# FAQ_Saudi_Arabia’_Census

Q: When was the first modern population census conducted in the world?

A: Since ancient times, human beings cared about the population census. The historical sources point to the existence of this interest in ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, the ancient Chinese civilization and the Romans. In 1749, Sweden is the first country to conduct a census in its modern sense, followed by Norway in 1760, then Denmark in 1769, and finally the United States in 1790. In the Arab countries, Egypt is the first Arab country to conduct a modern population census, in 1882.

Q: How many official censuses have been carried out by Saudi Arabia and what was the total population in each?

1. First census 1974 7,009,466 people

2. Second census 1992 16,948,388 people

3. Third census 2004 22,678,262 people

4. Fourth census 2010 27,236,156  people

Q: what are the objectives of the 2020 census?

A: The 2020 Census aims to:

1. Collect and disseminate economic, social and demographic data of population in order to provide the requirements of the State, the needs of the planners and researchers from the basic data on population and housing required for development plans.

2. Provide a modern framework for all specialized statistical research conducted by the sample method such as labor force research, family budget, demographic research such as fertility, mortality and migration, health and education research, housing research, establishments’ surveys and economic research.

3. Create a broad database and using it as a reliable base when conducting studies and research required by development programs.

4. Provide population data and indicators periodically to measure changes in population characteristics over time, conduct local, regional and international comparisons, and review and evaluate future population estimates.

Q. What distinguishes the Housing, Population and Establishments Census 2020?

A: This census is based on registered data from a number of other governmental entities, which will help in facilitating the work of field researchers (enumerators) by entering the ID number of citizens or residents in tablets directly. Moreover, citizens can access the E-portal, and fill out a census form by using self-enumeration method.

Q. Who collects data from households?

A: Field researchers are responsible in the first place for collecting data from households. It is worth mentioning that Ministry of Education’s employees (teachers) represent the vast majority of those researchers. Also, some of the government’ qualified workers are asked to participate in this mission as well.

Q. What kind of data and information will the 2020 Census collect from households and establishments?

A: as follows

1. Household size and composition

2. Age distribution data

3. Nationality data

4. Health and disability data

5. Place of birth data

6. Educational status data

7. Marital status data

8. Economic characteristics data

9. Information community data: to identify the society’s means of culture and entertainments.

10. Establishments’ data (number of establishments, geographic distribution, activity and branches, number of workers, revenues)

Q. what is the method used for data collection?

A: There are many methods used to collect data of Census 2020, such as direct and indirect methods. However, the method used to collect data for Census 2020 is a direct method. It is done through personal interview with the household’s head or any other member (not less than 15 years old). Additionally, there is a self-enumeration method that enables persons to access the E-portal and complete the census form.

Q. Is the data of each individual or household processed independently?

A: No, data are processed collectively. It is not possible to publish them independently

. Q: What government entities support the Saudi Arabia Census 2020 project?

A: Most government entities participate in the 2020 census project. For example, local committees have been established in the emirates of all regions headed by a responsible official and decision maker in the emirate and includes a membership of a number of officials from different government entities. These committees aim at facilitating the census work in each region.

Q. What are the methods used to implement Census 2020?

A: The census is carried out by using the following three methods:

  •  Traditional census  :

The census form is designed and census data are collected by field visits to households without linking them to any other data from administrative records. This method is used (in most countries, including United States, Britain, Germany, Australia, and others). -Register-based census method: The census form is designed and census data are collected by linking with administrative records to obtain the main data of households. Additional data from the census form should be completed from households electronically (this method can be used in countries that have a distinct technical structure and excellent registered data of population or housing, or detailed social, economic, environmental and cultural data such as Scandinavian countries). -Traditional / register-based census method: The census form is designed and census data are collected by linking with administrative records to obtain the main data of households. Additional data from the census form should be completed from households through field visits (such as Spain and Germany).

Q: what are the transition requirements from the traditional census to the register-based census?

A: The transition from the traditional census to the register-based census requires a distinct technical structure, comprehensive demographic, social, economic, environmental and cultural databases. For this reason, countries cannot move directly from the traditional census to the register-based census before implementing the method of traditional / register-based census once or several times in accordance with their technical potentials. For example, Netherlands moved from the traditional census to the register-based census after implementing a traditional / register-based census twice.

Q: Which entities will be involved in the implementation of the traditional / register-based census in Saudi Arabia?

A: The General Authority for Statistics is planning to implement the 2020 census using traditional/register-based census method by linking administrative records data with the National Information Center (population data), Saudi Post (real estate units), and Ministry of Commerce and Investment (establishments data of private sector).

Q. Why moving to register-based census?

A: In all previous censuses, Saudi Arabia used the method of comprehensive field census (traditional census). It was done by collecting all data by field researchers through visiting households and enumerating them. In 2020 census, GASTAT will use the method of traditional / register-based census, and take advantage of the different sectors’ data on population and housing when such data are available, so that the automatic censuses are carried out using the method of register-based census.

Q: What is the benefit from the cooperation between GASTAT and the National Information Center?

GASTAT is currently coordinating with the National Information Center, which is the entity that keeps the population data in Saudi Arabia, in order to apply the methodology of traditional / register-based census, by relying on the administrative records as the main element for conducting the census. As in all countries of the world, when starting the implementation of the register-based census Saudi Arabia will use a traditional / register-based census in the 2020 census to complete all the registered data provided by the National Information Center together with the data from sub-records with specific topics such as educational level and social status. These data will be added to the field data in order to fully rely on the register data in the future during the years after the 2020 census. This will achieve the following results:

1. Increase the accuracy and the quality of the Saudi and non-Saudi population data in addition to any other details related to these data.

2. Improve data from various government entities and expand their use by linking them with other data about (education, health, work or other) and improve their analysis, providing detailed data for decision makers.

3. Achieve cooperation between government entities regarding data sharing and the creation of improved and up-to-date databases.

4. Conduct a full census based on administrative records.

5. Use unified international definitions and classifications of data.

Q: What is the benefit from the cooperation between GASTAT and the Saudi Post?

GASTAT coordinates with the Saudi Post in order to benefit from the “National Address”, through which a comprehensive standard spatial address for all buildings and units in different regions and cities of Saudi Arabia was created. Each building has a unique symbol with spatial connotations built by using the latest GIS techniques. It provides comprehensive, standardized and high-accuracy spatial databases containing detailed data about regions, cities, centers and neighborhoods. It distinguishes any building in Saudi Arabia to be used in the implementation of the General Population and Housing Census 2020. This will provide the following:

1. Exchange of geospatial data and technical expertise between GASTAT and the Saudi Post.

2. Obtain a digital map of the national address, which enables GASTAT to develop a full and comprehensive framework for all buildings and plots associated with the national address

3. Obtain addresses of all individuals linked to a unique geographic location.

4. Analyze data in depth by linking data geographically to the national address.

Q: What is self-enumeration and what are its objectives?

A: it is one of the recent technological methods that is used in population censuses; households will not need the enumerator to visit them since they will be able to fill in the form electronically on the website. Self-enumeration objectives are:

1. Decrease the number of visits by field researchers to households' homes.

2. Provide greater privacy for households in making their statements.

3. Keep abreast of digital transformation and benefit from modern technologies

. 4. Contribute in reducing the administrative and financial burden of collecting field data.

5. Provide service to households and facilitate the completion of their data at times that fit within the time period specified for conducting the census.

Q. What are the stages of the 2020 Census implementation?

1. Preparatory stage:

  •  The planning stage of census work. This stage started in January 1st ,2018.  The numbering of buildings, establishments and real estate units and the enumeration of households.

This stage will start in February 10th ,2020.

2. Actual enumeration stage:

  • The beginning of the Saudi Arabia Census 2020 (population and housing) in March 17th ,2020.
  • The beginning of the Saudi Arabia Census 2020 (establishments) in September 1st ,2020.

3. Results stage

  •  The announcement of the primarily results of the Saudi Arabia Census 2020 (population and housing) in June 1st ,2020.
  •  The announcement of the final results of the Saudi Arabia Census 2020 (population and housing) in September 1st ,2020.
  • The announcement of the primarily results of the Saudi Arabia Census 2020 (establishments) in January 1st ,2021.
  •  The announcement of the final results of the Saudi Arabia Census 2020 (establishments) in June 1st , 2021.

Q. What comes after Census 2020?

A: This census will achieve a transformation in the enumeration method through integrating the register-based data with field data. It will also provide an accurate picture about housing and population data in Saudi Arabia based on different characteristics. Data request will definitely increase from various sectors to support the planning of Saudi Vision 2030 and its 12 programs.