A Census is simply a statistical survey that aims to cover a complete count of the population rather than a sample or cross-section of that population. This is the largest and most complex statistical exercise carried out in Gibraltar and usually takes place once every ten years.
The next Census will take place on Monday 14 November 2022.
Legislation is required to allow the Census to take place: a Census Act (2022 Census) Order 2022 and Census Act (2022 Census) Regulations 2022 as provided for under the Census Act 1951. The United Nations (Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses) defines a population Census as follows: “A population census is the total process of planning, collecting, compiling, evaluating, disseminating and analysing demographic, economic and social data at the smallest geographic level pertaining, at a specified time, to all persons in a country or in a well-delimited part of a country.”
What makes the Census different from other statistical surveys is that everyone is asked the same questions at the same time. The Census is the most comprehensive source of information about the population. The fact that it includes all persons, unlike a sample survey that covers only a percentage of the population, means that the taking of the Census is an expensive exercise.
The main purpose of the Census is to provide important information on the entire population. This information is used extensively across the public and private sectors and has many important uses including:
The Census is the only way of obtaining detailed information on the population. If we know how many people live in Gibraltar, we can work out what types of services they need now and in the future. With statistics from the Census, Government can allocate funds, decide future policy and plan important services such as:
In accordance with the Census Act, taking part in the Census is compulsory. Persons who refuse to give information or wilfully give false information could be liable, on conviction to a fine. It is very important to take part in the Census as otherwise, the results will not show complete information about specific areas and about Gibraltar in general.