Sources and Methods: Labour Statistics
Volume 5: Population Censuses


1.Name and address of the organization responsible for the census:

Central Bureau of Statistics in the Office of the Vice-President and Ministry of Planning and National Development, P.O. Box 30266, Nairobi.

2.Population censuses conducted since 1945 (years):

1948, 1962, 1969, 1979 and 1989. The present description relates to the 1989 population census (held on 24 August).

3.Coverage of the census:

(a) Geographical scope

Whole country.

(b) Persons covered

All persons of all ages.

4.Reference period:

The week preceding the census day.

5.Main topics:

(a) Total population, by sex and age: yes

Economically active population by:

(b) Sex and age group: yes

(c) Industry: no

(d) Occupation: yes

(e) Status in employment: yes

(f) Highest educational level: yes

(g) Hours of work: no

(h) Other characteristics: no

Re (a): The age is defined in terms of age at last birthday.

6.Concepts and definitions:

(a) Economically active population

It comprises all persons aged 10 years and over who, during the reference week, were either employed or unemployed, according to the definitions given below. Working students with a part time job and students seeking work are excluded from the definition.

(b) Employment

Considered as employed are all persons who, during the reference period, worked most of the time for wages, salary, commission, tips, contract and those paid in kind. The question used to determine if a person is to be counted as employed is What was X mainly doing during the last seven days preceeding the census night? 1) worked for pay or profit; 2) on leave/sick leave; 3) working on family holding; 4) no work; 5) seeking work; 6) student; 7) retired; 8) disabled; 9) home makers; 10) other.

It is reported that the following categories are included:

  1. persons doing unpaid work in family firm or business;
  2. persons engaged in the production of primary products for own consumption;
  3. employed persons, temporarily absent from work;
  4. seasonal or occasional workers;
  5. apprentices and trainees.
Only persons belonging to category (iii) can be identified separately.

(c) Unemployment

Considered as unemployed are all persons who, during the reference week, were without work, available for work and seeking work. Persons not actively seeking work were considered as unemployed but categorised separately from those actively looking for work.

7.Classifications used:

Only employed persons are classified by occupation and by status in employment.

(a) Industry

No classification by industry was made.

(b) Occupation

Based on the question: What was X's main occupation? e.g. clerical, motor mechanic, primary school teacher, etc. For coding occupation, eight major broad groups of the national classification were used. Links to the ISCO-88 have been established to the major group (1-digit) level.

(c) Status in employment

Based on the question: What was X working as? For coding status in employment, four groups were used, namely: employer; self-employed; employee; family worker.

8.Main differences compared with the previous census:

The 1989 census was the first census undertaking to elicit information on the Labour Force.

9.Publication of the census results:

The final results of the population census were issued in July 1995 in a publication entitled The Kenya Population Census 1989, Volume IX: The Labour Force.

The organization responsible for the publication of the results is the Central Bureau of Statistics, P.O. Box 30266, Nairobi.