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Enumerators during the 2022 Census in Zimbabwe

A census is the procedure of systematically calculating, acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population.

Census Background in Zimbabwe

The census, conducted by the statistics agency Zimstat every 10 years, aims to find out how many people are living in the country. It may also be used to estimate the number of Zimbabweans living abroad. But is that all it does? A resident asked: “Why do we have to answer questions about the type of floors we have or what we use for cooking?” Apart from counting people, a census is also used to find out more about Zimbabweans and how they live. This includes factors such as unemployment, access to basic services, or people’s standards of living.[1]

Importance of National Population Census

  • A reliable census figure helps in developmental planning for all sectors of the economy
  • It helps in showing the rate of population growth or its declining thereby assisting the government with its policy formulation
  • A good census helps the government with equitable allocation of resources among its citizenry
  • It shows the rate at which people move from one place to another
  • Population census is used to determine the number of people living in a given geographical territory
  • Census data help businesses identify the location of their businesses activities that often lead to new jobs
  • Researchers, educators, NGOs use its data for different purposes

Why Should We care About an Accurate Census?

  • Our Voice - The census shows the number of people who live in an area, which determines how many representatives an area have in Parliament and the number of electoral votes an area has in elections.
  • Our quality of life - Much of our government tax money that we send to Harare comes back to our respective areas in accordance with Census calculations, and supports housing, transportation, and other services we use.
  • Our Businesses - Companies use population and demographic data from the Census to determine where to setup shop and expand, creating jobs and generating opportunities for the locals.

Population Statistics in Zimbabwe

  • In 2012 the population of Zimbabwe was 13 061 239. The proportion of male and female population was 48 and 52 percent respectively.
  • The 70-74 years age group had the least proportion (1 percent). The proportion of the young population that is those under age 15 years was 41 percent. About 33 percent of the population was in the urban areas.

2022 Census

The preliminary population figures for the 2022 Population and Housing Census (PHC) which was held from 21st to 30th April 2022 were released on 26 July 2022. The census was the first such undertaking by Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) using the Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) method. This migration from Paper Assisted Personal Interview (PAPI) to CAPI, saw ZIMSTAT, for the first time, producing preliminary results of a census within three months of data collection.

The census was conducted using the de facto approach. This entailed enumeration of individuals in households where they spent the census night, that is the night of 20th April 2022, regardless of their usual places of residence. Preparations of the census began in 2019, being guided by the United Nations Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 3.

The advent of Covid-19 in 2020 interrupted the mapping exercise and supply chains which were critical components of the preparatory phase of the census. ZIMSTAT lost ten months of preparatory work as we complied with COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. However, through availing of more resources by Government and exceptional commitment by Team ZIMSTAT, the 21st April 2022 timeline was met comfortably.[2]

Census Preliminary Report - 2022

  • Zimbabwe
Male Population Female Population Total Population Area (Square Km) Sex Ratio Average Household Size
7,289,558 Persons 7,889,421 Persons 15,178,979 Persons 390,757 Square Km 92 males per 100 females 4 Number of persons per household


  1. [1], ZIMFACT, Published: 25 April, 2022, Accessed: 27 July, 2022
  2. [2], Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, Published: 26 July, 2022, Accessed: 27 July, 2022

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