Tanzania 2012 Census Information



The United Nations defines a POPULATION CENSUS as the total process of collecting, compiling, evaluating, analyzing and publishing or otherwise disseminating demographic, economic, and social data pertaining, at a specified time, to all persons in a country or in a well delimited part of a country.

Modern censuses have incorporated the housing component to collect information on housing conditions and household amenities and assets. 

In a nutshell a Population Census is the complete count of persons in a country or any defined part of it with reference to a specific pint in time. It provides the following key information necessary for decision making at all levels:

  • How many are we?
  • What/who are we?
  • Where/how do we live?
  • What are the prospects?

Most countries conduct population once every ten (10) years.



The census agenda laps various stakeholders namely national governments, international community and other stakeholders. Universally, the census data is a critical tool for planning / decision-making – at all levels. Lack of census data seriously hampers planning activities across a broad range of sectors. 

Census information provides the government and international community with reliable, official statistics for driving the national and global development agenda. Census information also assists the private sector with business planning and market analyses, among other things. 

Therefore, census information has many stakeholders who must work together to ensure delivery of the benefits that accrue to all stakeholders through successful census implementation.



Sunday, August 25th/26th 2012 is the census reference night. 

ALL persons in Tanzania will be counted with reference to where they spend this night. 

Enumeration will proceed for seven (7) days, or until everyone present in the Republic of Tanzania on this day is counted.  



ALL PERSONS within the borders of the Republic of Tanzania on the night of 25th/26th August 2012 will be enumerated.

For purposes of enumeration the whole country has been divided into small geographic units called enumeration areas (EAs). 

During enumeration trained enumerators will traverse the entire country and locate the EAs using EA maps which describe the EA location and boundaries. In some instances they will be assisted by the local administration or headmen.

Virtually all persons will be enumerated in conventional households. However, a few will be enumerated in residential institutions such as schools, colleges, hospitals, religious institutions, prisons, military barracks/colleges, relocation camps etc. Yet a few others will be enumerated in among special population groups including persons on transit, hotel residents and the homeless.

Two main questionnaires will be used during enumeration – Long and Short questionnaires respectively. A Long Questionnaire (containing 62 questions) will be administered in 30% of the EAs, while a Short Questionnaire (containing 37 questions) will be administered in 70% of the EAs. Additionally, a Community Questionnaire will be administered in each EA. Special questionnaires will be used to enumerate the special population groups.  

ALL questionnaires have been pretested during the Pilot Census and found to be suitable.



The UN system is an INTEGRAL part of the Census organization! UNFPA, as the lead UN responsible for census implementation, has a key role to play towards facilitating successful census implementation. In particular, UNFPA seeks to:

  • Enforce international standards and best practices in census implementation.
  • Work with national governments to ensure the census agenda is relevant to national/global development agenda.
  • Advocate for successful census taking through awareness creation and sensitization of national government officials, development partners and the public.
  • Assist in capacity building and provide technical assistance.
  • Assist in resource mobilization.
  • Support efforts to assure credibility of the census process. 
  • Ensure that members of the UN family and the international community are enumerated appropriately.
  • Keep up pressure on the Census Office to observe timely processing and dissemination of results.
  • Facilitate the production of quality products from the census
  • Advocate for the responsible utilization of results.
  • Facilitate national discourses on evidence-based decision making and stakeholder consultation/involvement in national decision making processes.