In Summary
  • All children in children’s homes were birthed by women unlikely to declare them for one reason or other.
  • Religious beliefs must also be taken into account so that female officers are not asked to enumerate members of communities that believe women should be in their homes at night.
  • An inadequate or ineffective census education campaign can also lead to flawed data.
  • The state of infrastructure may also hinder collection of factual data in some regions.

Kenya's National Housing and Population Census is scheduled for the night of August 24.

There are two interesting things about this census. It is the first time Kenya is enumerating her population since the promulgation of the Constitution in 2010. It is also the first census in which data will be captured using digital gadgets, which will certainly make collating and analysis easier.

Census have been conducted by governments for centuries to enable them get a clear picture of not only the number of people in the country, but also their living conditions and access to so-called resource drain services, such as education, healthcare, water and sanitation systems.

The data generated by a census is useful for planning purposes, policy formulation and generation of a development agenda for any country.

In the Kenyan case, counties will be anxiously awaiting this data as the Constitution suggests allocation of resources in relation to population statistics and demographics.


The Kenya National Bureau of statistics has chosen a methodology in which the census reference night will determine the population at this particular time.

This means one will be enumerated depending on where they spend the night on August 24 before midnight and on August 25 after that hour.

Sociologically, this can present challenges. There is a flawed assumption that at the time of enumeration, the entire population will be in the presence of people who know where they will be spending that night.

This assumption can lead to distortion of the data collected.


There are also other social cultural challenges that a census can face.

Asking women over the age of 12 about the number of live births they have had is another element that is likely to production of distorted data.

Not all households are aware of the births by their members. Some women have left children undeclared to spouses with their parents and there are children who have given up their young ones for adoption without their parents' knowledge.

All children in children’s homes were birthed by women unlikely to declare them for one reason or other.


I do hope the questionnaire has included a third gender or others in the gender question.

There are those in the population that do not consider themselves to be what they look like.

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