Overview of the 2021 PHC

Ghana is preparing for the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) with data collection scheduled for the first half of year. The 2021 PHC will be the first digital PHC in Ghana.

The 2021 PHC will provide important information to support evidence-based implementation of the national development agenda and support the tracking of achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063 of the African Union.

The Ghana Statistical Service is the lead agency implementing the Census in collaboration with other public sector agencies and partners.

The 2021 PHC will comprise a listing exercise to identify and number all structures, an enumeration phase to enumerate (count and collect information on) all persons and a post-enumeration survey to evaluate the Census.

The Ghana 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) will consist of a population census and a housing census as one operation. The two censuses, though separate, constitute one statistical operation and they are not completely independent of each other because of the essential elements of each census which are common to both and are also with well-coordinated activities. In this way, the information on the population and living quarters can be more readily matched, and processing is facilitated, and extensive analysis can be carried out. This also makes it possible to relate to the housing census data, the information on demographic and economic characteristics of each household member that is routinely collected in the population census.  

For the 2021 PHC the country has been delineated into over 51,000 enumeration areas to facilitate complete coverage. Ancillary geo-spatial data layers (satellite imagery, building footprints, scores of difficulty) were used to validate and complement the Census mapping work (including use of interactive maps). A list of over 131,000 localities across the country has also been compiled.

Delivering a “paperless census” for Ghana is a key feature in the 2021 PHC.  Adopting mobile data capture means changing from paper to an electronic questionnaire which will affect the entire census process. Traditionally, censuses in Ghana have been conducted using paper questionnaires, manuals, and maps. This innovation of using mobile devices means adopting a digital and environmentally friendly approach. Going green will save the country approximately the printing of over 7 million household questionnaires.

In preparation for the 2021 PHC, three trial censuses and two trial post enumeration surveys will be used to test overall preparedness to undertake the Census successfully.

You Should Know

A Population Census is the complete enumeration of all persons in a country at a specified time. The enumeration implies the collection, compilation, evaluation, analysis, publication and dissemination of demographic, social and economic statistics relating to the population.

A Housing Census is the complete enumeration of all living quarters (occupied and vacant) in a country at a specified time. This enumeration also implies the collection, compilation, evaluation, analysis, publication, and dissemination of statistical data pertaining to these living quarters and the occupants.

A Population and Housing Census consists of a population census and a housing census as one operation. The two censuses, though separate, constitute one statistical operation and they are not completely independent of each other because of the essential elements of each census which are common to both and are also with well-coordinated activities.

The information on the population and living quarters can be more readily matched, and processing is facilitated, and extensive analysis can be carried out. This also makes it possible to relate to the housing census data, the information on demographic and economic characteristics of each household member that is routinely collected in the population census.

A Population and Housing Census (PHC) has many uses. In the first place, it will give us the total number of persons and housing types and their characteristics in every town or village or a given small area in the country. This information will be of great help to the Central and Local Governments in planning various educational, health, housing and other social services. The information that will be derived from the census will also help the private sector, including businesses to plan their activities, which will be of benefit to the economic development of this country. In addition, international bodies, including Development Partners (DPs) and Non-Governmental Organizations will also utilize the Population and Housing Census data when planning for Ghana.

Interested in the 2021 PHC reports?