Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a population and housing census? A population census is the total count of a population at a specified time within a country's boundary or in a well delineated part of a country.

2. How often is a Population and Housing Census undertaken in Zambia? Population and Housing Census is conducted every ten years in line with the international standards. Zambia has conducted five censuses 1969, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010; the 2020 Census will be the sixth one.

3. When will the next census be conducted? Zambia's next census will be undertaken from 16th - 31st August 2020.

4. Who takes lead in implementation of Census in Zambia? The Central Statistical Office, as part of its mandate, spearheads the undertaking of the Census on behalf of the government through, an Act of parliament and a gazette notice. This is done in collaboration with different Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Learning Institutions private sector and Development Partners.

5. Why conduct a census? Census is the primary source of reliable and detailed data on the size, distribution and composition of the population in the country at a specified time. The information collected during census when analyzed gives an accurate picture of how many people are living in the country/county at every administrative level and their living conditions as well as access to basic services. This will inform planners on the social services people require such as education, healthcare and housing. The data is also vital for monitoring internationally and locally agreed upon agenda such as the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

6. What is new about 2020 Census? The 2020 Census will be administered using Computer Aided Personal Interviewing (CAPI) technique. A tablet will be used to capture the information directly for better accuracy and faster processing of the data. The CSO has adhered to international guidelines which advocate for the values of professionalism, transparency, accountability and integrity required of statistical systems in maintaining credibility and public confidence.

7. Why do I have to participate in Census 2020? Census data is used for planning purposes. If you do not participate, the data collected will not be a true reflection of the Zambian population. The Government as well as private sector needs accurate information for effective planning and policy formulation.

8. How do I know that the person at my door is from the Census Office? The Central Statistical Office will be identified as follows: a) A branded reflector Jacket/ T-Shirt Branded with a 2020 Census logo b) Identification documents provided by the Central Statistical Office, i.e. An Introductory letter or an identity (I.D.) Card. c) The enumerators will be accompanied by village elders or persons known by the residents who will introduce them to the household.

9. How will you make sure I am counted? The Central Statistical Office conducted a pilot mapping exercise in Chongwe and Lusaka Districts in January and February, 2019. A roll-out of the Mapping exercise will commence in April 2019 and end in ... This will be used to create Enumeration Areas (EAs), each with its map for all villages in the entire country. Each enumerator will be assigned an EA with clear boundaries to guide him/her to ensure total coverage, with no omission or duplication. After your household has been visited a number will be written at a sticker place in your household such as the top corner of the door to indicate that counting has taken place in the household.

10. Whom do I contact in case my household is not covered?  In case your household will not have been contacted by 31 August, a toll free number will be provided for you to contact the Central Statistical Office to send an enumerator to enumerate your household.

11. How will the information collected be treated? The information that you will provide to the census personnel will be treated with strict confidentiality in accordance with the Statistics Act, CAP 127. According to the Act, anybody working with the Central Statistical Office who discloses personal details of a respondent is liable to prosecution. Everyone who will be expected to have access to respondents personal details during the census, will take an oath of secrecy to ensure that they protect the privacy/confidentiality of those who provided the information.

12. In which languages are the questionnaires available? The questionnaires will be in English. The enumerators will also be able to speak in the local dialects since they will be recruited from the localities they reside in.

13. How long does it take to fill in the questionnaire? The time taken in a household will depend on the number of persons who will be present in the household on the census night. However, on average, it will take between .... minutes to complete enumeration of a household.

14. Do I need to show any documents to the enumerator?  The enumerator will take down all particulars as given by you. In case you are not sure of some information (e.g. age) you may check your documents to confirm and provide accurate information.

15. What questions will be asked? The census questionnaire that contains questions to be asked during the 2020 Census is available on the ZAMSTATS website at under the 2020 Census tab or can be accessed directly for the Census page at

16. Why do you ask questions about the household assets I have in my house? The information collected gives the status of well-being for the household, and is used to generate economic and social indicators.

17. Will the general public access the results?  The general public will be able to access the census results once they have been disseminated. The census results will also be available to the public through the ZAMSTATS website and publications (inform of preliminary results, basic reports, detailed reports, maps etc.).