The history of official census taking in Ghana dates back to 1891 when the first census was conducted by the colonial administration. The census recorded a total population of 764,613. Since then, censuses have been held every 10 years in accordance with the United Nations recommendations. The expectation is that the decennial interval is an appropriate period to determine a change in a country’s population structure, composition and socio-economic arrangements. However, the decennial interval was distorted in 1941, 1980, 1990 and 2020. The Second World War which occurred between 1939 and 1945 was the reason the census was not conducted in 1941. After the war, the census was conducted in 1948. In the late 1970s and early 1980s the country was hit with economic challenges and political instability that did not make it possible for a census to be conducted in 1980 but instead in 1984. Having taken a census in 1984, the next census could not have been held in 1990, as the time was too short to plan the Census, nor could the ten-year interval be maintained in 1994. More recently, due to the emergence of COVID-19, the Census that had been planned for 2020 had to be conducted in 2021 and a total population of 30,832,019 was recorded. Ghana has conducted six population Censuses after independence - 2021 was the last. The last three Censuses (2000, 2010 and 2021) combined Population and Housing in one operation.
The introduction of the use of Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) in the 2021 PHC to ensure efficient data collection, management, and processing helped to receive real-time data and also minimise the data processing period. Similarly, the use of Geographic Positioning System (GPS) to capture the location (coordinates) of all structures andl localities ensured complete coverage and also improved data analysis.
The population and housing census (PHC) is the unique source of reliable and comprehensive data about the size of population and also on major socio-economic & socio-demographic characteristics of the country. It provides data on geographic and administrative distribution of population and household in addition to the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of all the people in the country.
Generally, it provides for comparing and projecting demographic data, social and economic characteristics, as well as household and housing conditions at all levels of the country’s administrative units and dimensions: national, regional, districts and localities. The data from the census is classified, tabulated and disseminated so that researchers, administrators, policy makers and development partners can use the information in formulating and implementing various multi-sectorial development programs at the national and community levels. Data on all key variables namely area, household, population, economic activity, literacy and education, fertility and child survival, housing conditions and sanitation are collected and available in the census data.
The 2021 PHC in Ghana had an overarching goal of generating updated demographic, social and economic data, housing characteristics and dwelling conditions to support national development planning activities.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
Unit of Analysis
- Absentee population
- Type of residence (households and non household)
v1.0: 10 percent sample data
The scope of the 2021PHC includes:
- HOUSING: Housing conditions and Sanitation facilities
-PERSONS: Marital status, literacy, education, economic activity, disability, use of ICT and fertility.
Head of household
National Coverage , Region , District
All persons who spent census night (midnight of 27th June 2021) in Ghana
Producers and sponsors
Ghana Statistical Service
Ministry of Finance
Government of Ghana
Technical assistance and material support
United Nations Population Fund
Technical assistance and material support
United Nations Development Programme
Technical assistance and material support
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Education
Ghana Education Service (GES)
Ministry of Information
Information Services Department
Ministry of Local Government
Decentralisation and Rural Development
Local Government Service
National Identification Authority
Ministry of Defence
Ghana Armed Forces
Ministry of Interior
Ghana Police Service
Ghana Immigration Service
Ghana Civil Aviation Authority
Ghana Airports Company Limited
Ghana Fire Service
Ghana Prisons Service
Ministry of Health
Ghana Health Service
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration
National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE)
Electoral Commission (EC)
Office of Government Machinery
Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
Ministry of National Security
National Sports Authority
National Communication Authority
Ghana Highways Authority
Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources
Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Births and Deaths Registry
Religious and Traditional Leaders
European Union (EU)
International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
United Kingdom Office for National Statistics (ONS)
Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3)
Jospong Group of Companies
Windy Lodge Beach Resort
US Census Bureau
Geo-referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3)
This 10% sample data for the 2021 PHC is representative at the district/subdistrict level and also by the urban rural classification.
There are weights to be applied to this 10 percent census dataset. Each file has the corresponding weight variable
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Computer Assisted Personal Interview [capi]
Data Collection Notes
The 2021 PHC was fully digital (E-Census) with all the processes based on IT solutions. The IT platforms that were adopted are: Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) and Batch Program for Data Entry and Cleaning; Census Management Systems to integrate the activities of all the Census implementation teams on a common platform; Census Coverage System which harnessed all the Geo-Data from Demarcation and the Census Listing Data to determine physical coverage of the Census; Census Dynamic Dashboard for monitoring of fieldwork; and Census Citizens Platform for citizen engagement. These are based on three-pronged objectives: to receive data in near real-time; to correct inconsistencies associated with the data; and to release census data on time. The ECensus is consistent with the recommendations from the United Nations which stipulate that all the 2020 round of population censuses should be digitalised. The approach also addressed some of the challenges that were posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The IT platform was also used for recruitment of officers, instrumentation, training, mapping, logistic management, enumeration in the census, transmission and management of data, analysis, post enumeration survey and payment of funds.
1.6. Census in COVID-19 Era
The outbreak of COVID-19 impacted the Census in diverse ways. It disrupted staff work schedules, finances, timing of recruitment, training and all related activities. This led to its postponement from March 2020 to June 2021. In response to the pandemic in general and the restrictions and associated disruption, GSS developed a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to serve as the framework to guide the implementation of the Census. Key strategies that were put in place were with respect to staff management, resource remobilisation, transfer of funds, hybrid training models, adherence to COVID-19 protocols and vaccination. The BCP underscored and facilitated the implementation of the ECensus. Staff work schedules were restructured to accommodate virtual interactions and workfrom-home plans while maintaining a section to keep the offices running. Official vehicles were used to pick up some of the staff from home to work due to the partial lockdown that was imposed by the government. Moreover, activities such as meetings and consultations were done in virtual spaces. Based on the BCP, revised financial, logistics and procurement strategies were presented to and approved by the National Census Steering Committee. Local and international partners and collaborators were further engaged to support in various ways including financial and logistic commitments. In addition, payments to suppliers and personnel contracted were done electronically. Hybrid training models, comprising self-learning, virtual and face-to-face interactions were developed and employed at different phases of the training programme. These were adopted to train the national and regional trainers as well as field officers to ensure adherence to the social distancing protocol, and to limit travel. During the face-to-face interaction, the maximum number of participants was pegged at 40 to achieve social distancing in training rooms. A COVID-19 prevention team was constituted to ensure that all the COVID-19 protocols were adhered to during training, meetings and the fieldwork. Running water, soap, tissue paper, hand sanitisers and face masks were provided and social distancing was observed. In addition, the Ghana Health Service was engaged to vaccinate all staff of the GSS and field officers.
1.7. Census Organisational Structure
The Chief Census Officer who is also the Government Statistician had the overall responsibility for coordinating all the Census activities. Strategic implementation structures were set up at the national, regional and district levels. At the apex of the census organisation structure was the National Steering Committee, chaired by the Minister of Finance, and was supported by the National Publicity, Education and Advocacy Committee (NPEAC), chaired by the Minister of Information; and the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) with the Governing Board of GSS providing oversight for the entire census. The Census operation was managed by the Census Coordinating Team (CCT) comprising the Deputy Government Statisticians, UNFPA Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) and three other Technical Advisors. The implementation was organised under seven workstreams, with the National Census Secretariat performing the administrative functions. The workstreams were Census Methodology; Logistics and Finance; IT and Data Processing; Publicity, Education and Advocacy; Monitoring and Evaluation; Census Mapping and Post-Enumeration Survey. At the regional level, 16 Regional Census Implementation Committees (RCICs) and at the district level, 2722 District Census Implementation Committees (DCICs), chaired by the Regional and District Coordinating Directors, respectively, coordinated the exercise. For effective coordination between the national and sub-national levels, the regions were zoned into six areas and coordinated by Zonal Field Coordinators (ZFCs).
1.8. Finance and Logistics
The main funding and logistics for the Census were provided by the Government of Ghana, and partly by the World Bank, development partners and the private sector. Funding and support came in various forms - cash, technical assistance, provision of logistics and infrastructure (offices, storage and training), and financial administration. These were mainly coordinated at the GSS Headquarters (HQ). However, the regional and district offices processed and validated payments at their respective levels. With respect to fund transfer and payment of enumerators, the Electronic Payment System (G-Money) was used. This facilitated the timely transfer of money to recipients (persons or accounts) with less costs (financial and time). The logistics and finance workstream was constituted to ensure that the right products, and the needed quantities reached the right location safely and timely to facilitate effective and efficient training of census personnel, conduct of fieldwork, write reports and disseminate them. The workstream coordinated the distribution of census materials from GSS HQ to the regions and districts and also ensured that damaged materials were replaced expeditiously for seamless implementation of the Census.
1.9. Publicity, Education and Advocacy The Publicity, Education and Advocacy (PEA) workstream engaged various stakeholders; primarily, ministries, departments and agencies (GES, NCCE, GHS, 2 The Metropolitan areas were represented at the sub-metro level and this brought the total number of statistical districts to 272, as opposed to the 261 District Assemblies in the country. Information Service Department) at the various levels of administration and governance (i.e., including MMDAs) and the private sectors for public education on the 2021 PHC. Also, religious groups and traditional authorities at the community level were contacted and they played specific roles to enhance the publicity of the 2021 PHC. The media (print, electronic and social media), on their part, played an important role in the publicity. The 2021 PHC was publicised through diverse and myriad outlets to inform the public about the exercise, and their civic responsibility of allowing field officers to enter their communities and houses, and to provide the required information. The PEA workstream with its institutional partners and the media rolled out strategic programmes to enhance the communication messaging to the public regarding the 2021 PHC. Notable was the television programme that was developed to educate children about the 2021 PHC, with the expectation that they would share information with their parents and guardians; and discussions on local and international platforms to inform the local and global communities about the exercise. PEA activities were conducted at all three phases of the exercise: during preenumeration, main enumeration and post-enumeration.
Two main PEA activities were conducted during the pre-enumeration stage. First, the PEA workstream led the development of key communication messages and instructional materials for information, education and communication. For instance, GSS developed a document on 100 uses of census data; a quarterly newsletter; information sheets for targeted groups; posters and flyers; census drama and advocacy videos. Secondly, public education through media outlets (print, electronic and social) were provided to create awareness, as well as to sensitise and educate the public about the importance of the 2021 PHC, and to encourage them to participate in the exercise.
1.9.2. Main Enumeration
The public education during the main enumeration covered three essential issues. First, it touched on how to identify an enumerator, and by extension, a census officer. Second, the education related to how to receive the field officer, and what households were expected to do whenever a census officer entered their premises. Third, the education and sensitisation programmes presented the general categories of questions that would be asked, and who could respond to these questions.
The public education undertaken during the post-enumeration phase expressed commendations to the various segments of the public for contributing to the success of the 2021 PHC. In addition, the public was sensitised about the schedule for the release of the results, the impending Post-Enumeration Survey (PES), and the rationale for theexercise. The post- enumeration publicity on the PES appealed to the public to provide similar reception to the enumerators as they did during the main enumeration.
1.9.4. Special Events
GSS put up a series of special events to sensitise, educate and create awareness about the PHC. These included a 100-Day Countdown to the Census Night which was launched by Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana; and the 30-Day Countdown to the Census Night launched by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, and subsequently launched concurrently in all the districts by District Chief Executives. Census Night was set for mid-night of 27th June 2021 as a statistical reference point for the Census. The night signified an imaginary snapshot of the status of the population in the country at that point in time. To ensure that people remembered the night, activities were organised and celebrated concurrently at the national, regional, and all the 272 Statistical Districts in the country.
1.10. Instruments and Procedures
GSS developed two categories of instruments for the 2021 PHC: the listing form and the enumeration instruments. The listing form was only one, while the enumeration instruments comprised six questionnaires, designated as PHC 1A, PHC 1B, PHC 1C, PHC 1D, PHC 1E and PHC 1F. The PHC 1A was the most comprehensive with the others being its subsets.
1.10.1. Listing Form
The listing form was developed to collect data on type of structures, level of completion, whether occupied or vacant and use(s) of the structures. There were also modules used to collect information about the availability, number and types of toilet facilities in the structures. It was also used to capture the number of households in a structure, number of persons in households and the sex of the persons residing in the households if occupied. Finally, the listing form was used to capture data on non-household populations such as the population in institutions, floating population and sex of the nonhousehold populations. The form was administered two weeks prior to Census Night.
1.10.2. PHC 1A
The PHC 1A questionnaire was used to collect data from all households in the country. Primarily, it was used to capture household members and visitors who spent the Census Night in the dwelling of the household, and their relationship with the head of the household. It was also used to collect data on homeless households. Members of the households who were absent were enumerated at the place where they had spent the Census Night. The questionnaire was also used to collect the following household information: emigration; socio-demographic characteristics (sex, age, place of birth and enumeration, survival status of parents, literacy and education; economic activities; difficulty in performing activities; ownership and usage of information, technology and communication facilities; fertility; mortality; housing characteristics and conditions and sanitation.
1.10.3. PHC 1B
The PHC 1B questionnaire was used to collect data from persons in stable institutions comprising boarding houses, hostels and prisons who were present on Census Night. Other information that was captured with this instrument are socio-demographic characteristics, literacy and education, economic activities, difficulty in performing activities; ownership and usage of information, technology and communication facilities; fertility; mortality; housing characteristics and conditions and sanitation.
1.10.4. PHC 1C
The PHC 1C questionnaire was used to collect data from persons in “unstable” institutions such as hospitals and prayer camps who were present at these places on Census Night. The instrument was used to capture only the socio-demographic characteristics of individuals.
1.10.5. PHC 1D
The PHC 1D questionnaire was used to collect data from the floating population. This constitutes persons who were found at airports, seaports, lorry stations and similar locations waiting for or embarking on long-distance travel, as well as outdoor sleepers on Census Night. The instrument captured the socio-demographic information of individuals.
1.10.6. PHC 1E
All persons who spent the Census Night at hotels, motels and guest houses were enumerated using the PHC 1E. The content of the questionnaire was similar to that of the PHC 1D.
1.10.7. PHC 1F
The PHC 1F questionnaire was administered to diplomats in the country.
1.11. IT Operations
The 2021 PHC, being an E-Census, its execution demanded the full deployment of IT software, devices and accessories at all stages of the process among which were: census mapping, development of instruments, recruitment and training, asset management, data transmission and storage, data quality management, data processing and release, and monitoring. Tablets were procured and the Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) application was developed. Basic IT activities such as testing of the tablets and all the corresponding accessories were performed to ensure that the specifications conformed to the expected standards. In addition, three other tasks were conducted. These were tablet provisioning, asset retrieval and inventory.
1.11.1. Tablets Provisioning
The provisioning of all the tablets for the 2021 PHC involved the uploading of all required content materials for the Census onto the tablets. The contents were the instruments and other related documents such as the Field Officer's Manual, Supervisory Area (SA) and Enumeration Area (EA) maps, reference materials, etc. The team adopted four steps to provision the tablets. The first step was to prepare the tablets. This involved the acquisition of tablets and taking inventory of all tablets acquired. The second step was to preprovision the tablets. This involved the basic configuration (e.g., resetting of dates, time, etc.) of the tablets, matching each tablet with the specification required and validating their functionality. The third step was the provisioning of the tablets. The final step was the post-provisioning. This involved labelling, preparing and distributing the tablets to specific regions and districts.
1.11.2. Assets Retrieval
After enumeration was completed, all the assets, particularly, the tablets and accessories were retrieved from the field officers at the district and regional levels. Checks were conducted to ensure that all the tablets, with the specific labels that were distributed are retrieved.
1.11.3. Stock-taking and Reconciliation
The inventory of the assets that were retrieved was conducted at the Secretariat of GSS. A series of activities were conducted: the team checked the functionality of each of the tablets; backed up all data to secure the data on an external storage device and local server; stored the tablets according to the regions and districts based on the distribution plan; reset the tablets to original status; and developed an inventory report.
1.12 Census Mapping
The 2021 PHC utilised both analogue and interactive maps to determine, identify, locate and relate with supervisory area (SA) and enumeration area (EA) localities, geographical boundaries and other notable landmarks. The production of the various maps entailed the following: preparation; recruitment and training; deployment of teams; development of maps; monitoring; re-demarcation; and administrative activities and finalisation.
The GIS workstream in charge of mapping assembled all the materials including digital datasets, GPS devices and other logistics that were needed for the exercise. Based on the outcome, the schedule and the personnel to be recruited were also developed and determined accordingly.
1.12.2 Recruitment and Training
About 130 personnel were recruited and trained to conduct the mapping exercise in the country for the 2021 PHC. The personnel were trained purposely to collect data that were used as the basis for the SA and EA mapping.
1.12.3. Deployment of Teams
After the training, the personnel were deployed to the field in teams to collect the data on coordinates and visible features. In all, 50 teams were deployed with each team comprising two or three field officers. A team was assigned to one district at a time. Two main objectives were achieved. Firstly, the existing maps that were used in the 2010 PHC were updated to reflect the changes that had occurred between then and at the time of the exercise. For instance, in the 2010 PHC, there were 120 districts as opposed to 261 districts during the 2021 PHC. Secondly, further segmentations were done in order to arrive at desired EAs for the development of appropriate maps for the 2021 PHC.
1.12.4. Production of Maps
Based on the data collected from the fieldwork, analogue and interactive maps were developed. While the analogue maps provided all the details such as geographical features and landmarks in each district, the interactive maps enabled the field officers to navigate through the boundaries in their assigned EAs, SAs and districts.
A monitoring team was constituted to visit all the districts where GPS coordinate data, other features and landmarks were taken by the field officers. This was done for the purpose of quality assurance. The monitoring team therefore took and downloaded all the GPS coordinates to the GSS Secretariat, and the data were used to validate the ones collected earlier.
During the mapping fieldwork, it was observed that there had been changes in the districts due to rapid structural development, population density, etc., since the 2010 PHC. As such, some of the EAs and SAs within districts were re-demarcated to make the 2021 PHC exercise manageable. In total, 51,913 EAs and 11,199 SAs were identified. The EAs formed the basis for determining the number of field officers required, their deployment as well as the procurement and distribution of logistics.
1.12.7. Administrative Activities
A series of interrelated administrative activities were conducted after the redemarcation of areas and generation of maps. The first activity was editing. All the EAs that were demarcated in the 2010 PHC were accounted for in the 2021 PHC, and the re-demarcated EAs reviewed to obtain the current total number of EAs. The second activity was coding. Every EA was assigned its unique 10-digit code. The third activity was the production of the digitised prototype maps. These maps were proofread at the fourth stage. Lastly, the maps were finalised for use by the field officers. The interactive maps were based on Google features. The 2021 PHC also made use of existing satellite images that showed features and objects on the ground -Building Footprint. The images were captured about two years before the 2021 PHC and were used as a basis for identifying features and objects on the ground.
1.13. Recruitment and Training
Recruitment and training were core to the 2021 PHC. To ensure that the right calibre of field officers were recruited and trained for this important exercise, different approaches were adopted.
1.13.1. Approach to Recruitment
GSS engaged two main categories of officers to implement the 2021 PHC. The first comprised Curriculum Reviewers, National Monitors, Chief Trainers, Deputy Chief Trainers, Master Trainers, National Trainers and Regional Trainers. The second was the engagement of field officers, made up of Supervisors and Enumerators. The approaches employed to select the officers ranged from institutional selection, recommendations and online application processes.
1.13.2. Curriculum Reviewers
The curriculum reviewers, 12 in number, were staff in the various universities across the country, and some selected staff of GSS with expertise in instructional material development, training and assessment. They were purposively selected based on their expertise. They developed and revised all the training documents, including the Field Officer's Manual and the Trainer's Guide; complemented the training of all the field officers by assisting with sessions on presentation skills of the trainees, assessing and selecting them for the 2021 PHC.
1.13.3. Chief Trainers and Deputy Chief Trainers
The Chief Trainers and Deputy Chief Trainers were staff of GSS and MDAs with rich experience in censuses, surveys, and fieldwork. They were purposively selected and trained to train the master trainers. The Chief Trainers and deputies were responsible for the development of the Census instruments and the training of all groups of personnel. Four Chief Trainers and eight Deputy Chief Trainers were engaged for the exercise.
1.13.4. Master Trainers
The Master Trainers comprised persons with postgraduate degrees and considerable experience in teaching and research. To assemble such persons, GSS wrote letters to the various universities to nominate persons to be considered for recruitment and training. A total of 108 Master Trainers were recruited and trained. They were subsequently engaged to train the national trainers.
1.13.5. National Trainers
National trainers were also selected through recommendations from the universities in the country. A request was made by GSS to the universities, particularly, departments with social sciences orientation, to nominate officers to be recruited and trained. In all, 1,896 were recruited and trained and 915 were engaged to train the regional trainers.
1.13.6. Regional Trainers
The regional trainers were made up of persons who had obtained Masters or Bachelor's degrees and had experience in teaching or training. The regional trainers applied through the Enumerator Bureau Recruitment Portal (EBRP), an online portal that was developed by GSS. In all, 8,777 persons were recruited and trained and 5,688 were engaged to train the enumerators at the district level.
1.13.7. Enumerators and Supervisors
The enumerators constituted the last line of the mainstream field officers. Their selection was online-based through the EBRP. However, in areas where the lack of internet connectivity precluded prospective applicants from applying through the Bureau, District Census Officers (DCOs) with the DCICs provided an offline platform which was later input into the EBRP. A total of 206,358 applications were submitted via the EBRP out of which 75,050 were recruited and trained. After the training, 70,352 (59,152 enumerators and 11,200 supervisors) were selected and engaged.
1.13.8. Other Recruitments
GSS also recruited, trained and appointed additional personnel who played supervisory and administrative roles in the statistical districts. They comprised six zonal field coordinators (ZFCs), 32 regional field supervisors (RFS), 499 district field supervisors (DFS) and 272 district census officers (DCOs). Some of the ZFCs and RFS were staff at GSS HQ and regional statisticians. The rest comprised staff and non-staff who applied through EBRP, were screened, selected and appointed. Other streams of officers were recruited, based on their expertise, to support the 2021 PHC. These were data quality monitors, IT officers, field technical officers and the census administrative officers who constituted the data quality management teams (DQMTs) at the district, regional and national (HQ). Generally, these teams provided data management support to the supervisors and enumerators on the field.
1.13.9. National Data Quality Management Team
At HQ, a national data quality management team (NDQMT) comprising two top-level staff were charged with the responsibility of recruiting, training and liaising with the regional data quality management teams (RDQMTs) and district data quality management teams (DDQMTs).
1.13.10. RDQM and DDQM
The regional data quality monitors (RDQMs) and the district data quality monitors (DDQMs) were recruited through a two-staged online assessment. Potential monitors were expected to possess expertise in computer-based applications including Excel, STATA and CS PRO. In all, 37 RDQMs and 272 DDQMs were employed. Their task was to cross-check for inconsistencies with the aim of ensuring that data collected by the enumerators were of the desired quality. One data monitor was assigned to each statistical district office while at the regional level, five each were assigned to Ashanti, Eastern and Greater Accra regions; three to Central region; two each to Bono, Bono East, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta and Western regions; and one each to Ahafo, North East, Oti, Savannah and Western North.
1.13.11. NIT, RIT and DIT
Other support streams were the information technology (IT) officers at the national (NIT), regional (RIT) and district (DIT) levels. The NIT officers developed the CAPI and resolved any errors which were observed in the application. A total of 34 RIT and 449 DIT officers were recruited and trained. These included one RIT officer assigned to each region and two DIT officers assigned to each district. The DIT officers addressed CAPI and tabletrelated challenges at the district level. They referred unresolved challenges to the RIT. There were two DIT officers assigned to each district and one RIT officer assigned to each region.
1.14. Approach to Training
Three main modes of training were adopted at four levels. These were self-learning, virtual and face-to-face training modes. The first two modes were instituted in response to the restrictions that were introduced due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All the training materials such as the Field Officer's Manual, Trainer's Guide, presentation slides and other materials needed to train the applicants were uploaded onto the GSS website. As part of the training processes, applicants downloaded these materials and studied on their own. This was the first level of training that was used to train all the field officers. The chief trainers, master trainers, NDQM and NIT officers were only trained by the 'face-to-face' mode. Three weeks was used for the self-learning mode of training.
1.14.2. Virtual Training
The second stage after the self-learning was virtual training. GSS procured the Google Classroom and Zoom virtual platforms to train the applicants after the self-learning as the second level of training, and used it as the first level of selection of the national and regional trainers. A period of between nine and 15 days was used for this mode of training and selection. Assessments were conducted at the end of the training and trainees whose results were satisfactory were selected to participate in face-to-face training.
1.14.3. Face-to-Face Training
There were two slots of the face-to-face training. The first was the training of chief trainers, master trainers, NDQM and NIT which took place before the emergence of COVID-19. The second was the final level of training and selection of all other officers, and this was done after the COVID had reduced in intensity. This stage lasted for 10 days and included assessment and final selection. Qualified persons were selected for the specific positions for which they applied.
1.15. Listing of Structures
The structure listing entailed the counting of all structures in the country whether occupied or vacant, and this was conducted within two weeks prior to the Census Night. The first week was used for listing of the structures while the second week was used for mop-up. The structure listing involved three main steps. These were canvassing, assigning serial numbers to structures (chalking) and collecting information on the structure and households (listing).
Canvassing involved both enumerators and supervisors walking through their respective EAs and SAs to familiarise themselves with the areas they were assigned to work in. The exercise had two objectives. The first was to identify and interact with significant persons in the area. The second was for them to move within and around the EAs and communities and identify their boundaries, landmarks indicated on their maps, and the location of structures. During the canvassing, enumerators also planned how to use the serpentine approach for the listing of structures.
1.15.2. Structure Numbering (Chalking)
In this second stage, unique numbers composed of two parts were assigned to every structure in an EA. The first part, the 'stem' - 2021PHC/xxx/ - identified the Census and the EA where the structure is located, and the second, a four-digit serial number assigned consecutively within the EA. This was done to identify every structure for listing and enumeration so as to ensure complete coverage of all structures as well as the persons who dwell in the occupied ones. The numbering, also known as chalking, was done in the serpentine order, and arrows used to indicate the direction to the next numbered structure. Enumerators wrote the serial numbers in conspicuous places which would be visible to other officers and household members, but would not be easily erased.
Listing of persons in occupied structures followed after the chalking. The exercise entailed the collection of basic information about a structure, its use and the occupants, based on the listing form. 1.16. Enumeration of Persons The 2021 PHC collected data from different categories of groups of population in the country. All persons irrespective of their nationality were enumerated at the place where they spent the Census Night in the country. They were categorised into two: household and non-household/institutional populations. The household population comprised the persons in 'conventional' households as well as homeless households, and nonhousehold population were categorised as stable and unstable institutional population (group quarters), floating population, persons who spent Census Night at hotels and guesthouses, and diplomats.
1.16.1. Enumeration of Persons in Households
The household population consisted of persons in conventional households and homeless persons. The categories of persons enumerated were usually members of and visitors to the household who spent the Census Night in the household, and workers who, by virtue of their work, were on duty on Census Night, such as security guards/watchmen, medical staff. The homeless population were those who slept on pavements and in make-shift structures. Due to the transient nature of their lives, those who were enumerated were given Certificate of Enumeration in order to avoid omissions and multiple counting.
1.16.2. Enumeration of Persons in Institutions
The institutional population [non-household], also known as group quarters, consisted of two broad categories: stable and unstable populations. The stable population included those in boarding schools and halls/hostels of residence at secondary and tertiary institutions, barracks, and religious communities, while the unstable population comprised persons who boarded at places such as prisons, correctional centres and health facilities. However, staff and their household members who resided in these institutions were enumerated as conventional household members. Prior to the Census Night, field officers listed all locations of these categories of households and estimated their populations. The purpose was to plan for their enumeration to ensure that they were not omitted. The PHC 1B questionnaire and PHC 1C questionnaire were used to enumerate the stable and unstable populations, respectively. In order to avoid omission or multiple counting, persons who were enumerated were given a Certificate of Enumeration.
1.16.3. Enumeration of Floating Population
Persons identified as “floating” were enumerated using the PHC 1D, on Census Night. Prior to the Census Night, field officers engaged with organisations, institutions, offices and communities that regulate these spaces and planned the enumeration processes. To avoid omissions and multiple counting, all the floating population enumerated were issued with a Certificate of Enumeration. The floating population include those who on Census Night, slept at lorry parks, markets, filling stations, railway stations, in front of stores and offices, on verandas, pavements, as well as those at seaports, airports, oil rigs, border posts and those who engaged in fishing and hunting and, therefore, could not spend the Census Night in their respective homes.
1.16.4. Enumeration of Persons in Hotels and Guest Houses
Persons who spent the Census Night in hotels and guest houses were enumerated with PHC 1E. Copies of the instrument were printed and deposited with the managers or receptionists of the hotels and guest houses to be filled by these occupants.
1.16.5. Enumeration of Diplomats
Diplomats (officials who represent their respective countries abroad or representatives of international organisations designated as such) were enumerated with PHC 1F. The instrument was printed and submitted to their offices through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
1.17. Data Transmission and Storage The transmission and storage of data was as important as their production. Dual approaches - horizontal and vertical - were developed for transmission and storage. During the fieldwork, every enumerator transmitted the data collected to their respective supervisors via Bluetooth daily (horizontal approach). The vertical approach involved the transmission of data onto a GSS central server at the Secretariat. Enumerators, after transmitting the data to the supervisors via Bluetooth, also transmitted the data via the internet to the central server at the GSS Headquarters daily. Supervisors then in turn transmitted the data received from their enumerators via the internet to the central server at GSS Secretariat also on a daily basis. These approaches provided back-up data.
1.18. Data Quality Management
The use of CAPI and tablets was the first data quality control mechanism which allowed for data monitoring during the data collection exercise. To enhance the quality of data from the field, GSS instituted data quality management teams (DQMTs) at the national, regional and district levels to assess the quality of data in near real time. The DDQMT monitored all the data errors, inconsistencies, missing data and duplicates, and drew the attention of the supervisors to any anomalies found, for further investigation and correction. The DDQMT also undertook spot checks and validation exercises to assure complete and quality data. In addition, there was always one DIT on the field to address IT concerns. The rover system was developed and utilised whereby a DIT met enumerators daily to address their concerns. At the regional level, the RDQMT resolved all the data-related issues referred to it by the DDQMT. Similarly, at the national level, data-related issues that were escalated by the RDQMT were addressed by the NDQMT.
1.19. Quality Assurance, Monitoring and Evaluation
Quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation were integrated into every aspect of the 2021 PHC. The team for this workstream ensured that all the plans relating to the 2021 PHC were implemented, monitored and evaluated in order to achieve complete coverage and generate quality data. To ensure effective monitoring and evaluation each member of the team was assigned to two work streams as a substantive officer and a support officer to facilitate experience sharing and effective coordination. The team was guided by best practices from the previous PHCs, Ghana Census of Agriculture (GCA), Household-Based Sample Surveys and the Building Footprints from satellite imagery. Throughout the census processes, all the work plans of the various work streams were reviewed to ensure that they also conform to the schedule. To facilitate information flow during the Census quality assurance and monitoring and valuation, a reporting system was instituted. Firstly, a weekly report was sent to the Census Coordinating Team (CCT) which was part of the weekly meetings of the Monitoring and Evaluation Team. Secondly, a monthly report was also submitted to the CCT. Lastly, quarterly assessment report was also developed and shared with the CCT. During the preparatory stage, the quality assurance and monitoring and evaluating team sampled all the logistics and materials that were procured to assess the validity and their conformity to specifications. During field data collection, a Call Centre served to daily address concerns from the public to ensure complete coverage. In addition, a profiling framework was developed and used regularly to assess the risk levels of districts, SAs, EAs and localities. This also ensured that both the field officers and the logistics were safe and secured. It also facilitated logistical and security needs and helped in addressing them. Furthermore, 112 monitors, comprising 95 national monitors and 17 international monitors were deployed to monitor and evaluate the activities of the field officers during the Census. A situation room was set up where data were collated and posted onto a dashboard, and constantly monitored and verified. When necessary, queries were generated and sent to the field for validation and correction. Following the main enumeration, a Post Enumeration Survey (PES) was conducted to further evaluate the validity and reliability of the data collected during the Census. Similar to the Census, all aspects of the PES were monitored and evaluated for quality assurance purposes. National monitors were also deployed to the field for on-site monitoring.
Ghana Statistical Service
GSS developed two categories of instruments for the 2021 PHC: the listing form and the enumeration instruments. The listing form was only one, while the enumeration instruments comprised six questionnaires, designated as PHC 1A, PHC 1B, PHC 1C, PHC
1D, PHC 1E and PHC 1F. The PHC 1A was the most comprehensive with the others being its subsets.
1. Listing Form: The listing form was developed to collect data on type of structures, level of completion, whether occupied or vacant and use(s) of the structures. It was also used to collect information about the availability, number and types of toilet facilities in the structures. It was also used to capture the number of households in a structure, number of persons in households and the sex of the persons residing in the households if occupied. Finally, the listing form was used to capture data on non-household populations such as the population in institutions, floating population and sex of the non-household populations.
2. PHC 1A: The PHC 1A questionnaire was used to collect data from all households in the country. Primarily, it was used to capture household members and visitors who spent the Census Night in the dwelling of the household, and their relationship with the head of the household. It was also used to collect data on homeless households. Members of the households who were absent were enumerated at the place where they had spent the Census Night. The questionnaire was also used to collect the following household information: emigration; socio-demographic characteristics (sex, age, place of birth and enumeration, survival status of parents, literacy and education; economic activities; difficulty in performing activities; ownership and usage of information, technology and communication facilities; fertility; mortality; housing characteristics and conditions and sanitation.
3. PHC 1B: The PHC 1B questionnaire was used to collect data from persons in stable institutions comprising boarding houses, hostels and prisons who were present on Census Night. Other information that was captured with this instrument are socio-demographic characteristics, literacy and education, economic activities, difficulty in performing activities; ownership and usage of information, technology and communication facilities; fertility; mortality; housing characteristics and conditions and sanitation.
4. PHC 1C: The PHC 1C questionnaire was used to collect data from persons in “unstable” institutions such as hospitals and prayer camps who were present at these places on Census Night. The instrument was used to capture only the socio-demographic characteristics of individuals.
5. PHC 1D: The PHC 1D questionnaire was used to collect data from the floating population. This constitutes persons who were found at airports, seaports, lorry stations and similar locations waiting for or embarking on long-distance travel, as well as outdoor sleepers on Census Night. The instrument captured the socio-demographic information of individuals.
6. PHC 1E: All persons who spent the Census Night at hotels, motels and guest houses were enumerated using the PHC 1E. The content of the questionnaire was similar to that of the PHC 1D.
7. PHC 1F: The PHC 1F questionnaire was administered to diplomats in the country.
The Census data editing was implemented at three levels:
1. data editing by enumerators and supervisors during data collection
2. data editing was done at the regional level by the regional data quality monitors during data collection
3. Final data editing was done at the national level using the batch edits in CSPro and STATA
Data editing and cleaning was mainly digital.
The census reports provided population information at the national, regional and district levels. Besides the Population of Regions and Districts Reports, National: 2021 PHC General Reports on Structures, Water and Sanitation, Housing Characteristics, Fertility and Mortality, ICT, Literacy and Education, Economic Activity, Difficulty in Performing Activities, Background Characteristics, Age and Sex Profile and Preliminary Reports have been published.
A post Enumeration Survey (PES) was conducted to assess the extent of coverage and content error.
The Government Statistician
Confidentiality of respondents is guaranteed by Statistical Service Act 2019, Act 1003.
Before being granted access to the dataset, all users have to formally agree:
1. To make no copies of any files or portions of files to which s/he is granted access except those authorized by the data depositor.
2. Not to use any technique in an attempt to learn the identity of any person, establishment, or sampling unit not identified on public use data files.
3. To hold in strictest confidence the identification of any establishment or individual that may be inadvertently revealed in any documents or discussion, or analysis. Such inadvertent identification revealed in her/his analysis will be immediately brought to the attention of the data depositor.
The dataset has been anonymized and is available as a Public Use Dataset. It is accessible to all for statistical and research purposes only, under the following terms and conditions:
1. The data and other materials will not be redistributed or sold to other individuals, institutions, or organizations without the written agreement of the Ghana Statistical Service.
2. The data will be used for statistical and scientific research purposes only. They will be used solely for reporting of aggregated information, and not for investigation of specific individuals or organizations.
3. No attempt will be made to re-identify respondents, and no use will be made of the identity of any person or establishment discovered inadvertently. Any such discovery would immediately be reported to the Ghana Statistical Service.
4. No attempt will be made to produce links among datasets provided by the Ghana Statistical Service, or among data from the Ghana Statistical Service and other datasets that could identify individuals or organizations.
5. Any books, articles, conference papers, theses, dissertations, reports, or other publications that employ data obtained from the Ghana Statistical Service will cite the source of data in accordance with the Citation Requirements provided with each dataset.
Ghana Statistical Service, 2021 Population and Housing Census (2021 PHC), Version 1.0 of the public use dataset (August 2022),provided by the National Data Archive, www.statsghana.gov.gh