Census 2010 in Ghana

The Ghana 2010 Census has the catchy slogan “you count, so be counted!”

The exercise started on the night of the 26th of September, has been heavily publicized, but unsurprisingly for a large country the counting has not been without problems and is due to end any day now (to be precise on the 10th).

My Romanian friend was counted, it was her third census which I from the census-free Sweden thought was kind of cool. Fellow blogger Fiona was counted and surprised at one of the questions. I have also been counted, but sadly didn’t get to meet the census officer in person.

And you , have you been counted?

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  1. For professional reasons I am very interested in seeing the results of this census, even though I don’t expect them for several more months. Methodologically, however, I must say I was not very happy with the questionnaire.

    The question about languages was clumsy indeed; instead of listing languages and then combinations of (international) languages they would have been better off asking people to simply list the languages they can read and write in, even though it would have been a bit more work to codify them afterwards. They should most definitely have added a separate question to list (spoken) Ghanaian languages.

    Most significantly, I think there are going to be huge problems due to the fact that many questionnaires will have been self-applied, and it should not be the case. Census officers are supposed to be present, properly trained, and carry clear, detailed instructions for filling out the forms. Moreover, any self-applied questionnaire should come along with such clear instructions. I, without the help of the census officer, could not figure out whether one was supposed to select only one answer for any question. To go back to the previous example, what do I tick when it comes to languages? Select “English and French” and then add other languages in the section “Other”, or write down the full list of languages I can read and write in, inclusive of English and French, under the section “Other”? Are these options supposed to be exclusive or not?

    I expect the results to be anything but accurate; on the other hand, I hope for the law of large numbers to work its magic and produce aggregate results that are not wildly off!

    Finally, let me just say there always are problems with enormous researches like censuses. My country has a history of censuses dating back to 1838, and yet at the most recent one, in 2002, the question regarding religion did not have the “no religion” option, but used “atheist” instead!

  2. Raluca, thanks for filling us in on how to fill the form…Maybe you should be a census consultant! “Experience since 1838…” 🙂
    Sandra, let’s hope the census people find you now during the extension of the exercise!

  3. indeed, he came, last sunday afternoon, and I felt a bit sorry for the young chap walking from house to house, also as he had been sent away plenty times by my neighbours as generally persons felt disturbed during their precious free time in this very residential area … but when if not that day are they to be found in their homes? he had only a slight problem only in the beginning of the questionnaire: AUSTRIA was certainly not amongst the countries of origin he could choose from. and yet, here we are, and still no kangaroos around us, which was – as I am almost sure – the country he had ticked in the end …