paper has been reproduced as submitted.
It has been issued without formal editing.
Kiribati has just conducted
it eleventh national Population census in November
2000. The census night was the midnight of the
The first population census
ever conducted in Kiribati dated back to 1921.
This was just merely a simple head count with
no other details. There was no documented account
of this census but it was believed that it was
conducted by the whalers and traders who happened
to visit the islands at that time.
A number of censuses were conducted
after that on a more formal basis but on an ad
hoc basis. It was after the 1985 census that a
5-yearly population census was adopted. This year
also marked the end of expatriate assistance in
census management and conduct. Starting from the
1990 Population census all staff are local, from
the Census Commissioner down to the data or key
During the 2000 population census,
not much change was introduced in terms of questionnaire
used and the method of data collection. Personal
interviews were adopted in all islands (33 islands).
Census supervisors from all islands were flown
in to the capital and were trained for a week
before sending them back to their respective islands.
They then recruited census enumerators who carried
out an interview of the people at a pre-determined
date and time.
Apart from a few add-ins and
removals, the 2000 census questionnaire format
remains the same with those of 1990 and 1995.
The education, employment, migration and fertility
questions were never touched. Income was never
asked in any of the censuses as it is one that
is regarded as very sensitive and people always
find it difficult to respond to.
The is only one National Statistics
office for all the 33 islands and census forms
have to be mailed back to Tarawa for further processing.
Forms may reached the office some weeks or even
months after being posted, as some have to be
As soon as the forms reached
the census office, they are checked by office
staff for completeness and consistencies before
being entered into a simple MS Access program.
At this stage of data entry, only a few variables
are entered. This database will be used to check
that no person has been counted twice as is always
the case in Kiribati where people usually move
about to stay with other relatives. After all
these hassle the forms are coded and then manually
entered into five stand-alone PCs using IMPS software.
Further editing will be conducted along the way
using Batch editing and Hot-Deck. Once data have
been entered, the forms are stored in the archives
until the next census has been produced. This
is a requirement by the census act.
Raw data with definitions and
dictionaries are stored on all five PCs with backup
copies on floppies and CD-ROMs. Tables are produced
and are exported to an excel format for easy access
to users. There is also a plan to setup a databank
at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)
in Noumea for backup purposes but these will be
looked at in accordance with statistical and census
acts as some of these acts prohibited the storage
of such data elsewhere apart from the statistics
Preliminary results are released
to the press bearing in mind that some adjustment
might be needed. It is also made available to
the press upon request. The final results will
be available in hard copies as well as electronic
copies. The possibility of utilizing an internet
facility is being checked for costs and benefits.
Other means of dissemination include pictorial
posters, newspaper columns and a quarterly statistical
news bulletin which we hope to produce for the
first time at the March quarter this year.