Symposium 2001/07

6 July 2001


English only


Symposium on Global Review of 2000 Round of

Population and Housing Censuses: 

Mid-Decade Assessment and Future Prospects

Statistics Division

Department of Economic and Social Affairs

United Nations Secretariat

New York, 7-10 August 2001












Maintaining census-related activities during intercensal years*


N. Rama Rao **




Summary. 1

A. Introduction. 2

B. Intercensal activities. 2

1. Census publications and electronic products. 2

2. Analytical reports. 3

3. Methodological and in-depth studies. 3

4. Data dissemination. 4

5. Monitoring jurisdictional changes. 4

6. Staff for intercensal activities. 5

7. Storing and maintaining census data in Geographic Information System (GIS). 5

8. Intercensal studies. 5

9. New trends in databases and dissemination. 5

10. Census frame for sampling. 6

11. Preservation of census records. 6

12. Archiving of census activities. 7

C. Conclusion. 7

References. 8

Annex-1. 9





Maintaining Census-Related Activities during Intercensal Years


Intercensal activities lend continuity to census operations and contribute towards an effective and efficient programme for the next census. Countries benefit from maintaining a permanent census organization, even if it is on a modest scale. A nucleus office with essential professional and technical staff and equipment procured for the census helps to ensure that institutional memory is preserved and census materials and activities are archived for future use. Without such continuity, each new census has to be planned afresh, leading to waste of time and resources.


A wide range of tasks must be performed between censuses, from dissemination of results and working with data users to producing analytical reports and carrying out surveys and methodological studies. In addition, maps require continuous updating, a sampling frame must be maintained, and important records must be preserved. A goal of a census is to produce data that are useful to users, so timely publication and dissemination of census data are of paramount importance. In some countries with a large volume of data, the printing of reports may occupy nearly the entire intercensal period. Many publications are now available electronically, which can shorten production time, but printed reports are still important in census dissemination.


Census organizations work with demographic research organizations, specialized ministries and university departments to produce analytical reports on special topics and methodological studies. Such work can shed light on topics of current interest to the nation, such as village-level poverty and disparities in sex ratios. Methodological studies help to ensure that census concepts and definitions are appropriate; that census topics are relevant; that questionnaires are well designed; and that difficulties encountered in one census are not repeated in the next census.


An important intercensal activity is working with data users to ensure that census data are widely available for use. Customers include universities, banks, large companies, government departments, researchers and students. Some unpublished data could be supplied to data users for a fee, which would help to sustain intercensal activities. The census office needs to maintain a library with all published reports and electronic products, and it should distribute census publications to libraries throughout the country. A communication strategy during the intercensal period maintains awareness of the importance of the census and helps to ensure cooperation during the next census. For example, popular versions of census reports could be issued to make census results more understandable to the general public.


Storing census data in a computerized database is now becoming possible in developing countries, thanks to rapid progress made in computer technology and the affordability of microcomputers. It is useful to store data at the enumeration-area level so that data can then be aggregated for larger administrative units. Small units are also necessary for establishing a sampling frame. Continuous updating must be done whenever new information is available. When databases are user-accessible, special attention must be paid to maintaining confidentiality of individual records. The Internet is a valuable tool for data dissemination. It allows text, graphs, tables and maps to be sent to data users anywhere in the world. Intercensal staff are needed to maintain the web site and to provide a list of publications available.


A final task during the intercensal period is the preservation and archiving of census records. An enormous volume of material is produced during the course of conducting a census, and essential maps and records must be kept for use in planning future censuses. Administrative reports serve as institutional memory by providing basic and required documentation of all census activities. Copies of specimen forms, instructions, maps, publicity materials and important correspondence should be preserved and plans made for ready access to them as needed.

A. Introduction

1.                  With the completion of data processing and dissemination of main census results the focus of the census organization generally shifts to intercensal activities such as (1) printing of publications and distributing them along with electronic products (e.g,. CD‑ROMs) among data users; (2) production of analytical or in-depth reports; (3) completing dissemination of all census data; (4) meeting demands for additional data; (5) maintaining a data users service centre; (6) carrying out surveys and methodological studies; (7) continuously updating jurisdictional changes; and (8) preservation of important census records and census frame.


2.                  In advanced countries, (e.g., the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Japan) and countries having a permanent census organization, the intercensal activities mentioned above are already carried out. This paper addresses itself mainly to those nations where there is no permanent and continuous census organization. However, countries with permanent census organizations could also review their intercensal activities in the light of the suggestions made.


3.                  At the outset it is emphasized that there is a need for a permanent census organization in every country, even if it is on a modest scale. This will go a long way in maintaining institutional memory and archiving census activities after a census is over. It is true that all countries may not be able to afford a census office on a continuous basis during the intercensal period. It is suggested that at least a nucleus office should be maintained retaining essential professional and technical staff and equipment procured for the census.


4.                  Having a permanent census organization or a census cell as part of the national statistical system has a distinct advantage. It avoids the “phoenix” approach to census taking—that is, opening a census office prior to each census and disbanding it soon after the census, only to have it reappear at the beginning of the next census operations a decade later. Such an approach involves enormous time and wastes human resources created with great effort and equipment bought at exorbitant cost. In such a situation, the next census has to be planned afresh from the very beginning without any linkage with the past.


5.                  Developing countries that depend on financial aid from international agencies to conduct a census seek fresh technical assistance also at every census. This is because their professionally trained staff leave to join other organizations in the absence of a permanent census office. An international technical adviser who arrives in such a country to conduct a census generally finds no trace of the previous census except for a few publications released before the departure of the previous technical adviser. The argument put forward by such countries while seeking fresh technical assistance for conducting a census—for the second or third time—is that there is no one in their office with census experience and background.


6.                  The absence of a continuous census organization also results in underutilization of census data. As there is no single authority to preserve such data and help retrieve them, census information is not at all utilized fully by national agencies for whom it is mainly intended. It is underlined that there is a need to create awareness among national users at all levels from government ministers and secretaries down to the grass-roots level about census data and their usefulness to them. This involves not only publication of data but also systematic training in using these data. This calls for continuous supervision by trained national staff familiar with both the availability and utility of data.


7.                  With this general background of the need for a permanent census establishment, we may consider each of the census-related activities during the intercensal years in greater detail.

B. Intercensal activities

1. Census publications and electronic products

8.                  The success of a census is achieved not only by satisfactory completion of fieldwork, but also by the availability of all data to government and other users. Timely publication and dissemination of all census data is of paramount importance. Though computerization helps in the production of data through CD-ROMs and other electronic products, printed reports still occupy an important place in dissemination of data. When the publication programme is fairly large and there are many volumes of tables (as in the case of large countries), the printing of census reports may spill over into the intercensal period. Criticism has been levelled against some countries that census publications were released  one by one until the next census. Such delays in publication can reduce the usefulness of data produced by an expensive and difficult operation. Hence, though a publication programme may be undertaken during the intercensal period, it should not occupy the entire period between two censuses.


2. Analytical reports

9.                  The census is a vast source of demographic, social, economic and cultural data. Government departments use these data extensively for planning and evaluating their development plans, programmes and policies. Apart from government, census data are useful to research organizations, university departments, demographic research institutions, non-governmental organizations and a host of other national and international organizations and scholars concerned with population issues. To ensure the fullest use of the wide range of census data, the census organization should publish additional tables and analytical reports on topics of current interest relating to population. Some of these reports could be based on collaborative research with institutions or individual researchers concerned. This is yet another important activity during the intercensal period. For instance, if there are wide variations in sex ratio between regions within a country, research could be undertaken using the census data to find out the causes and consequences of disparities in sex ratio. It would be interesting and instructive to know the extent to which underenumeration of women or men (as the case may be) in the census is responsible for such disparities. In respect of developing countries, socio-economic indicators based on census information could be generated for villages, which will enable analysis of the poverty situation. Generally, detailed village-level data are released last and village-level analysis may fall under the purview of intercensal staff.


10.              To undertake analytical studies, an analysis and research division should function in the census unit during the intercensal period. This division could undertake analysis and interpretation of census results and carry out methodological studies that are also useful for the subsequent census. This will enable the census to play an important role in the national statistical system and sharpen the skills of the census professional staff. It may be necessary to check during the intercensal period whether any change is necessary in the urban-rural classification of areas, in the light of the latest census figures.


11.              As an example, in Cambodia, no satisfactory definition of "urban areas" exists. Headquarters of districts in 21 provinces are considered urban, and the remaining three provinces are treated as wholly urban. This is an administrative decision made without any demographic basis. With the availability of the 1998 census data it is proposed to undertake during the intercensal period the question of redefining urban areas and evolving a fresh list of urban areas based on demographic considerations.


12.              During the intercensal period census data should be analysed in combination with relevant data from other sources to provide useful guidelines to the government on population issues and policies. The census office may have to collaborate with individual scholars or specialized institutions in such analysis.

3. Methodological and in-depth studies

13.              The intercensal period could also be best used for conducting methodological studies relating to census operations taking into account past experience and the data requirements of the national governments. For instance, the questionnaire could be improved in its design; the decision to improve or reduce precoding in the census questionnaire could be made based on experience in the previous censuses; methods could be devised to reduce underenumeration, especially in urban areas; and methods could be developed to enumerate satisfactorily visitors to households and the homeless and nomadic population, who are likely to be omitted in the census.


14.              Such experience was useful, for instance, in the Gambia. The 1993 census was conducted on a de facto basis and the following procedure was adopted in filling in the census questionnaire: Part 1 contained the names of persons found in a household on the reference date. Sex, age and relationship to head were filled in by the enumerator for all households in his/her Enumeration Area (EA) during a first visit. This was followed by a second round of visits to all households in the EA to fill in other census information for the persons already listed. This was done to ensure that all persons eligible for enumeration are first listed as close to the reference day as possible. However, in practice a problem arose. A few persons were not available to give information during the second visit of the enumerator. It would be necessary to examine during the intercensal period whether this method of enumeration should continue or not in the next census.


15.              Research could also be carried out as to how to improve field control and the tabulation plan. A record of the results of such methodological studies should be carefully documented. This record of experience will help in planning the next census for the country concerned.

16.              It has been observed that during the preparatory stages of a census, demands are made by some sectors of the population to ask some questions that could not be included in that census due to certain reasons. For instance, prior to the 2001 census of India there was a demand for caste enumeration. In Cambodia there was a demand to include a question on nationality in the 1998 census. The respective government could not accept all these demands. Such issues could be discussed and analysed in a larger forum during the intercensal period without the pressure of deadlines, and a decision could be made for the next census.


17.              An in-depth study of concepts and definitions used in the previous censuses, examination of relevance of some topics already included, addition of new topics, or exclusion of old topics in the next census could also be done. For instance, there is a view that questions on religion and mother tongue need not be included in every census by a country that is regularly conducting a census. As regards data collection on literacy, there is an opinion that before accepting the answer "Yes" to a census question on literacy, the informant should be practically tested by being asked to read or write a few lines. This may pose a time constraint in enumeration. Such issues could be carefully examined during the intercensal period so as to make a decision for the future census. Costing studies could be undertaken to reduce the census cost by restructuring staffing and rationalizing census practices.


4. Data dissemination

18.              The uniqueness of the census lies in its capability to produce statistics for small areas. During the intercensal period the demand for small-area data has to be met using computers. Census newsletters should be published periodically to provide the latest information on census operations, reports and products. User guides may be brought out by the intercensal staff to provide information on the use of the material produced by the census. Unpublished tables could be released to data users on payment. Revenue from such services rendered as well as from the sale of census publications and CD-ROMs could be used to sustain the census office and the data users service centre during the intercensal period.


19.              Generally census EAs are formed in such a way that they do not cut across village boundaries. This enables aggregation of census data at the village level. The UN principles and recommendations for population and housing censuses (United Nations, 1998) has recommended that in the course of the census, enumerators could also be instructed to collect general information about each village, including information about available services and facilities. This will help generate a village-level data base, very useful for development planning. This database may be updated during the intercensal period by the census office.


20.              A data users service centre should form an integral part of the census office during the intercensal period. Its staff may have to deal with a wide range of customers, including ministries and government departments, universities, banks, large companies, and individuals like members of Parliament, researchers and students. The staff should therefore be suitably chosen to handle this work. If a data user wants a small amount of information (like the population of a village or district) it should be given immediately. Regarding publications, necessary guidance should be provided to the users as to where they are available for purchase or reference.


21.              Libraries play an important role in the dissemination of published census reports. A census office library has to be maintained by the intercensal staff. It should hold all published reports and census electronic products. It is also necessary for the staff to ensure that census publications are available in leading libraries (including provincial libraries).


22.              In those countries where computerized census data are available, commercial organizations specializing in services could be developed. Census agencies could enter into an agreement with the census office to obtain census data on diskettes or CD-ROMs. Agencies could supply census data or census-derived data to any customer and could pay a fee to the census office for each sale. Such agencies are functioning successfully in the United Kingdom; they approach the Office of the Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) in London for data. The intercensal staff oversees these arrangements.


23.              There is a need to develop a comprehensive post-census communication strategy. Apart from the publication of general census reports, tables and research monographs, simpler and more target-oriented reports or illustrated folders should be brought out during the intercensal period. Popular versions of census reports would make census results easily understood by the general public.


24.              The intercensal staff should be encouraged to attend census and demographic workshops (in-country and international) and training courses. This will help in continuous national capacity-building and keeping the staff informed of the latest developments in census methodology and use of census data.


5. Monitoring jurisdictional changes

25.              During the intercensal period maps have to be not only maintained but also updated. It is necessary to monitor jurisdictional changes made by the government from time to time so as to effect the changes in the maps and records for use in the next census. Changes in the boundaries of districts, communes, villages and EAs are currently updated manually. Such a process is time-consuming and is prone to errors. These maps should be digitized and changes effected through computer. This is yet another important activity during the intercensal period. If not done during this time, the preparation of a fresh list of administrative areas and EAs has to be undertaken before the next census within a limited time, which may lead to administrative problems and omission of areas.


6. Staff for intercensal activities

26.              Once data processing, tabulation and release of major census results are over, the census office will have depleted staff strength due to termination of temporary staff appointed during census time. The need for a permanent census establishment has been suggested earlier. It would be appropriate to retain at least a skeleton staff of the divisions dealing with the census planning and implementation, data processing, and analysis and research to work in the data users service centre and analysis and research division. There should be a technical advisory committee that should examine requests from data users for additional tabulations and also recommend in-depth analysis of census data in combination with other demographic data available. If suitable staff are not available within the census office for analysis of certain topics, the committee can entrust the studies to outside agencies.


7. Storing and maintaining census data in Geographic Information System (GIS)

27.              In the developed countries a computerized database exists, but developing countries have not been in a position to afford this in the past. Thanks to the rapid strides made in computer technology and the consequent affordability of microcomputers, the development of such databases is now possible in most of the developing countries as well. It is useful to store census data by EAs, which can then be aggregated to obtain data on larger administrative units, such as districts, provinces or country. Storing data in small-area units is also useful for maintaining a sampling frame.


28.              Once the GIS is available with census data integrated into it, continuous updating must be done whenever new information is available. During the intercensal period, it is necessary to update GIS with information from other sources of data. Updating the GIS is possible only with coordination and cooperation among the different data-collecting agencies. The staff in the census unit during the intercensal period should verify the accuracy of the incoming data before entering them into the system.


29.              Missing information has to be imputed with care in consultation with the agency concerned. The staff should carefully document the sources of data, reference period and evaluation, if possible.


30.              During the intercensal period, there should be easy accessibility to data. A continuous monitoring and improvement of this aspect is necessary. Data requirements will vary from agency to agency. For the purpose of planning for development, statistics on totals, rates and ratios for small areas are needed. Published tables may not be sufficient for researchers. They may require more data from individual records. In this situation the issue of confidentiality of census information has to be taken into account carefully when supplying data to any user. The data can be presented in user‑accessible databases storing the information. During the intercensal period users should be continuously trained on how to utilize census data. This will help in sensitizing the public on the census and its uses. Ultimately this will be useful in getting public cooperation for the subsequent census as well, since the census will be in the mind of the people as a major source of population data.


8. Intercensal studies

31.              During the intercensal period population and household surveys could be conducted which will help update demographic and social indicators. To cite an example, after the 1961 census the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India in collaboration with its regional officers in the states and union territories executed a number of intercensal projects. There was a plethora of census publications on a variety of topics that were welcomed by the expert and layman alike. They included socio-economic surveys of villages and towns, district census handbooks including village and town directories, ethnographic studies, census atlases and several special studies (for example, handicrafts, fairs and festivals). These studies were carried out by nucleus census offices at central and state levels using the census database and supplementing it by separate in-depth studies. They proved very useful to the central and state governments and researchers. They were followed up by further research and publications by international institutions.


32.              These studies infused a “flesh and blood account” of people’s lives, customs and manners to the “dry bones” of census statistics. Such intercensal programmes are recommended for census offices. They may not be highly technical but they serve the useful purpose of documenting the census statistics and socio-economic and cultural life of the people. If repeated at the next census, such studies could throw light on changes over time.


9. New trends in databases and dissemination

33.              Developing countries are now trying to adopt the innovative methods of storage of census data, databases and dissemination implemented by more technologically advanced countries. As the following review shows, it is necessary for intercensal staff in these countries to be in position to successfully adopt new methods that are likely to be suitable and beneficial to their countries. The data storage situation has now changed phenomenally. The CD-ROM has emerged as a popular medium of storage and it is highly suitable for dissemination.


34.              One of the efficient dissemination tools for population data in modern times is the Internet. Text, graphs, tables, maps and so forth can be sent through the Internet to data users anywhere in the world.


35.              The intercensal staff have a role to play in web-page design, products and services. The main aim of the census office web site should be to provide an up-to-date supply of population data. Several papers may be designed to present to the data user the range of products available from the census office. This may include a list of publications and information relating to how to obtain copies as well as sample outputs. There should also be a page allocated to announce new or recent releases. The intercensal staff may also try to provide links to web sites of other statistical service providers.


36.              Cambodia provides an example of a developing country’s efforts to produce electronic dissemination products and to maintain them during the intercensal period. Due to war and internal disturbances for more than three decades Cambodia could not conduct its first census in 36 years until 1998. UNFPA provided necessary financial and technical assistance for the census. The census project was intended to develop national capacity for producing reliable demographic data and to assist the government in conducting a national population census. The census was conducted successfully and data processing completed by the middle of 1999.


37.              At the first stage a number of priority tables were released. These tables were analysed by trained national staff under the guidance of experts, in special in-country workshops. Analytical reports on each topic (e.g., fertility, migration and population projections) were printed and published.


38.              A data user service centre has been established within the census office, where trained staff meet the requests of data users. Four CD‑ROMs (See Annex 1) have been prepared by the census project. Several seminars for presentation of census results and workshops to train planners in ministries and other data users were conducted from time to time. Such seminars were also held in every province by census office staff. Census data dissemination workshops were conducted in 24 provinces of Cambodia from September 2000 to March 2001.


39.              The purpose of these workshops was to provide census data to planners, administrators and researchers at province, district and commune levels. In a country like Cambodia where the general educational level is fairly low, special efforts have to be made to train planners and the public on census statistics and their use. A team of trained staff from the census office went around to the provinces to explain (through Power-Point presentation) to the participants the data produced by the census in the form of reports and electronic media. The participants were also educated on the use of census data in each sector of development. An opportunity was provided to planners at the grass-roots level to have hands-on experience on the computer with census data and census thematic maps. They were also told about the consequences of population growth and the need for proper planning to strike a balance between population and development. These workshops were very successful and participants evinced great interest and enthusiasm in applying these data in their work. They desired to attend more such workshops. During the intercensal period this activity is being continued, and results from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and the latest socio-economic surveys are combined with census data in the presentation.


40.              The census office has developed a web site with census background information and key census results. A team of census office staff, trained in web-site design, HTML and JAVASCRIPT programming, will be updating the web site during the intercensal period with the help of the latest available data from surveys.


10. Census frame for sampling

41.              The census provides the frame required for sampling purposes. The set of enumeration areas developed in the most recent population census is a typical area frame. Such an area frame generally contains information like the census count of persons or households in each area, which can be used to establish the probabilities of selecting the first-stage sampling units. It is necessary to update this frame during the intercensal period. The 1998 census of Cambodia served as the frame for designing a master sample for use in intercensal household survey programmes. It was used for the Cambodia DHS in 2000 and several other studies.


11. Preservation of census records

42.              Publications, CD-ROMs and other electronic data products of the census have to be preserved and maintained during the intercensal period. The census office should provide special facilities for their preservation by allotting suitable space in an air-conditioned facility with proper security. This is very important; otherwise these products could be lost and not available for future reference.


43.              The enormous volume of paperwork during the census creates a huge volume of maps and records. It is necessary to keep the essential maps and records useful for the future, while destroying working sheets, redundant records, unused forms and control sheets.


44.              In modern times space for archiving has to be procured at great cost. Stacking equipment is also expensive. Hence senior officers of the census office should form a committee to decide which records are essential and need to be retained (specifying the date up to which they should be retained) and which are to be destroyed soon after the census.


45.              Maps and census documents such as census questionnaires are all confidential records and hence their safety and security have to be ensured. In countries where the information collected through the census questionnaire has been entered fully in the computer, the filled-in census questionnaire could be destroyed after data processing. If 100 per cent of the data was not entered, the filled-in questionnaires may be retained until the next census. The location of census records need not necessarily be at the main census office which may be in the capital city or town. Taking into account the high cost of renting warehouses in such places, the census records could be retained in neighbouring towns or villages with proper security arrangements.


12. Archiving of census activities

46.              Generally an administrative report is written after the census by the project management incorporating in it the census methodology. This is of great use in the subsequent census. In India, for instance, such reports both at central and state levels are available for almost every census in the past. Such administrative reports serve as invaluable documents of historical value. An administrative report should contain all details: description of how concepts were developed, procedures adopted to enumerate the population, staffing pattern and organizational problems that cropped up and how they were solved. This report should also have copies of instructions, census questionnaires, tabulation plan, data-processing system and publication programme.


47.              In addition to the administrative report it is necessary to keep copies of all important internal circulars containing instructions, specimen forms prescribed to monitor and control the census, publicity material and important correspondence with field agencies. All these will serve as useful reference material in successive censuses. For permanent reference, it would be desirable to store the administrative report and the documents mentioned on CD-ROMs.

C. Conclusion

48.              Intercensal activities lend a continuity to census operations and contribute towards an effective and efficient programme for the next census. The main intercensal activities are: (1) completion of dissemination; (2) completion of printing and publication; (3) provision of services to data users; (4) continuous updating of jurisdictional changes as an advance preparation for the next census; (5) carrying out population surveys, household surveys and methodological studies; (6) maintenance of a census library containing census publications and electronic products (e.g., CD-ROMs); (7) preservation of essential maps and records and destroying filled-in questionnaires after data processing under proper supervision if data have been entered fully; (8) documenting census activities in administrative reports and retaining multiple copies of all essential census instructions, circulars and questionnaires for reference and guidance in the next census; (9) continuously updating digitized maps for use in the next census; (10) retaining the census office (at least in a skeleton form with necessary staff) during the intercensal period; and (11) updating the census frame for the purpose of sampling.


49.              Intercensal activities provide a smooth transition from one census to another and optimise data utilization. They serve as an important link between the censuses. They need as much attention and careful planning by census management as the main census itself. Above all they help retain and improve national capacity built at a great cost and with external technical assistance in some cases.



Cambodia, National Institute of Statistics (2001). Organisation and Administration of the General Population Census of Cambodia, 1998.  Phnom Penh.


Jerrold, W. Huguet, et al. (2000). Results of the 1998 Population Census of Cambodia. Asia Pacific Population Journal, Vol.15, No.3, September.


Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (1996). Proceedings of the Expert Group Meeting on Innovative Techniques for Population Censuses and Large-Scale Demographic Surveys, The Hague, 22-26 April.


Suharto, Sam (1996). Proposed changes in the International Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses. Technical Notes on Population Statistics and Information Systems, New York: United Nations Statistics Division.


United Nations (1992). Handbook of Population and Housing Censuses, Part I:  Planning, Organization and Administration of Population and Housing Censuses. Studies in Methods, Series F, No. 54. Sales No. E.92.XVII.8.


_____ (1998), Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 1. Statistical Papers, Series M, No. 67/Rev.1. Sales No. E.098.XVII.8.


Annex I






50.              Census Priority Tables. This CD was released in September 1999. It contains table sets consisting of 50 priority tables at the following geographical levels: Country (Total, Urban and Rural), 24 Provinces (Total, Urban and Rural) and 180 Districts. In all, there are 11,513 census tables on the CD-ROM. These tables cover the general population aspects like sex, age, marital status and relationship to head of household, education, economic activity, migration, fertility and household amenities. A user-friendly "Table Retrieval System" is also included to facilitate easy retrieval of selected tables among the large number available.




51.              Village Databases. In an effort to meet frequent demands from data users for small-area statistics, the National Institute of Statistics of the Ministry of Planning released a CD-ROM with aggregated data for every village enumerated in the country. Since confidentiality of census data must be maintained, especially at these low geographical levels, it was only possible to aggregate part of the census variables, i.e., age, sex, relationship, marital status, literacy, school attendance, educational attainment (in categories) and housing amenities.


52.              This dissemination was intended for data users with good knowledge of microcomputers and database and/or spreadsheet software. The product is in the format of DBF databases, which can easily be converted into Access or Excel files. Data Dictionaries, describing in detail the structure of each individual database, were included with the product.




53.              POPMAP application. This CD-ROM, released in April 2000, contains the POPMAP application for the 1998 Population Census of Cambodia. POPMAP, a United Nations software package, is an integrated, easy-to-use software package for developing a computerized geographical database of population data and related information. It combines many components into one package.


·        A set of tools for creating, editing and maintaining a geographical database with multidisciplinary statistics, map features and community-based facilities;

·        A collection of capabilities for retrieving and processing data in a worksheet environment, and for creating statistical graphs; and

·        A rich set of options for analysing, interpreting and developing effective data presentations using maps.


54.              The Cambodia application consists of a country map and maps for each of the 24 provinces. The country map has layers for the country, provinces and districts. The provincial maps have layers for the provinces, districts and communes.


55.              Furthermore, information on villages, schools, routes and rivers is included for all maps. A large database with 123 different demographic and socio-economic indicators, most of which are available down to the commune level, forms the main thrust of the application.


56.              The development of the POPMAP application for Cambodia proved to be a very cumbersome task. The initial version of the software was not very robust resulting in a large number of system crashes. Most of the problems were related to the projection and georeferencing of digitized maps. In order to resolve these problems, the DPA established a dialogue with the authors of the software in Hanoi, Vietnam. They were very helpful and frequently submitted updates with software fixes. However, it took several months before a more stable version became available in which the georeferencing worked properly.




57.              Population Database. This CD-ROM, released in May 2000, contains the WinR+ Population Database for the 1998 population census of Cambodia. WinR+, another United Nations software package, is an abbreviation of REDATAM-Plus for Windows, where REDATAM stands for REtrieval of DATa for small Areas by Microcomputer. The database consists of the microdata of the 1998 Population Census of Cambodia—that is, all data records of the individual persons and households. This permits the data user to produce any cross-tabulation for any user-defined geographical area. For the Cambodia application the lowest selectable geographical level is the village.


58.              The WinR+ software enables the data user to derive information easily from the database, including new variables, tabulations, and other outputs. All this can be achieved via graphical windows and without the assistance of a programmer. The software also facilitates the processing of external databases in one of the common formats such as dBASE. A data dictionary, describing in detail the structure of the database, was included with the product.



*      This document was reproduced without formal editing

**     India .The views expressed in the paper are those of the author and do not imply the expression of any opinion on the part of the United Nations Secretariat.