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Census Methodology

Population data in Timor-Leste are mainly obtained from population and housing censuses conducted in 2004 and 2010. Other sources are the 2003 and 2009/10 Demographic and Health survey (DHS). The population and housing censuses are conducted on a “de facto” basis, with the 11th July 2010 as the census reference point. All the people present in the country on that reference point are in principle included in the census, with the exception of staff of the diplomatic missions in Timor-Leste as per standard census procedure.

The 2010 census collected information on: (i) size, composition, and spatial distribution of the population; (ii) levels of education; (iii) size and deployment of the labor force; (iv) prevalence of disability and its spread; (v) levels of fertility, mortality, and migration; (vi) rate and pattern of urbanization; (vii) housing conditions and availability of social amenities; and (viii) participation in agricultural production.

The concepts and definitions used in the census are in line with the following publications: “Handbook on Population and Housing Census: Concepts and Definition” and “Principles and Recommendations of 2010 World Round of Population and Housing Census”, both published by the United Nations Statistics Division.

The concepts and definitions of the DHS are derived from the “global instruments” as developed by ORC Macro International. This is under the US AID funded DHS global programme.