National Statistical Office of Papua New Guinea

 We are Papua New Guinea's  Central Statistical Agency with a mission to provide a full range of relevant and timely statistics on population, social and economic activities for the National Executive, State Agencies, Business and Individuals so as to provide the basis for information, decision making, research and discussion within community

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2000 Census
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The 2000 Census was conducted in July 2000 and was a national count which involved a lot of Government departments and statutory bodies.

The census officials visited 22,399 geographical census units to collected the census data. The total persons that were counted during the census period 9th-15th July 2000 were 5,190,786. This includes the North Solomons Province.

Some main findings from the 2000 Census were PNG Total Population, PNG Total Man Population, PNG Total Female Population, Southern Regional Population, Highlands Regional Population, Momase Regional Population, Islands Regions Population, PNG Average annual Growth Rate (1980-2000), Southern Regional Average annual Growth Rate (1980-2000)


The National Statistical Office (NSO) has a mandate as stipulated in the Statistical Services Act (1980) to conduct the census for the country at a regular interval. Under this Act, NSO maintains the role as the central executing agency for the conducting of censuses and surveys with support provided by appropriate line agencies towards coordinating and execution of various components of the census/survey operations.

Due to the magnitude of the census operation, a separate census organisation is set up within the main structure of NSO, drawing the bulk of its resources from the existing work force in the Population and Social Statistics Division (PSSD).

Under the overall guidance of the National Statistician, a Census Director may be appointed as the administrative head of the census project who will direct and oversee the entire coordination and execution of the project in all phases of operations. As has been in the practice in past censuses, the divisional head of the PSSD would ultimately assume the director's position for the census project. A Deputy Census Director was effected on March 1999 to work along side the Census Director.

Over the last decade or so, NSO made enormous improvements in its human resource development program, particularly in areas of survey design and demographic analysis. Hence NSO has a pool of both experienced and skilled national officers available who became the nucleus of 2000 census organisation. Thus, the quality of 2000 census data is enhanced with the availability of experienced national officers, still intact from the 1990 census at the NSO and also in the province

History of census taking in PNG

The conduct of the population censuses has a short history in PNG. The first census for the country was held in 1966 and since then censuses were conducted in 1971, 1980, 1990 and the recent one in 2000.

Every censuses conducted thus far have used different enumeration strategies. The important aspect of doing trend analysis is therefore lost due to lack of uniformity in enumeration methods and questionnaire contents.

The 2000 census adopted a simplified version of the 1990 census. A single-form with limited but essential questions was used for the 2000 census. This approach is consistent with overall objective of keeping the census as simple as possible. The appropriate recommendations developed at the census strategic workshop held in 1998 was implemented to achieve that objective. 

What is a modern census?

A modern census is much more than just a head count. It gathers a wide variety of information about the population structure, characteristics and distribution. It collects information of national importance, information needed to plan for our nation's education, employment, transport, health needs, natural resources, energy and international relations.

What is a population census?

A POPULATION census is the single most extensive, complicated and expensive statistical operation that a country undertakes. The establishment of the census organisation, the census budget, formulation of census work plan and obtaining approval from the appropriate political authority (NEC) which enforces census as a national project are among some of the very crucial activities that must be given prominence at the initial planning phase of the preparation. Evidently all other activities would be built around these core activities.


Copyright 2003 National Statistical Office of Papua New Guinea.

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Last updated: Monday, September 20, 2004


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P.O Box 337 Waigani, National Capital District, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Ph:  (675) 301 1200, 301 1229,  (675) 301 1205 
Fax: (675) 325 1869