A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. This term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses.Other common censuses include agriculture, business, and traffic censuses.
The first Kenyan census was conducted in the year 1948 when Kenya was still a colony administered by the British. Since 1969 Kenya has been carrying out census after every 10years.2009 census marked the 5th census in post independence Kenya. By establishing the number of people living in a country the government can allocate funds equitably for community programs like education, housing and healthcare.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) is responsible for conducting census in Kenya. In August this year It will be conducting the first ever paperless census. Questions are loaded on an electronic tablet. Kenyans in diaspora will not be counted but members of their household will be asked questions about them.
For the paperless census the enumerators will be armed with a tablet that has a software that will help them get the data. This guarantees the process will be faster than in the previous census.It also ensures that the data will be more secure and that the census results will be available sooner than was previously possible. All citizens are encouraged to participate in this exercise.
Why is Census Important?
- Census serves as basis for adequate policy planning.
- Census reveals the current trend of fertility and mortality,this helps to calculate growth rate and also necessary for planning for social services.
- Census reveals the composition of population by age,this information is useful in laying down plans for provision of amenities for the different age groups.
- Census reveal dependency ratio in the country,the information may be used in determining tax relief.
- It reveals the place of birth of an individual which may help to know the migration trends.
- it determines the number of unemployed citizens in Kenya and the living standards of the citizens.
- Census helps in determining the number of emigrants and Immigrants in the country.
- Census results are also key in guiding the boundaries review commission in delimitation of electoral boundaries.