into place. The first was to ensure that the department of statistics and cooperating agencies were organised in a way conducive to performing key census tasks.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
version 1: cleaned and de-identified data.
The national coverage was based on four main regions; Apia Urban Area, North West Upolu, Rest of Upolu and Savaii.
Unit of Analysis
A Census of Population and Housing with community-level questionnaire would have the following units of analysis: individuals and households
The 1991 Census counted all persons who were living in Western Samoa on census night. The survey covered all household; private households and institutions.
The survey covered all household members (usual residents), all women aged 15-49 years resident in the household, and all children aged 0-4 years (under age 5) resident in the household.
Producers and sponsors
Authoring entity/Primary investigators
Samoa Bureau of Statistics
United Nations Population Fund
Economic Social Commision for Asian Pacific
Secretariant Pacific Community
United Nations Volunteers
United Nation Development Programme
Mr Laurie Lewis
Economic Social Commision for Asian Pacific
Dates of Data Collection (YYYY/MM/DD)
Time periods (YYYY/MM/DD)
Mode of data collection
To supervise the field activities of school teachers, the services of the School Inspectors were made available. Director of Education served as the Chief Supervisor
Type of Research Instrument
Other essential tasks included the design of the questionnaires and the census processing system. Some important developments had occured since 1986, leading to a need for modifications in data collection or processing. Thus while consistency between the 1991 and earlier censuses was important, it was equally vital that improvements be made and proper field tests carried out in time. Among the changes to the questionnaire were included a reintroduction of a question on literacy and a more intensive approach to collecting data on economic activity. This included and additional question to enable responses to be classified to the revised skill based International Classification of Occupations (ISCO 1988) and greater probing on the activities of womendescribed as housewives, in the belief that in earlier censuses may had erroneously been excluded from labour force. In addition, the census was designed to cover housing characteristics, the first time since 1981.
Two sets of questionnaires were used in the census:
1) A household questionnaire which was used to collect information on all household members (usual residents), the household, and the dwelling.
2) A housing questionnaire gives information about the building occupied by the household and some details on the household occupying the building
Samoa Bureau of Statistics
The 1986 census was the first to be processed in-house. Many lessons were learned during that processing which were applied in the processing of the 1991 census. The system was based on an integrated software package known as U-SP. The system was designed and tested well before the census, utilising the completed pre-test schedules. The processing of the 1989 Census of Agriculture also helped in providing experience. Processing was entirely interactive. Data entry, editing and amendments were completed by statisticians who worked "hands-on" at the computer terminals. As a result processing was faster and more efficient than in any previous census.
There were some problems however. Checking and coding were delayed for at least 2 months when a state of emergency was declared following cyclone Val early in December 1991. Damage to the office building and frequent electricity failures delayed work further.
The Statistics Act 1971
Under the Statistics Act 1971, the Statistics Department now referred to as Samoa Bureau of Statistics (SBS) is required to conduct the census of population and housing every five years to meet essential national data needs or to conduct the census at any other time as seen fit by the Minister of Statistics.
Conditions for use of licensed datasets are:
1. The data and other materials provided by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics (SBS) will not be redistributed or sold to other individuals, institutions, or organizations without the written agreement of the SBS.
2. The data will be used for statistical and scientific research purposes only. They will be used solely for reporting of aggregated information or the development of statistical models, 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 SBS.
4. No attempt, without prior approval, will be made to produce links among datasets provided by the SBS, or among data from the SBS and other datasets that could identify individuals or organizations, nor for destroying the business operations of individuals or organizations.
5. Any books, articles, conference papers, theses, dissertations, reports, or other publications that employ data obtained from the SBS will cite the source of data in accordance with the Citation Requirement provided with the dataset.
6. An electronic copy of all reports and publications based on the requested data will be sent to the SBS.
7. The original collector of the data, the SBS, and the relevant funding agencies bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
8. The primary and other researchers who will be involved in using the data must be identified.
9. The researchers' organization must be identified as must a suitable representative of the organization who must be a signatory to the license.
10. The intended use of the data including a list of expected outputs and the organization's dissemination policy must be identified.
11. A formal agreement must be signed that the files will not be shared beyond the boundaries of the organization. In the case of a blanket agreement where it is agreed that the data can be used broadly within the receiving organization in a secure manner, the receiving organization must demonstrate a capacity to manage the data files in a secure manner (with an identified individual assigned formal responsibility for doing so) and each additional new user be made aware of the terms and conditions that apply to the data files. This must be achieved by having the users sign an affidavit. Where a blanket agreement exists and data security procedures are in place, it will not be necessary for the users to destroy the data after use is complete.
"Samoa Bureau of Statistics, Population and Housing Census 1991 (PHC 1991), Version 01 (May 2014), provided by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics. http://184.108.40.206/index.php/catalog/central"