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2007 Swaziland Population and Housing Census


Source: Swaziland Central Statistical Office
Date: 28 September 2007

The Central Statistical Office of Swaziland is proud to present the provisional 2007 Population and Housing Census results. This provisional count indicates that the total population of The Kingdom of Swaziland is 953,524 inhabitants. Please, see the tables and graphs presented at the end of this document.

It is important to point out that the results presented here are only provisional. The questionnaire, that is, the form that was used to collect the census information, contains a section which is a summary table to be filled out by the interviewer just after the completion of the interview. This is a very simple table that includes the total number of present and absent residents in the household as well as the number of visitors, all of them by sex. Hence, the provisional census results are based only on the summary prepared by the interviewers and, therefore, they may differ from the final results, which come from tabulations based on all the information contained in the questionnaires.

It is also relevant to mention the two types of populations identified in the 2007 Census. The data was collected in households by interviewers and all the information refers to the so called census date, which was the midnight of 11/12 May 2007. Three situations of residence were identified: those who are permanent resident in the household, those who are members of the households but spent the census night in another place, and those who spend the census night in the household as visitors. Based on this classification, it is possible to distinguish two types of populations: a de jure and a de facto.

The 2007 Census was a de jure census, that is, it was designed to enumerate and collect information from a de jure population, which comprises those persons who are permanent members of a household, present or absent during the census night. This population is the number given above, 953,524 persons, and can be considered the provisional total population of Swaziland.

The de facto population was also enumerated by the 2007 Census. It includes the permanent residents of the households and also those who were visitors during the census night, but excludes those who are permanent member, but spent the census night elsewhere. This population was 912,229 persons.

The previous census, conducted in 1997, was on a de facto basis, and enumerated 929,718 persons living in the country. The comparison of that number with the de facto population enumerated in the 2007 Census indicates a slight decline in the population of Swaziland. Because of the methodology used in the two censuses was different, these two figures are not strictly comparable, but they suggest that the population of the country has remained stagnant or has experience a small decline.

A population decline or stagnation was not expected and this result is most surprising. It invites to speculate about possible causes. However, at this stage, it is not possible to adventure conjectures regarding this population trend. Only the demographic and statistical analysis of the 2007 Census will provide reliable answers. It is important to repeat that these results are provisional, very general, and not as reliable as the results that will be obtained from the processing of the whole census questionnaires.

It is important to point out that these provisional results were released only four months after the completion of the field work (14 May 2007). The final census results will be ready in the form of a set of priority tables by the middle of 2008, or even before. After that, several outputs will be produced, including analytical studies of relevant demographic and socio-economic topics, population and demographic projections, electronic and conventional publications including detailed tables, maps, and socio-demographic indicators. The census results will be widely disseminated and an extensive and intensive use of its results in development planning and policy formulation and evaluation is expected.

A population census is a primary source of basic benchmark statistics to plan for and implement economic and social development in the country. It is strong and distinct, which arise from the completeness of coverage and the details it provides about the population in local areas and sub-groups which no other data source meets.

As a primary source of data, the 2007 Census will provide to the country an important part of the foundation for good governance, decentralization and development. The data collected and the population-based information will be crucial for national, sub-national and sectoral policies and plans, for development frameworks, such as National Poverty Reduction Strategy Action Plan (PRSPAP) and other sectoral strategies, as well as for tracking progress toward the goals of International Conference on Population and Development and Millennium Development Goals.

The Central Statistical Office would like to thank the financial and technical support of UNFPA and, specially, the UNFPA Country Technical Services Team (Harare), and UNICEF. We also thank the team of enumerators and supervisors that participated in the field work.  However, most of all, we are grateful to the Swazi people for their collaboration and participation in this statistical operation.








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