The General Population Census of Cambodia 1998 is the second nationwide population count for the country. The last Population Census in Cambodia took place in April 1962. The 1998 Census is, therefore, held in Cambodia after a lapse of nearly 36 years. It is planned to be undertaken every 10 years thereafter.
The 1998 Census seeks to create an inventory of the country's manpower resources and demographic characteristics as at a given time. Only the census can provide data for small areas (e.g. village) for local planning purposes.
The population census is the most fundamental source of national population data required by a country for administrative purposes as well as for economic and social planning and research. It is expected to provide a comprehensive and reliable inventory of a country's population. Apart from the size of population in each of the administrative units which is the basic information provided by the census, an analysis of the census data provides information on trends in population growth, age and sex structure of the population, the levels of mortality and fertility, the course of migration, trends in urbanization and on many more characteristics of the population. A study of the current demographic levels and past trends is very essential in making population projections that form the basis of national plans for economic development and other welfare programmes.
The demographic, social and economic indicators as well as other bench mark data at small area levels produced by the 1998 Census will go a long way in monitoring and evaluating the implementation of National Strategic Development Plan programmes in the future.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
Unit of Analysis
vesion v1.0. - Edited data for internal use only.
vesion 1-edited but internal
vesion 2-edited for public use
The scope of the census includes:
- HOUSEHOLD: Household members characteristics, migration, literacy, education, disability, main activity, employment, occupation.
- WOMEN: Women's characteristics, children born, alive and died.
- DEATHS: characteristics of the deceased, cause of death, maternal mortality.
- HOUSING CONDITIONS AND FACILITIES: Source of lighting, cooking fuel, toilet, water supply, number of rooms, ownership of facilities, access to internet.
Population & Reproductive Health
The census was conducted on a de facto basis. In other words, all persons staying in Cambodia on the Census Night were enumerated in the place they were found present. These persons included foreigners but excluded foreign diplomatic corps and the like and their families. Officials of Cambodia's missions and their families living in other countries were also included.
Producers and sponsors
National Institute of Statistics
Ministry of Planning
United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs
Assistance in project execution
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Development Programme
Royal Government of Cambodia
Co-funding for fieldwork
Mr. Nott Rama Rao
Mr. Harry Lode
Data Processing Technical Assistance
Dates of Data Collection
midnight (00 hours)
Data Collection Mode
About 25,000 enumerators and 8,350 supervisors were appointed to do the enumeration by visiting each and every household. They were drawn mostly from teachers. Generally one supervisor was appointed to closely supervise the work of three to four enumerators depending on the size and location of EAs. Regional Census Coordinators (six UN Volunteers and one consultant) were appointed in remote provinces for guiding the Province Census Officers and supervising the census in those provinces.
Data Collection Notes
The Demographic Survey of 1996 marked the beginning of the preparation for the census. One of the most important pre-census activities was to develop maps at various administrative levels. For the purpose of enumeration, each enumerator was to be given an enumeration area (EA) with definite boundaries. An EA, with an average size of about 100 households, might be a village or part of a village (in the case of large villages). Starting from December 1996 the work of preparing village sketch maps and delineating the Enumeration Areas was completed in about a years time.
De Facto enumeration
The census was conducted on a de facto basis. In other words, all persons staying in Cambodia on the Census Night were enumerated in the place they were found present. These persons included foreigners but excluded foreign diplomatic corps and the like and their families. Officials of Cambodia's missions and their families living in other countries were enumerated by mailing questionnaires to them with the help of the Ministry of
The method of enumeration adopted was the canvasser method. An officially appointed enumerator visited every household in the allotted EA and collected for every person the information required. This information was recorded on the census questionnaire.
The Geographical frame for the 1998 census followed the defined structure of province, district, commune and village. There are 24 provinces in the country which include the municipality of Phnom Penh and the "Krong" or "Towns" of Preah Sihanouk, Kaeb and Pailin. These provinces are divided into 183 districts which are subdivided into 1,609 communes containing 13,406 villages. Census enumeration covered the entire inhabited
geographical areas with the exception of a few areas which were inaccessible during the census due to military operations. These areas were: (i) Whole districts of Anlong Veaeng in Otdar Mean Chey province, Samlot in Bat Dambang province and Veal Veaeng in
Pousat province (ii) Ou Bei Choan village of Ou Chrov district in Banteay Mean Chey province. The population in these excluded areas is estimated to be about 45,000. The refugee population who immigrated to Thailand at the time of the census were not included in the census as it was conducted on a de facto basis.
The 1998 Census was conducted under the authority of the Royal Decree (Kret) No. JS/RKT/02-96/08 dated February 29, 1996 on the organization of the General Population Census of Cambodia. According to this Decree, the Ministry of Planning is responsible for the General Population Census with the National Institute of Statistics (NIS) as the implementing agency. The Decree inter alia ensures confidentiality of personal information collected in the census.
The National Committee for the General Population Census of Cambodia constituted by Sub-decree No. 12 dated January 31, 1997, under the chairmanship of HE Deputy Prime Minister and Co-Minister, Ministry of Interior, had the responsibility for instructing, deciding and endorsing all general items of work pertaining to the census. The Census Technical Committee with HE Minister of Planning as chairman dealt with technical issues relating to the census. In the conduct of the census, the population census office of the National Institute of Statistics (NIS) under the Director of Census was the central unit that served as the monitoring, communication and action centre for the census. It had seven divisions each in charge of a specific activity, like administration, planning and monitoring etc. The Province Director of Planning acted as the Province Census Officer (PCO) for his / her province and was responsible for the operations in the province. A middle level officer of the NIS was posted at each provincial headquarters as Regional Officer (RO). Trained junior officers of NIS were posted in provinces as Assistant Regional Officers at the rate of one for three or four districts. The Regional and Assistant Regional Officers acted as technical advisers to the province census officers. A Provincial Census Committee, with the Governor of the Province as chairperson, was established in each province to assist in implementing the census successfully.
Recruitment and Training
About 25,000 enumerators and 8,350 supervisors were appointed to do the enumeration by visiting each and every household. They were drawn mostly from teachers. Training on the census procedure and filling-in of questionnaires and other relevant census forms (with practical exercise) was imparted at three levels. Training materials were prepared carefully in advance. These materials included instruction manuals to enumerators/supervisors, training guides for trainers, flip charts and training forms. At the first level, training was given to about 70 trainers' trainers, who were the core census staff and the staff of the Ministry of Planning and NIS earmarked for the census work. They were trained at NIS for three to four weeks.Training of enumerators and supervisors was the third level training held for a week at training centers situated in district headquarters / selected communes. In all, there were 505 training centers in which 961 training sessions were held.
The main post-census activity of the Data Processing Division was the manual coding and editing of census documents, data entry from the questionnaires, computer editing and tabulation and the generation of various dissemination products.
The census was closely supervised by census supervisors and commune, district and province officials. National and International staff as well as the Minister of Planning and UNFPA Representative visited several areas to oversee the census operations. A team consisting of three international observers who inspected the census operations in different parts of the country, concluded that the census coverage and quality was generally good.
Post Enumeration Survey
The census was closely followed by a Post Enumeration Survey (PES) conducted in sample areas to evaluate the census. This was necessary as in a large-scale exercise like the census, it is inevitable that some inaccuracies arise from deficiencies and errors in coverage and response. A separate report on the findings of the survey will be published. The most important finding of the PES was that the net under-enumeration in the census was 1.78 percent. This is considered to be good.
School teachers and other officials
Ministry of Education
Two questionnaires (Form A Houselist and Form B Household questionnaire), developed for the demographic survey, were slightly revised to suit census purposes. They were further refined based on the experience of the first pre-test in selected areas in January 1997, suggestions made at the First Data Users Meeting (April 1997) and recommendations of the Census Technical Committee (April and June 1997). Finally a pilot census was carried out in June 1997 in sample areas with the help of teachers which showed that with some minor changes, the questionnaires and the instruction manuals developed could be used in the census.
Form A: Houselist which was canvassed during the preliminary round was used to collect the following information in respect of buildings which had households in them: Building / Structure number, predominant construction material of wall, roof and floor of building, whether building is wholly or partly residential, household number, and name and sex of head of household and number of persons usually living in the household.
Form B: Household Questionnaire had four parts:- Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. This was used for census enumeration during March 3 to 12, 1998 in all households. In Part 1, information on usual members of household present on Census Night (March 3, 1998), visitors present on the Census Night and usual members absent on the Census Night was collected.
Part 2 of Form B, was used to collect the following information in respect of each usual member of household present and each visitor to household: Full name, relationship to head of household, sex, age, marital status, mother tongue, religion, birth place, previous residence, duration of stay, reason for migration, literacy, full time education and economic characteristics.
In Part 3 of Form B, fertility information of females aged 15 and over in the household was collected. In Part 4 of Form B, following information was collected on housing conditions and facilities: basis of occupancy of the dwelling by the household (like owner occupied or rented), main source of light available to the household, main cooking fuel used by household, whether toilet facility was available within premises, main source of drinking water supply for the household and number of rooms occupied by the household.
The census data processing division of NIS is responsible for manual editing and coding of questionnaires, data entry, computer editing and tabulation, and the generation of products like the population database and maintenance of the web site. The main post-census activity of the Data Processing Division was the manual coding and editing of census documents, data entry from the questionnaires, computer editing and tabulation and the generation of various dissemination products.
The manual coding and editing of the census documents was done in two stages. First, the summary statements were scrutinised and edited. This provided the basis for the provisional census results (population by sex at national and provincial levels), which were released through a book in August 1998. The second stage concentrated on the coding, editing and data entry of the main census questionnaire (Form B).
Estimates of Sampling Error
Computer editing was performed to remove errors and inconsistencies in the data sets. A large number of statistical tables were generated at various geographical levels. To this end, a Tabulation Plan had been prepared, taking into account the recommendations made at the Second Data Users Meeting (November 1998).
Director, Demographic Statistics
National Institute of Statistics
Director, ICT Department
National Institute of Statistic
Data User Service Center
National Institute of Statistics
The Statistics Law Article 22 specifies matters of confidentiality. It explicitly says that all staff working with statistics within the Government of Cambodia "shall ensure confidentiality of all individual information obtained from respondents, except under special circumstances with the consent of the Minister of Planning. The information collected under this Law is to be used only for statistical purposes."
1. The data and other materials will not be redistributed or sold to other individuals, institutions, or organizations without the written agreement of the National Institute of Statistics.
2. The data will be used for statistical and scientific research purposes only. They will be used solely for reporting of aggregated information, and not for investigation of specific individuals or organizations.
3. No attempt will be made to re-identify respondents, and no use will be made of the identity of any person or establishment discovered inadvertently. Any such discovery would immediately be reported to the National Institute of Statistics.
4. No attempt will be made to produce links among datasets provided by the National Institute of Statistics, or among data from the National Institute of Statistics and other datasets that could identify individuals or organizations.
5. Any books, articles, conference papers, theses, dissertations, reports, or other publications that employ data obtained from the National Institute of Statistics will cite the source of data in accordance with the Citation Requirement provided with each dataset.
6. An electronic copy of all reports and publications based on the requested data will be sent to the National Institute of Statistics.
"National Institute of Statistics, General Population Census of Cambodia 1998 (GPCC 1998), Version 2.0 of the public use dataset provided by the NIS National Data Archive. www.nis.gov.kh/nada".