The 2021 Population and Housing Census is 9th locally conducted. Since Nauru Independance in 1968 national censuses have been undertaken in 1977, 1983, 1992, 2002, 2006 (mini-census), 2011, 2013 (mini-census), 2019 (mini-census) and 2021.
The Nauru Population and Housing Census is conducted by the country's statistics agency, the Nauru Bureau of Statistics (NBS). It provides an official count of people, along with demographic and socioeconomic information at the national and community level. The Census night took place on 30th October 2021 at midnight.
The Nauru population census is central to decisions in all areas of society and government decision making. It is the basis of population estimates; it provides insight into the wellbeing and needs of communities throughout the Nauruan society. It is also the most expensive single statistical undertaking for any nation - getting it right matters, both in terms of providing value for this spending of public money, as well as in ensuring that users base these important decisions on trusted and high-quality data.
Censuses are principal means of collecting basic population and housing statistics required for social and economic development, policy interventions, their implementation and evaluation.The census plays an essential role in public administration.
The results are used to ensure:
• equity in distribution of government services
• distributing and allocating government funds among various regions and districts for education and health services
• delineating electoral districts at national and local levels, and
• measuring the impact of industrial development, to name a few
The census also provides the benchmark for all surveys conducted by the national statistical office. Without the sampling frame derived from the census, the national statistical system would face difficulties in providing reliable official statistics for use by government and the public. Census also provides information on small areas and population groups with minimum sampling errors. This is important, for example, in planning the location of a school or clinic. Census information is also invaluable for use in the private sector for activities such as business planning and market analyses. The information is used as a benchmark in research and analysis.
Census 2021 was the 8th to be conducted locally since Nauru Independance in 1968. National censuses have been undertaken in 1977, 1983, 1992, 2002, 2006, 2011, 2019 (mini-Census) and 2021.
Census 2021 specific objectives included:
- To provide statistics on population, demographic, social, economic and housing characteristics;
- To provide a base for the selection of a new sampling frame;
- To provide data at lowest geographical level; and
- To provide a primary base for the mid-year projections.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
Unit of Analysis
Household and Individual.
version 1: Cleaned, labelled and de-identified version of the Master file.
- PERSON: Demographic characteristics, Disability, Education, Literacy and language, Internet, Economic activities, Fertility and mortality, Household members no longer living in the household.
- HOUSEHOLD: Dwelling characteristics, Household goods, Household appliances, Household income sources, Climate change and environment, Agriculture and fishing, Food insecurity experience scale.
pacific-skills, education, training pacific-skills, education, training
pacific-skills, industry, training
The census covered all de facto household members.
Producers and sponsors
Nauru Bureau of Statistics
Statistics for Development Division
Pacific Community (SPC)
Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
United Nations Population Fund
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Computer Assisted Personal Interview [capi]
Data Collection Notes
There was a Household Listing undertaken in Nauru in July 2021. The listing included a person roster of all the people who are currently living in each household or institution. Their age, sex, residential status and nationality. The Household Listing also captured a GPS location of each dwelling. A pilot census undertaken in Nauru prior to the census. The findings from these tests from the "Dress Rehearsal" helped to refine the plans and methods for the actual enumeration. The pre-enumeration phase mainly involved the final preparatory work before the actual count. It started with development of Census instruments like the CAPI questionnaire, Interviewer and Supervisor manuals, and purchase of tablets etc. The phase also involved recruitment of field staff, training of interviewers and supervisors and delineation of Enumeration Areas for the organisation of fieldwork.
The census took place on the 30th of October 2021. The interviews were conducted both in English and Nauruan language to obtain precise answers. The average length of an interview was between 45 minutes and 1 hour depending on the size of the household (number of individuals in the household). A total of 10 teams were in charge of interviewing households in Nauru in 2021. There were 10 supervisors for 80 interviewers that were disseminated throughout Nauru.Data was collected between October 30th 2021 to the 8th of December 2021 or roughly a period of 6 weeks on tablets using Survey Solutions.
Training was held at the USP campus in Nauru for 2 weeks.
- The training was conducted by section order:
- Cover IDs
- Demographic questions
- Education questions
- Labour Force questions
- Fertility questions
- Household questions
Training was conducted by Bureau of Statistics with the remote technical support from the Pacific Community, Statistics Development Division in Noumea.
Language used during training was English and Nauruan.
Language used during fieldwork training was usually Nauruan with local respondent, while English is used to non-Nauruan respondents.
Average time interviewing houshold with 6 repondents (1 form) is between 40-50 minutes.
Nauru Bureau of Statistics
The questionnaire for Nauru Population and Housing Census was structured based on the Pacific Model Census Questionnaire developed by the Pacific Community (SPC). The FAO Food Insecurity Experience module was incorporated. The questionnaire was translated into Nauruan. The questionnaire for this Census is composed of 10 sections. The English questionnaire can be found in the External Resources.
MODULE 1: Household Occupancy
MODULE 2: Household Roster (All individuals)
MODULE 3: Population Characteristics & Disability
MODULE 4: Education, Literacy & Language and Internet
MODULE 5: Economic activities last week
MODULE 6: Fertility and Mortality
MODULE 7: Housing
MODULE 8: Agriculture and Fishing
MODULE 9: FIES (Food Insecurity Experience Scale)
MODULE 10: Manual Household location + Photo
Data was edited using Stata version 15.
Data was collected using the World Bank software Survey Solutions.
FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBITIES OF THE BUREAU
According to the Statistics Act (No.10 of 1992), the functions of the Bureau are defined as follows:
To constitue the central statistical authority for the Republic of Nauru
To collect, compile, analyse and disseminate statistics and related information
To ensure coordination of the operation of the official bodies and others in the collection, compilation and dissemination of statistics and related information
To formulate, and ensure compliance with standards, for the carrying out by official bodies of operations for statistical purposes
To provide advice and assistance in relation to statistics, and
To liaise between Nauru and other countries and international organisations in relation to statistical matters
Each new proposal for the collection of information for statistical purposes by the Bureau shall be approved by the cabinet before its implementation, unless the proposal is for the collection of information on a voluntary basis.
STATISTICAL INFORMATION TO BE COLLECTED
a ) may from time to time may collect such statistical information in relation to the matters prescribed for the purpose of this section as he or she considers appropriate; and
b ) shall, if the Minister so directs by notice in writing, collect such statistical information in relation to the matters so prescribed in the notice.
"Nauru Bureau of Statistics, Nauru Population and Housing Census 2021 (PHC 2021), version 01 of the licensed datasets (December 2022), provided by the Pacific Data Hub - Microdata Library. https://microdata.pacificdata.org/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
Pacific COmmunity (SPC)
Documentation of study
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 01 (January 2023): This is the first attempt at documenting the 2021 Population and Housing Census of Nauru. Done in Noumea by the Pacific Community.