African recommendations for the 1970 housing censuses : regional variants of parts IV, V and VI of the world Recommendations fot the 1970 housing Censuses

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eN.14/ CAS.5/ CPH/IO

17 July 1967

Original: ENGLISH


Fifth Conference of Africffil Statisticians Addis Ababa, 30 October - 10 November 1967


(Regional Variants of Parts IV, V and VI of the World Recommendut Lona for the 1970 Housing Censuses)










1 - 8

9 -

82 9 68 69 - 78 79 - 81

82 83 - 185 83 - 86 87 - 90 91 - 185 186 - 264 186 - 194

195 196 197 - 264

.. ..

time .

.. ..

Unite of enumeration Place of enumeration l!humeration point of A.




Definition and specifications of topics ••


A. Scope and objectives of tabulations ••••••


Specifications for each tabulation •••••••

D. Use of the tabulations •••.••.••.•••••••••

A. Factors determining the seleotion of topice B. List of topios ••••••.••• ~ •••••••••.••••••

D. Time-reference period for data on living quarters and the population ••••••••••••••

E. List of tabulations ••••••••••••••••••••••





CN .14/ CAS .5/ CPH/IO


1. The Principles and Recommendations for the 1970 Housing Censusee1l

were adopted as world recommendations by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its fourteenth session, in October 1966.


They are

intended as a guide to help countries in planning and carrying out housing censuses tc be taken around 1970.

2. The African Recommendatione for the 1970 Housing Censuses (Regional Variants of Parts IV, V and VI of the World Recommendatione for the 1970 Rousing Censuses) have been evolved mainly by two Working Groups on

Censuses of PopuLat Lon and Houeing, which were convened by the Econcmic Commission for Africa and which met in Addis Ababa from 21 to 29 June 1965 and 22 February to 4 March 1966. After reviewing the experienoes of the countries of the region in carrying out the 1960 oensuses and taking into consideration their needs and conditions, the Working Groups made recommendations for the 1970 censuses using as a baokground the summary of African experience in the conduct of housing census oontsined in the document MethodologY of Rousing Censuses; International Principles and Recommendations and African Practice (E/CN • l4/CAS.5/CPH/4), supple- mented by a study of sample surveys of housing, prepared by the

secretariat of the Econcmic Commission for Africa; the views expressed by the regional seminar on the question of the statistics needed for housing programme,.J!were also useful in formulating the recommendations.

The substance of the recommendations, ~nd the comments of the fourth Conference of African Statisticians, appear in the follOWing documental

Report of the First Working Group on Censuses of PopUlation and Housing (EjCN .14/CAS.4/CPH/ll).


Princi les and Recommendation .. for the 1 Censuses, (United Nations publication, Sales No.: 7.XVII.4.


Official Records of the Economic and Social Council: Forty-seoond Session, Supplement No.3, paragraph 85.

~ Re ort of the Seminar on Housin Statistics and Pro rammes for Africa, Copenhagen, Denmark, 31 August - 15 September 19 6 Report in




E/CN .14/ CAS.5/CPH/IO Page 2

Report of the Second Working Group on Censuses of Population and

(F! on.


5/ cpR/a).

Report of the Fourth Conferenoe of African Statisticiane (E/eN .14/CAS/ /11).

3. The presentation of the regional reoommendations in these documents was large~ in the form of modification of expaneion of specific points

in the United Nation's di'aft recommenaations, and the present object is

. t ' '." .. "- . ,- .

to 'restate the-African recommimdations in a more complete and independent form.

4. These recommendations, as well as the recommendations of the working gro,UPEl convened by the ,Economic COllJlllission for Asia and the Far East and for Europe, together with those, of the Inter-American Statistioal

,Association in respe,ct of Latin America, were taken into account in preparing the world recommendations for the 1970 censuses of

5. 'ThoUgh the regional recommendations have been developed parallel with the world:recornmendations, the emphasis in the region has been placed, on ·certa'in special ~eatures of the units of enumeration and on

the development of topics and-tabulations, particularly those which would take into aooount the characteristics as well as the statistical needs of the countries of the African region. The regionalrecommenda-

~ions are the~eforo comprised of variants of Parts IV, V and VI of the world r-ecommendations. Informs tion' on the following aspects of a housing census are to be found only in the world recommendations:l!

"Defini tions, essential fea tlJl'es and, uses of a housing census",

"Planning, organization and administration of a housing census" and "Use of sampling in a housing con sus" •

6. Speoial' ,features ,of the

. .

Afi'~.. recommendations. The characteristio feature of the African recommendations as compared with the worldwide recommendations is·that th,,y:'-,,ttemPt to describe a housing situation


trinciples and.Reoommendations for the 1970 Housing Censuses, op. cit.


E/ CN .14/ CAS



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which is comparatively varied and complex. In such circumstances, it is difficult tc devise a system of concepts, definitions and olassifioa- tions whioh is sufficiently oomprehensive and whioh, at the same time, preserves the simplioity whioh is desirable on general grounds and whioh is oonsistent with the restricted resources available for field inQuiries in the region.

7. The particular problems of the region arise mainly, but not exclus- ively, from the ad


nature of many buildings and the two-way relation- ship between buildings and living Quarters; the existenoe of the oompound (oonoession) as a typical housing arrangement in many parts of the

oontinent is another feature which has to be taken into accourrt , How- ever, the recommendations on the methods of defining and olassifying these units are such as to preserve international comparability while at the same time allowing for an adeQuate analysis of the particular local problems. On some points of detail, there are some minor devia- tions from the world recommendations, notably in regard to the regional recommendation that oertain charaoteristics be recorded for living Quarters rather than for buildings.

8. Proposed handbook on census methods. The Statistioal Offioe of the United Nations is planning to prepare a handbook on census methods whioh will spell out in detail problems of applying the prinoiplesand reoom- mendations to as many situations as possible, inoluding speoific

problems arising from oonditions within eaoh region. This handbook will therefore amplify the world and the regional recommendations, in a

lC"'J' whioh is not p1>:o.oticable in 'tue yrc"ontation of the rsoommendations,

since too much detail would obsoure the main outlines of the approaoh •



ON .14/CAS.


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9. There are three units of enumeration which are in general use in carrying out housing censuses: (a) living quarters (that is, housing units and living quarters other than housing units); (b) households;

and (c) bUildings. In the African region, it is reccmmended that a fourth unit, the compound (conoession), be employed in the many areas in the region where a significant proportion of the population ocoupies living quarters which constitute a compound.

10. It is important to bear in mind that in statistical terms, these four conoepts are olearly distinguishable. There is not necessarily an identity or exact correspondence among them nor are the terms themselves interchangeable. Several households may live together in one set of living quarters and one household may occupy more than one set of living quarters (paragraph 52). Similarly, several sets of living quarters may occupy more than one building. In respect of the compound, there is a wide variety of combinations of buildings, living quarters and house- holds within the compound.s existing in the region (paragraph 65).

(1) Living quarters


11. The principal units of enumeration in a census of housing are living quarters. Only by recognizing them as such can data be obtained which will provide a meaningful description of the housing situation and a suitable basis for the formulation of housing programmes.

(a) Definition of living quarters

12. Living quarters are struoturally separate and independent places of abode. They may (a) have been constructed, built, converted or arranged for human habitation prcvided that they are not at the time of the

census used wholly for other purposes and that, in the case of mobile housing units, improvised housing units and living quarters other than




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housing units, they are occupied at the time of the census, or

(b) although not intended for habitation, aotually be in use aa auch at the time of the census. (For types of living quarters Bee paragraph 21).

(i) Separateness and independence

13. The essential features of living quarters are separateness and independence. An enclosure may be considered as separate if surrounded by walls, fences, etcetera, and covered by a roof sc that a person, Or group of persons, can isolate themselves from other persona in the oommunity for the purpose of sleeping, preparing and taking their meals or protecting themselves from the hazards of climate and environment.

Such an enclosure may be considered as independent when it has direct access from the street or from a public or communal staircase, passage, gallery or grounds, i.e., when the occupants can come in or go out of their living quarters without passing through anybody else's prsmises.

14. Attached rooms having an independent entrance, or detaohed rooms for habitation which have clearly been built, rebuilt, converted,

etcetera, to be used as a part of the living quarters should be counted as part of the living quarters. Thus, living quarters may be constituted by rooms or groups of rooms with independent entranoes or by separate buildings.

(ii) Permanence

15. Living quarters may be permanent or semi-permanent buildings or parts of buildinge intended for habitation, or natural shelters not intended for habitation but aotually .used as plaoes of abode on the day or night established as the time referenoe of the census.

• •

(iii) Habitation

16. Living quarters originally intended for habitation and used wholly for other purposes at the time of the census should normally be eXCluded from the census coverage, while shelters not intended for habitation, but oocupied at the time of the census, should be included. In some









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circumstances, it may be convenient to make a separate count fornaticnal purposes of the living quarters originally intended for habitation but ueed wholly for other purposes at the time of the census and vice versa.

In such cases, specific instructions for the enumeration of these must be supplied.

(iv) Living quarters under construction, newly constructed, being demolished Or awaiting demolition

17. Instructions should be issued so that it is clearly understood at what stage of oompletionliving quarters should be inoluded in the housing census. They may be included in the housing census as soon as construction has begun, at various stages of construction or when construction has been completed. Living quarters being demolished or awaiting demolition should normally be exoluded. The syetem used should be consistent with that employed for the system of current statistics and it should avoid double counting where construotion statistios are used to up-date the census data.

(b) Classifioaticn by structural type

18. The liVing quarters defined in paragraph 12 are either housing units or living quarters other than housing units. Normally the collection cf information concerning housing units will be considered of first

importance in a housing census since it is in housing units that the buLk of the population permanently lives. Furthermore housing units are intended for oocupanoy, or oooupied, by households and it is with the provision of acoommodation for households that housing programmes are mainly ooncerned. However, certain types of "living quarters other than housing units" are also of significance with respect to the housing conditions of households, these include hotels, rooming-houses and other lodging-houses and camps occupied by households. Housing units should be Classified so as to distinguish at least permanent and semi-permanent housing units dwellings from other types of housing units. It should be emphasized that without an adequate classification of living quarters


.. •








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no meaningful analysis of housing conditions based on housirigcensus data is possible.

19. A primary objective of the classificati.on by type of living ~uarters,

and especially of housing units, is to indicate the extent to which the population is enjoying the benefits of·,.~:"ptab13" housing, which in the world programme is typified by the "conventional dwelling":]} that is, a housing unit intended for the use of one household, and likely to retain

its stability for 10 years or more (that is, "permanent"). All other housing units are considered to be less acoeptable in some respect and

therefore the number and relative importance of these "acceptable" units gives a measure at a point of time of the extent of "acceptable" hcusing and provides a benchmark from which future improvements can be measured.

20. However. i.n view of the fact that in most of Africa to-day only a very small proportion of housing arrangements would fall into the

category of "conventional dwellings", it is recommended that in housing inqUiries in the region the criterion cf expected stability for ten years be used as the basic for distinguishing between "permanent" and

"semi-permanent" housing units, thus providing a crude indication of acoepyability and near-aoceptability. It is realized that individual oountries would need to make caref~l ~,vestigaticn of degreee of permanence and methods o£ determining expected durability of housing units, in order to give olear and definite instruotions to enumerators;

theee instruotions ohould relate to specific points on the basis of which the classification by degrees of perm~~ence could be made at the prooessing stage.

21. The fOllcwing classification of liVing quarters by type is reoommended.


Prinoiples and Recommendations for the 1970 Housing Censuses, op. cit., paragraphs 171-173.




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1.0.0 HOUSING illlITS 1.1.0

1.3·0 1.4.0

Permanent (house, apartment, flat, etcetera) Semi-permanent (thatched hut, cabin, etoetera)

Mobile hous rng units (tecot, caravan, boat, etcetera)

¥~rginal housing units

1.4.1 Improvised housing units (squatters' hut, shanty, etcetera)

1.4.2 Housing units (in permanent or semi-permanent buildings) not intended for habitation (in a factory, warehouse, garage, barn, etcetera) 1.4.3 Other premises not intended for habitation

(a cave or other natural ehelter, etcetera).


2.2.0 2.3.0 2.4.0

Hotels, ao ouring houses or other lodging houses Inati tut i.ons


Living quarters not otherwise classifiable

(i) Mini.!!'"'!!!....eJ.§..§'..'3gi2ation ot' housing vnivs and living quarters other than housi'l!' units

22. Not all the categories in the above classification are of importance under all ciroumstancGs, For example, mobile housing units could be omitted in scme countries and perhaps marginal housing units could be treated as one ca t.egcr-y without sub-divisions. Ho;,ever, some of the categories are of special significance for assessing the housing

situation and should be disti3guished even where a simplified classifica- tion is employed. Where the classification is reduced, at least permanent and semi-permanent housing units should be separately distinguished.





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(c) Definitions 01' each type of living quarters 1.0.0 Housing unit

23. A housing unit is a separate and independent place of abode intended for habitation by one h0usehold,Yor one not intended for habitation but oocupied as living quarters by a househOldliat the time of the oensus.

Thus it may be an occupied Or vacant house or flat, an oooupied mobile or improvised housing unit or any other place occupied as living quarters by a household


the time of the census. This oategory includes hous- ing cf various levels of permanency and acceptability and therefore requires further classification in order to provide for a meaningful assessment of housing conditions.

24. It should be noted that housing units on the grounds or within the bUilding housing an institution, camp, etcetera, should be separately identified and counted as housing units. For example, if, in the grounds of a hospital, there is a separate and independent house intended for the habitation of the director and his family, the house shOUld be counted as a housing unit. In the same way self-contained apartments located in hotel buildings should be counted as housing units if they have direct access to the street or to a common space within the build- ing. Similar cases will need to be identified and described in the instructions for the t'1_-.D.~':~ation.

·1.1.0 Permanent housing unit

25. A permanent housjng unit is a room or suite of rooms and its acoessories in a permanent building or structurally separated part thereof, which by the way it has been bUilt, rebuilt, or converted, is intended for habitation by one household and is not, at the time of the census, used wholly for other purpose~. It should have a separate access to a street (direct or via a gardeL or grounds) or to a common


Although a housing unit is intended for habitation by one houaeho.Ld , it may at the time of the census, be occupi ed by one or more house- holds or by a part of a household.


_ .

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spaoe within the building (stairoase, passage, gallery and eo on).

Examples of permanent housing units are houses, flats, suites of rooms,

apartments. etcetera. •

26. By permanent building is understocd a structure which may be

expected tc maintain its stability fcr ten years or more. It is reoog- nized that the criterion of permanency or durability is difficult for the census enumerators to apply and that its adaptation to looal oondi- tions would require considerable stu~ and experimentation by the

national offices with respect to the signifioanoe of materials and methods of construction.

27. Although the permanent housing unit is intended - i.e., constructed or oonverted for habitation by one household it may, at the time of the census, be vacant or oocupied by one or more households, or by a part of a household.

1.2.0 Semi-permanent housing unit

28. A semi-permanent housing unit differs from a permanent housing unit in that the building in which it is located may be expeoted to retain its stability for less than ten years. As in the case of permanent housing knits, a semi-permanent housing unit, though intended for habitation by one household, may at the time of the census, be vaoant or occupied by one or more households, or by part of a households. This type of housing unit will be of special importance in the region, sinoe it houses the great majority cf the population, partioularly in rural areas. Usually these housing unit are made from looally- available light materials such as mud and straw with a thatohed roof but some- times they are in stone, and increasing numbers have oorrugated iron roofs. It should be noted that it is not only the materials of construo- tion but the prinoiples of oonstruction whioh affect the expected

stability of the housing unit; also the durability of oertain materials (wood, for example) may differ greatly aocording to the physioal





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1.3.0 Mobile housing units


A mobile housing unit is any type of living accommodation which has been made to be transported (such as a tent) or which is a moving unit

(such as a ship, boat, barge, vessel, 'railroad car, caravan, trailer, yacht, etcetera) and which is occupied as living quarters at the time

of the census. Nomad, tents 'J1!lEld3l.S, liVing quarters are of special

...'.,. ~


30. Although mcbile housing units are signifioantly different from other housing units in that they can be readily moved cr transported, mobility ,in itself is no~ necessaril'y _'" measure, of qUJl,l;i.ty. For the assessment of housing conditions ~countries with a substantial number of mobile units, it may be useful to further classify them as tents, wagons, boats, trailers, etcetera.

1.4.0 Marginal hou~ing unit~

31. Marginal housing units comprise three sub-groups, viz: "Improvised housing units"; "Housing units (in permanent or semi-permanent bUildings) not intended for habitation"; and "Other premises not intended for

habi tation". These units are charactarized by the fact that they are either makeshift shelters constructed of waste materials and generally considered unfit for habitation (squatters' huts'for example) or places which are not intended for habitation a Lthough, in use for the purpose at the time of the census (barns, warehouses, natural shelters etcetera).

Under almost all circumstances such p12ces of abode represent unacceptable housing and they may be usefully grouped together in order to analyse the housing conditions of the population and for the purpose of estimating housing needs. Each sub-group is defined below •

32. An improvised housing Quit is a makeshift shelter or structure built of waste materials and without a predetermined plan, for the purpose of habitation by one hcusehold? and which is being utilized as living quarters at the t ano of the cen sus , In this category are


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included squatters' huts, shanties, shacks, and any similar premises arranged and used as living quarters though they may not comply with generally accepted standards for habitation. This type of housing unit is usually fcund in urban and suburban areas, particularly on the

peripheries of the principal cities.

33. There is wide variation in the prooedures and oriteria used in classifying these units. There are many borderline cases and eaen country will need to issue detailed instructions on how to enumerate and classify improvised housing units.

1.4.2 Housing unit (in a permanent or semi_permanent bUilding) not intended for habitation

34. Included in this category are housing units (in permanent or semi- permanent buildings) that have not been built, constructed, converted or arranged for human habitation but which are aotually in use as

living quarters at the time of the census. These include housing units in stables, barns, mills, garages, warehouses, offices, booths, and ao forth.


Premises which have been converted for human habitation, although not initially designed Dr constructed for this purpose, should ~ be included in this category.

1.4.3 Other premises not intended for habitation


This category refers to living quarters which are not intended for habitation and which are not lccated in permanent Dr semi-permanent buildings but which are nevertheless, used as living quarters at the time of the census. Caves and other natural shelters fall within this category.

2.0.0 Living quarters other than housing units

37. "Living quarters other than housing uni ts" inolude structurally separate and independent places of abode intended for habitation by large groups of individuals or several households and occupied at the




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time of the census. They may be further classified into hotels, rooming houses, and other lodging houses; institutions; and camps.

38. Housing units on the grounds or within the building housing an institution, oamp, hotel, etcetera, should be ssparately identifi~d

and COUllted as housing units.

39. The criteria established for the identification of living quarters other than housing units are not always easy to apply and it is some- times difficult for an enumerator to decide whether living quarters should be classified as a housing unit or not. This is particulsrly t:t'ue in the case of buildings o.ccupied by a number of households. The enumerator should be given clear instructions as to when the premis~s

occupied by a group of people living together are to be considered as a housing unit or as living quarters other than a housing unit.

2.1.0 Hotels. rooming-houses. and other lodging-houses

40. This group comprises permanent or semi-permanent struoture which provide lodging on a fee basis and in which the number of boarders or lodgers exceeds .five. Hotels, motels, inns, boarding-housing, pensions, lodging-houses,fall within this category.

2.2.0 Institutions

41. This group covers any set of premises in a permanent or semi- permanent structure or structures designed to house groups (usually large) of persons who are bound by either a common public objective or a common personal interest. In this type of living quarters, persons of the same sex frequently share dormitories. Hospitals, military barracks, boarding schools, convents, prisons, etcetera, fall within this category.

1 I.'. . •". ; ...

2.3.0 Camps


Camps are sets of premises originally intended for the temporary accommodation of persons with oommon activities or interests. In this category are included military camps, refugee camps and camps eetablished


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for the housing of workers in mining, agricultare, public works or other types of enterprises.

2.4.0 Living quarters not otherwise classifiable


This is a residual category for living quarters whioh may not conform to the definitions of those included in groups 2.1.0 to 2.).0.

I t should be utilized only when the number of units in question is emall.

Where the number is substantial it should be possible to inClude in separate groups the living quarters having characteristics whioh are similar and also of significanoe for an appraisal of housing oonditions.


In some countries it seems that certain types of multi-household ltTing quarters have emerged in response to the particular needs of the population and that the characteristics of these quarters enable them

to be readily identified by an enumerator. It may be useful in these countries to provide a separate sub-group for any such speoi~l types in oarrying out the oensus. An example of such a sub-group is desoribed below.

(i) Multi-household livin uarters for habitation by more than one

intended 45. This group includes bui.ldings and enclosures intended for communal habitation by several households. In these, struoturally separate and independent living quarters for oooupanoy by individual households" are

~ provided.

46. It should be noted that the living quarters to be included in this oategory are those intended for oommunal habitation by several households, i.e., oonstructed or oonverted for this purpose. Housing units intended for oooupancy by one household but which at the time of the census are ocoupied by several households are not to be included beoause th1s obsouree the identification of households doubled up in permanent and semi-permanent housing units (an important element in estimating housing needs). I t is suggested that, in carrying out the census, a strict distinction be maintained between housing units ocoupied by


more than one household and living ~uarters constructed Cr ccnverted fcr ccmmunal habitation by several households.

(2) Household

47. For certain topics the household may serve more efficiently than living Quarters as the unit of enumeration. For example, tenure is recommended to be collected for households rather than for living Quarters (paragraphs 174-175). Information on rent, an item of signi- ficanoe Ul relation to both living Quarters and households, would of necessity be oOlleoted in relation to the household.

48. For the purpose of a housing censua, eaoh household must be identi- fied separately. It is important that separate oonoepts of household and living quarters be used in carrying out hcusing oensuses in order to permit the identifioaticn of the persons or groups of persons in need of a separate hous5ng unit. If the household is defined as a group of persons oocupying a set of living Quarters, the number of households in living quarters and the mUJlber of ocoupied living quarters will always be equa l and there llill be no apparent housing need in terms of doubled- up households reQuiring s epara te J.iving Quarters. If living quarters are defined as the s~aoe oocupied by a household, the number of house- holds in living Quarters will again be eQual to the number of living quarters, with the added disadvantage that there will be no record of the number of structur~!.l~T scpcz-atel::. ving q~2.rters.


In countries in which it is traditional to count familiee, the family in the bread sense of the term may be adopted as an additional unit· of enumeration; in the great majority of cases the oomposition of this unit will ooinoide with that of the household •


A household, for housing census purposes, should be defined in the same way as it is for population Oensuses. Therefore, the definitions

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whioh follow are the same as those set forth in African Reoommendations for the· 1970 Population censuses.


(a) Definition of a household


The ooncept of "household" is based on the arrangements made by persons, individually or in groups, for providing themselves with food or other essentials for living. A household may be either. (a) a one- person household, that is, a person who makes provision for his own food or other essentials for living without oombining with any other person·to form part of a multi-person household or (b) a multi-person household, that is, a group of two or more per-sons who make ccmaon provision for food or other essentials for living. The persons in the group may pool their incomes and have a oommon budget to a greater or lesser extent; they may be related or unrelated persons, or a oombination of both.


Households usually oooupy the whole, part of, or more than one housing unit but they may also be found living in oamps, in boarding houses or hotels, or as administrative personnel in institutions, or they may be homeless. Households consisting of extended families whioh make oommon provision for food, or of potentially separate households with a common· head, resulting from polygamous unions, may oocupy more than one housing uni t.

(b) Persons not liVing in households


Special provision must be made for the enumeration of persons who are not members of households. These include persons in military

installations, in oorreotional and penal institutions, in the dormitor- ies, in hospitals, in religious institutions and SO forth.


Afrioan Reoommendations for the 1970 Population Censuses (Regional Variants of Parts V and VI of the World Reoommendations for the 1970 Population Censuses), dooument E/CN.14/CAS.5/CPH/9, paragraphs 65-68.









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Persons living in hotels or boarding houses do not belong in this category but should be distinguished as members of one or multi-person households, on the basis of the arrangements which they make for provid- ing themselves with the essentials for living. Personnel of institutions, not living in dormitories or similar accommodations, should be treated

in the same way.

(0) Homeless persons


Homeless persons are defined as those persons who, at the time of the census, are without a shelter that can be considered living quarters.

They may be distinguished from persons ocoupying premises not intended for habitation by the fact that the latter have managed to establish

themselves in a place which provides them with shelter on a more or less continuous basis, whereas the homeless carry their few possessions with them, sleeping in the street, in doorways, on piers, or in any other space.


Data on homeless persons would normally be available from the population census, but it is neoessary to draw attention tc them here, since the numbers of such persons are needed in several of the tabula- tions listed in Part III: where the numbers are large, it would be an important aspect of housing po Li cy to seek means of pr living quarters for them.

( 3 ) Building

57. The building is regarded as an important unit of enumeration for housing censuses in the region since the information concerning the building (especially the type of building) is required for a proper

description cf the relation between the living quarters and the building, and for the formulation of housing programmes. In a housing census the questions on building characteristics are normally framed in terms of the buildings in which the liVing quarters being enumerated are located, while certain information is recorded for each of the relevant housing units or other living quarters.



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(a) Definition of building


A bUilding is any independent free-standing structure comprising one or more roomallor other spaces, covered by a roof and usually enclosed within external walls or dividing walleS/WhiCh extend from the foundations to the roof. However, in tropical areas, a building may consist of a roof with supports only, that is, without oonstructed walls; in some cases, a roofless structure consisting of s space enclosed by walls m~

be considered a "building" (see also "compound", paragraph 63).


A building may be used or intended for residential, oommeroial or industrial purposes or for the provision of servioes. It may, therefore, be a factory, shop, detached house, apartment building, warehouse, garage, barn, and so forth. In some cases facilitiss usually provided by a set of living quarters are looated in two or more separate detaohed

structures as when a kitchen is in a separate structure. In the case of living quarters with detached rooms, these rooms should be oonsidered as separate buildings. A building may, therefore, contain several sets of living quarters as in an apartment building or duplex; it may be oo-extensive with a single detached set of living quarters or it may be only a part of a set of living ~uarters e.g., living quarters with detached rooms which are clearly intended to be used as part of the living quarters.

• .


It is reoommended that in the restrioted programme for censuees of housing in the region, the enumeration should be confined to buildings used for residential purposes. By this is meant, buildings which are partly or wholly used for the purposes of everyday household or family activities (bedrooms, living-rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, wash-houses, toilets). Buildings whioh are used ~ for storage, for oattle, or as garages, or only as business premises, should be excluded. If this principle is clearly stated in the census instructions, it will greatly


For definition of "room" see paragraph 128.


"Dividing walls" refer to the walls of adjoining buildings which have been oonstruoted so that they are contiguous, e.g., dividing walls of

"row houses".


EjCN .14/CAS.5/CPH/IO Page 19

simplify the field work! espeoially in areas where there are large numbers of rather informal struotures. The instruotions should also indioate whether buildings under oonstruotion are to be reoorded and, i f so, at what stage of completion they are eligible for inclusion. Buildings being demolished or awaiting demolition should normally be excluded.

(b) Classification of buildings by type'

',' .'

61. The olassifioation of buildings by type reoommended fOr use in the region is a variant of the classification proposed in paragraph 209 of

the United Nations Prinoiples and Reoommendations for the 1970 Housing Censusss. In the Afrioan olassifioation given below the three categories marked with an asterisk appear in the world recommendations under the heading "all others"; the three oategories could, of co\U'se, be combined and the resulting olassifioation would be comparable in all respeote with the internationally recommended classification.

1.0 Buildings for persons living in households


1.1 One o~ several bUildings whioh together comprise a housing uni,t or housing units

1.2 One building oo-extensive with one housing unit


1.3 One building oontaining one housing unit plUB non- residential space

1.4 One building containing more than one housing unit


1.5 One building containing or compr~s~g living quarters other than housing units occupied by hcuseholds

2.0 BUildings for persons not living in households

62. The differences in the African categories result prinoipally from the numerioal importance in Africa of separate structures whioh together

constitute one or more housing units, the commonest example being a main building containing the bedrooms (and living-room, if any) and a

separate building used as a kitchen. The third category in the regional olassification would provide useful information on single buildings whioh combine a housing unit with a shop or with some other non-residential





CPH/l0 Page 20

function. The distinction betwsen residential and ncn-residential space could be extended to all buildings, if required.

(4) Compound

63. The oompound (concession) is a form of traditional housing whioh is widespread throu€bout the region, and almost universal in certain areas wi thin the region. It usualq oonsists of a group of buildings

(huts or cases) within an enolosing wall or fence, but it may be oonstruoted as a set of contiguous rooms in a line or ranged around a square, thus oonstituting one building.

64. The compound is a social as well as a physical entity, the whole group of persons in the oompound being subjeot to the .authority of a oommon head; instructions should be given to enumerators to use this oriterion in doubtful oases.

65. There is great variety in the size and complexity ofoompounds, in rsspeot of buildings, housing units and households. Some oompounds house a fairly large extended family, living perhaps as one household in a number of housing units whioh may be in one or more buildings.

In other compounds, there is a polygamous head living with his first wife (and ohildren, if any) in one housing unit, and his other wives wi th their ohildren oocupying separate housing units wi thin the oompound and constituting separate households. It is not usual, though excep- tional cases may exist, to find one restricted household comprised, say, of one or both parents and unmarried children living in a compound, since the compound refleots the needs of grouped living; these cases muat be judged on knowledge of local practiCe, and suitable instructions given to enumerators for their enumeration.

66. In order that the 11ving quarters wi thin compounds may be linked together at the processing stage, it is necessary to provide some means of identifying them; a serial numbering sYstem for compounds would meet this need; similarly for households within compounds (paragraph


_ .



CN .14/ CAS.



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It is suggested that some of the problems of enumeration of compounds would be simplified by instructing enumerators to enumerate as buildings each separate structure used as sleeping and/or living-rooms, and as kitchen, bathroom or to5.lot; each set of bed/living-rooms would be the basis for a separate housing unit, and the kitchen, bathroom and/or toilet would merely oonstitute part of the relevant housing unit (or part of more than one housing unit where the faoility is shared by the occupants of several housing units).

68. I f it is found that there are instances where several households make oommunal use of buildings, for example, where they use one building for sleeping, one for cooking ~d one for bathing, etcetera, these

might be enumerated as mul ti-hcusehold living quarters occupied by a certain number of households. (paragraphs


B. Place of enumeration


As stated in paragraph


the principal units cf enumeration in a housing census are liVing quarters, buildings, households and compounds.

With the exception of mobile housing units, liVing quarters, buildings and compounds have a fixed location and the place where they are to be enumerated has not, therefore, to be considered. Information on house- holds, however, and the persons in households can be collected and entered on the census questionnaire either where they are found on the day of the census or at tile uaun l residence. The prooedure f'ollowed in the housing consus should be governed by that adopted in carrying out the population census where the two censnses are carried out simultaneously.

70. The J.frican Reoommendationa for the 1970 Population CeneueeeYare based on the view that, L'1 a region where many countries suffer from a severe laok of resources, it is more practical to suggest a restricted oensus operation which would be within the capacity of the majority of


African Recommendatj.ons for the 12.70 PopUlation Censuses, 01" oit., paragraphs 6-7,



eN.14/ CAS.



Page 22

oountries of the region and which would at the same time provide the data oonsidered to be of the widest interest and importance to these oountries. For this reason, the ~frican ~ecommcndationson population oensuses give preference to an enwr.eration based on place-where-found at the time of the census, because it is easier for enumerators to understand and is simpler in practice. The. greater simplicity is intended to ensure greater accuracy in the results.

71. Consistent with this recommendation is the view that in a housing census, it ie the present-in-area population which should be rslated to the buildings, liVing quart er s and compounds which are enumerated.

However, it goes without saying that the countries of the region which have extra resources and/or special problems may wish (a) to supplement the present-in-area enumeration by data relating to the place of usual residence of each individual, with the intention of allocating each individual, to his area of usual residence (or even to the living

quarters and household where he usually resides) at the processing stage, or (b) to substitute the place of usual residence for the present-in- area approach. The former of these solutions may not prove really effective from the point of view of the housing census, sinoe it is by no means easy to make a re-allouation of individuals to living quarters and/or to households. The lack of exact addresses and the difficultT with nameallin many


of Africa may render this process almost


72. .Therefore , though the basic recomaendation regarding a present-in- area enumeration for censuses remains as an integral part of the minimum

reoo~endations for the region, it seems advisable in the following paragraphs to draw attention to the advantages and disadvantages attach- ing both to a present-in-area approach and a place-of-usual-residence enumeration. In the prooess, there is some repetition of points already made in the preceding paragraphs.


For the problem of names, see African Recommendations for the 1970 Population Censuses, .£l2.!_d. t., paragraph



B/CN .14/CAS.5/CPH/IO Page 23

73. If only a "present-in-area" population distribution is wanted from the population census it is logical to enumerate each person at the place where he is found at the time of the census. If only a distribu- tion by usual residence is required, it is more satisfactory to colleot the information about each person ~t his place of usual residence. It should be noted, however, that it is not always possible to colleot information about each individual at his usual residence, as for example when an entire household is away from its usual residence at the time of the census. Some provision must therefore be made for collecting information about such persons at the place where they are found at the time of the census and for obtaining from a member of the hcusehold the necessary information ccncerning the household's uRual living quarters to complete the housing questionnaire.


With the growing interest in obtaining information in the popula- tion census on households and families and on internal migration, it is becoming increasingly desirable to prepare population tabulations on the basis of usual residence rather than on the basis of place where found, since the latter is often temporary and SO is not useful for the investigation of the above-mentioned topics.. Since this coincides wi'ch the most desirable procedure to be followed in tabulating housing census data there would seem to be a strong case for enumerating persons at their usual residence. Also, although it is comparatively simpler to enumsrate each person where he is found on the day of the census and to use a "present-in-area" population distribution, a usual-residence distribution is likely to be more accurate than a "present-in-area"

distribution if the time required for enumeration is SO long as to permit considerable movement of persons during the interval •


If it is desired tc obtain information on both the usually-resident population and the present-in-area population, then either each person present in each hOusehold on the census day, or each person present and each usual resident temporarily absent, can be enumerated at the appropriate household. A clear distinction must then be made on the



CN .14/ CAS.


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Page 24

questionnaire, as app l Lcab l o , amon; (a) p(;rsons usu3.11y l.'8sident and present on the day o~: the cen su-; , ~b) porsona usually resident but temporarily absent C~ the Qay c~ tle censvs 8~d (0) persons not usually resident bu-t tC::Dporari~:r!Ji"eSent 0;1 the day cf the cen sus ,

76c Dep eridirig en t~e C8.-f::::'::;0l"'i':',:J Q rC:I'SOYl3 (''1'Jffis:co.t.:::cl at any given place, information may the'"!. be ~;..,ll,>J-'ec en the usua I rpsidenco (address) of those only t8l:lpo~'a"'.lyl"'03811t ar.r: on the place (address) at which each temporarily acs(~:1~ P(,:·l'S011 1J~:n kl 2 .ound , 'Lhi s infoJ:'iJation can be used both for al1oc2.ti~.6 pc,:!'sl,.~ns to tt~ gEograp~in ares which they are to be counted , and ::0:~ checkcn.: t) be certain that no person is counted twice (i.e., at both his usual.


i.dcn c e and the place where he was found). The procs<lur'3s to be "0:.'owed at the enumera tio:1 and through the subs equont aLl oo at i.on 0::: P';:!"jC1S , hO';'j<}ver, 1)2 caTefully planned and strictly adh8:'€d tu ~i,.::: .l,jh::: al:<)c.J.t:i.on is to be 2CC1L"':'a"!;e ..

77. \'Ihere per-son-, and housoho ds are allo<>ated to the pLac e of usual residence they ough-1; £' -'';0 b: aJ located to -r.~8 li'Ti':\~ quarters which they usua.lIy occupy , but th~;.C) ;~ ~J.C'catj.on p:r03Ef~'~;2 dif:ficul ties, especially in rural ar-eas ;·rhe:::..·c ';_7. in ±'~e ~·:t3.,:tJy imlJ(.'SGib~.~~ t'.) epecify the location of the living qnTC'~;c~.'( cxactIy , T':'id living QUo.J~·~c:':'s they ar-e actually occupy ing t!.i.; t.ho t:;.me If the. r.'2:'d:n.~.J f'r:.(j1J.ld l\.j coun ted as va cant

if they are PC-::'L12"1C21t OJ:- p,;::.j,-:~:.-:::,,~~.:...n ont hou:3:~r_',2 L':.i:l:'.-CG or they should be excluded from tho c. ..rr:""'-"j :~f ;~:"'_.~~; ,,;,-,p of a t~;rpe o+,l.lo:.... tha.rl permanent or

semi-permanc:1t hOUGLJ:.lg

:_''.::'.:~ -~



Mobile 't1.nitz rf;'p:i:' ·,0,,:D.~J P Rpooial 0':'.C8 as far' as the place

"'",,y ~!l(lllld be 0".,,:nera'Ged where they are found on the day of the ccncuc -) l,~.{t 1 ir~ 3.C00r3.anc8 with the procedure adopted for the a:Lloc2t!,C'l c';:,hc ·;lO:;Julation, mobile houaang units may also be allocated to the are'l .ihE~O tho occ'-lpants usually reside provided that they are 'd,e usual Ihing quz.rter-s of the occupants in the area cf


By definiti'J:n all :ivine Cll~:l~~-~<::.:'G cxc ept p0::,::anont and semi-permanent housing una,7.;: ::':..:-C -c<?Q,u.ired to ~'a o c cupi ed j.n order to be included in the cen sus ,



CN .14/ CAS.



Page 25

usual residence. Where they are not the usual living quarters of the occupants in the area cf usual residence, the occupants would be allocated to their usual living quarters and the mobile housing unit would be excluded from the census.

C. :Enumeration point of time


One of the essential features of a housing census is that each person and each set of living quarters must be enumerated as nearly as possible in respect of the same well-defined point of time. Where there

is a single census day, this is usually accomplished by f~g a census

"moment" at midnight at the beginning of the census day. Each set of living quarters which has reached an established stage of completion and which is not scheduled for, or in the process of, demolition (see paragraph 17) should be included on a census schedule and counted as part of the housing inventory even though the process cf completing the schedule does not take place until after the census "moment" or even after the census day and the living quarters may have been scheduled for demoli tion in the interim. Living quarters which have attained the presoribed state of completion after the cen sue "moment" are not to be

entered on a sohedule (unless special instructions are issued for recording living quarters under construction) nor should they be

included in the total number of living quarters.

80. Similarly, each person alive up to the census "moment" is included on a census schedUle and counted in the total population, even though the prooess of completing the sohedule does not take place until after the census "moment" or even after the census day, and the person may

• have died in the interim. Infants born after the census "moment" are not to be entered on a schedule or included in the total population, even though they may be liVing when the other persons in their household are enumerated.

81. Where the amount of time required for enumeration is very long (exceeding one month) and the population is not likely to be able to



eN.14/CAS. 5/CPH/ 10 Page 26

eupply information as of a single moment in the past, it may be necessary to employ different points of time in the enumeration, even to the extent of the day of enumeration of eaoh set of living quarters and the occupant households. If such a procedure is followed, it should be olearly explained in the oensas report and the total duration of the enumeration should be stated. For ease of·reference and for the computa- tion of interoensal indices, it is useful to designate a single date in the enumeration period as the official "census date". This date could be, for example, the day by which half of the population or living quarters had been enumerated.

D. Time-reference period for data on liVing quarters and the population 82. The data collected about the characteristics of living quarters and the population sho~ld relate to a well-defined reference period. The time-reference period need not, however, be identiCal for all of the data collected. For most of the data, it will be the census "momsnt" or the census day; in some instances, however, it may be a brief period just prior to the census, as in the case of "rental" and of economic characteristics of the head of the household, or it may be a longer

period as in the ease of "period of construction of the building in which the liVing quarters are located."



CN .14/CAS.



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TOPICS TO BE mVESTIGATED IN A ROUSmG CENSUS A. Factors determining the seleotion of t.o.Eics

83. Beoause of the close oonoeptual relation between population and housing censuses, it is recommended that the planning and oonduct of the twc cperations should be as olosely integrated as is possible.

Ideally, the two censuses should be conduoted as one operation, in this way effecting eoonomy in the use of resources - whioh are usually

severely restrioted - by eliminating the need for two separate field operations. If this complete integration is for any reason not feasible, it is nevertheless highly desirable that the housing census should be' as close in time as possible to the population census and that duplication of information be reduoed to a minimum.

84. The recommendations for population censuses in Africallrepresent a minimum approach considered to be within the resources of most

countries of the region. Correspondingly the recommenda tions ooncerning housing censuses were framed with a view to outlining a restricted, practicable programme. The double burden of field work and of data processing for the two censuses dictates the need for the most careful assessment of which data are of basic importance and can be produoed within a reasonable period of time. An over-ambitious programme is to be avoided since the increased complexitJ' may endanger the quality of the responses in the field and ledd to serious delays at the prooe~sing


85. However, it is false economy to colleot housing data whioh are sO inoomplete that they fail to serve the prinoipal purposes for whioh they

• are required. In this oonnexion, a tten tion may be drawn to the need for oloee consul ta tion between housing programmers and statistioian.s at an early stage in the preparations for a housing oensus in order to oonoentrate on providing the data most urgently required for housing programmes and supplying them in their most useful form.


Afrioan Reoommendations for the 1970 Population Censuses, op. oit.


E/CN .14/CAS.5/CPH/IO Page 28

86. I t is considered that the topics listed in paragraph 90 below for investigation in African housing censuses would provide the basic data for assessing housing conditions and would also provide the bench-mark data for estimating future housing needs. Information on· these topiCB would not only meet the mcst pressing statistical requirements of

individual countries in the field of housing planning and policies, but would also establish a body of internationally-comparable data on housing.

It must, of course, be noted that some countries with special problems (for example, a country with a large nomadic population) would need to adapt the present recommendations to meet their needs; while oountries with additional resources may be in a positicn to extend the scope of their inquiry beyond the limits of the recommended regional programme.

B. List of topic~

87. The list of topios shown beLow includes "Recommended" topics and

"Other useful" topios. For convenienoe they are grouped into topics concerned with

(1) the building in which liVing quarters are located;

(2) liVing quarters; and

(3) the occupants of living quarters.

88. The Recommended topios are those which are most urgently required for the measurement and evaluation of housing oonditions and for the formulation of hous;ng p~~gr3mmss in the majority of oountries in the region.


The Other useful topics in the list are topics whioh are also important for the formulation of housing programmes but for which there is a less pressing need. It should be emphasized that the list of Other useful topics does not represent an expanded programme. A decision to inclUde in the census any topic shown in the additional list should be made on the basis of the usefulness of the information which will be made available, weighed against the additional rescurces required for its


E/CN .14/CAS.5/CPEjlO Page 29

collection and processing, and the extent to which the efficient oolleo- tion of more important topios may be jeopardized by added workload

imposed •

• 90. The following list summarizes the Recommended and Other useful topics. The paragraph numbers indicate the sections in which details are given of the definition and speoifioations of each topic inoluded in the list. The presentation of these definitions and specifioations follows the order in which the topics appear in the list itself.



For the bUilding in whioh the living quarters are situated


1. Type of building ,.,..,. ,.,. ,. .

2. Whether or not located in a compound ••••••••••••

91 99

100 - 104 For the liVing quarters

Loea tion ... ,. ... ,. . . • . . . ,. ...•...•..•...••

Occupied or va can. t ,. ,. ,. ,. .

Type of living quarters ,. . . • . • . . . .

Materials of oonstruotion of walls, roof, floor.

105 - 113 114 - 122 123 124 125 - 127 128 130


132 - 133 134 135


10 • ,. • • ,. • • ,. ,. . . . . ,. . . . ,. ,. • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

of a room reserved for oooking •••••


,. ,. ,. ,. ,. ,.,... ,.,.


,. ,.


Toilet facilities ~•.•.••.•••.•••.••••••.••.•••••

Availability Water supply

Number and use of rooms .•••••.••.••.•••.•.••••••

Lighting 11.






For the occupan ts of living quarters

12. Number of households and persons not living in

hous aha Ids ,..,. .•.. ,. .••. ,. .

13. Number of conjugal family nuclei ••.••..••••.••••

14. Number of occupants ...•....•••••••••.••••••





146 150



CN •14/CAS.5/ CPR/I0 Page 30

Paragraphs 15. Demographic and economic oharacteristics of head

of household ..

v. Occupation .. ,. ..

ii.. .Age ..

iii. Ethnic group (or citizenship) ••••••••••••

151 - 173 153 154 - 155 156 160 161 169 170 - 171 172 - 173 174 - 176






Type of activity iv.

va ,

Industry ..

TenureY ..


ii. OTHER USEFUL TOPICS For the bUilding

17. Number of



For the living quarters or for their occupants

18. Length of occupancy in present hcusehold •••••••

19.. Manthly rant paid ..

20.. Bathing facilities " ..

21. Year or period of construction£! ••••••••••••••••

178 179 - 180 181 - 182 183 - 185


This -top i,o is considered 8.S of basic importance at least in urban areas.

£! These topios are considered of special interest in urban areas.


E/CN .14/CAS.5/CPHjlO Page 31

C. Definition and specifications of topics Topic 1. TYpe of building

(a) Definition of building


A building is any independent free standing structure ccrapr-a.aang one or more roomsllor other spaces, coyered by a roof and usually

enclosed within external walls or diYiding walla61which extend from the foundations to the roof. However, in tropical areas, a bUilding may consist of a roof with supports only, that is, without constructed walls;

in some cases, a roofless structure consisting of a space enclosed by walls may be oonsidered a "" (see also "compound", paragraph 101).

92. A bUilding may be used or intended for residential, oommeroia1 or industrial purposes or for ~:10 provision of services. It may, therefore, be a factory, shop, detached house, apartment bUilding, warehouse,

garsge, bar, and SO forth. In some cases facilities usually prOVided by a set of living quarters are located in twc or more separate detached

structures as when a l:itchen is in a separate structure. In the case of living quarters with detached rooms, these rooms should be considered as separate buildings. A building may, therefore, contain several sets of living quarters a s in an apar, building or duplex; i t may be co- extensive with a single ~eta0hed set of living quarters or it may be only a part of a oet of living quarters, e.g., living quarters with detached rOOr.18 >rhich ax-e clearly intend.ed to be used as part of the living quart evs ,


The conoept of "building" should be clearly defined and the

instructions for the housL~g census should indicate whether all build- ings are to be listed and ~iumerated cr only those which are used

entirely for residential purposes or in which some spaee is used as liVing quarters. In s'aructa ons should also indicate whether buildings


Fer, definition of "reom" see paragraph 128.


"Dividing walls" refer to the walls of adjoining buildinge ....hioh have been constructed so that they are oontiguous, e.g., dividing walls of

"row" houses.




Related subjects :