Census of Population and Housing 1995
A Census of Population and Housing was taken on the 26th November 1995. The first part of this first volume of the final report:
(a) describes the arrangements that were made for the taking of the Census;
(b) gives details of the information collected in the Census;
(c) provides the methodology and the definitions used in the collection of data; and
(d) gives an analytical overview of the main findings of the Census.
1.1 Census Organisation
A Census Order was made by the Hon. Prime Minister in terms of section 3 of the Census Act, 1948, and was published by Legal Notice No. 134 of 1995. Prior to the issue of that Order, a Government Notice No. 660 was published on the 19th October 1995, appointing Mr Alfred Camilleri, B.A. (Hons), M.Sc (Econ), A/Director of Statistics, to be Census Officer for the purpose of taking a Census relating mainly to population and housing.
The Census Order provided for the taking of the Census on the 26th November 1995 and for the broad types of particulars and other information to be collected for that purpose in respect of persons and housing accommodation. Two schedules to the Census Order specified the persons who were required to give information and the detailed particulars required to be stated in the Census questionnaire.
The Census Regulations were published by Legal Notice No. 166 of 1995 and gave details of the Census questionnaire, besides defining the duties and functions of the Census Officer, Supervisors and Enumerators. The Census Regulations also defined the responsibility of those persons who were required to furnish information.
1.2 Preparatory Work
Before the stage of door-to-door enumeration of the population could be reached, it was necessary to plan in detail the various phases of the preparatory work required to be done to equip enumerators with maps, documents and instructions to enable them to carry out their duties efficiently. The Census Officer was ably assisted in this task by the staff of the Central Office of Statistics who spared no effort in order to cope with the additional work while continuing with their normal duties.
1.3 The Questionnaire
The draft Census questionnaire was thoroughly discussed within a Working Group that was set up by the Central Office of Statistics. The questionnaire was prepared after a lengthy series of consultation meetings with interested parties and entities. Although it was desired to meet most of the requirements, actual and potential, of all authorities concerned with demographic, social, housing, manpower or economic aspects of the country, it was not possible to extend the questionnaire any further without sacrificing a high standard of accuracy.
A careful selection of questions was made. This was done in such a way as to omit the least important, while maintaining continuity with past Censuses and conforming with the Census Recommendations of the United Nations Statistical Commission for the European region.
A pre-test of the Census questionnaire on 400 households was carried out in September 1995. The difficulties encountered during this pre-test as well as the suggestions and recommendations received in the course of this test proved to be extremely useful in drawing up the final draft of the Census questionnaire.
In the course of the Census, the opportunity was also taken to carry out a sample survey on the incidence of diabetes among the population.
1.4 Census Information
The information sought in terms of the Census Order was the following:
1.4.1 Particulars Regarding Persons
In respect of every person enumerated -
(a) full name;
(b) number of identity card;
(c) relationship to reference person or status within the institution, ship or
vessel as the case may be;
(e) date of birth;
(f) whether single, married, separated, divorced or having an annulled marriage,
widowed or remarried;
(i) place of residence.
In respect of persons aged 10 years or over -
(a) whether they can read and write;
(b) knowledge of languages.
In respect of every person -
(a) whether any activity limitations exist;
(b) whether any long-term disabilities or handicaps exist;
(c) whether covered by a private health insurance policy.
In respect of married or widowed Maltese women -
(a) number of children born living;
(b) year of first marriage;
(c) year of birth of first-born child.
In respect of every person -
(a) his/her place of residence
(b) place of his/her residence one year ago;
(c) place of his/her residence five years ago;
(d) whether the person is a returned migrant.
In respect of every person aged 16 years or more -
if at work at the time during the week ending 26 th November 1995, stating in
respect of that week -
(i) whether he/she is economically active or not;
(ii) what is his/her status in employment;
(iii) the number of hours worked per week;
(iv) what is his/her current occupation;
(v) what sector, public or private, he/she is employed in and who is the employer;
(vi) the address of his or her place of work;
(vii) his/her gross income which he/she usually receives from all sources;
(viii) means of transport to place of work or study;
(ix) whether a smoker or non-smoker;
(x) whether a drinker or non-drinker.
1.4.2 Particulars Regarding Housing Accommodation
In respect of every dwelling occupied by one or more households, stating -
(a) the address and type of dwelling;
(b) the number of households accommodated in the dwelling, total number of persons
residing therein, and total number of rooms in the dwelling.
In respect of each household in the dwelling, stating -
(a) the number of persons forming the household;
(b) the number and classification of rooms;
(c) whether any member of the household rents, or owns the dwelling where the household lives,
and the amount of rent paid;
(d) whether the household lives regularly or occupies temporarily the dwelling; and
(e) what kind of equipment is used for cooking;
(f) what kind of equipment/amenities are available;
(g) what toilet facilities are available;
(h) what type of sewage disposal system is available;
(i) what type of bathing facilities are available;
(j) what type of heating facilities are available;
(k) what telephone service is installed;
(l) period of construction of dwelling;
(m) other existing amenities/facilities;
(n) other information relating to the quality of life;
(o) whether any member of the household rents or owns a summer residence.
1.5 Census Questionnaire
The Census questionnaire was divided in two parts. Part I of the questionnaire covered demographic and other socio-economic topics while part II dealt with the housing aspect of the Census. The same Census questionnaire was used in the case of both private and institutional households.
The Census questionnaire itself contained extensive explanatory notes for its completion. However, these notes were supplemented by additional information that was contained in a Census manual which was distributed to all the Census staff. In addition to specific questionnaire-related explanatory material, the Census manual contained extensive notes on all the relevant aspects of the Census methodology.
For administrative control purposes, it was also necessary to create a number of other forms for recording progress, abstracting of statistical information, summarising or aggregating of data as required.
1.6 Software Development
All the required Census software was developed by staff members of the Malta Information Technology and Training Services (MITTS). The relative team from the MITTS worked very closely with the Census Officer and his staff throughout the development process of the questionnaire and the other forms, and the data entry and report processing stages of the Census project.
A 20-terminal Local Area Network, complete with fully tested software, was installed at the Census Office in order to cater for the data processing requirements arising from the Census. A number of small software applications was also developed in order to assist the staff at the Census Office in controlling and monitoring the Census process.
1.7 Printing Work
The printing of the questionnaires, manuals, and other Census-related forms was mainly carried out at the Government Printing Press.
1.8 Cartographic Work
All maps and survey sheets, used in the course of the Census, were prepared by the Mapping Unit of the Planning Authority. This unit divided each locality into a number of Census Enumeration Areas and delineated the boundaries of each such area. During the Census operation itself, staff members of the Mapping Unit assisted the Census staff in resolving any difficulties that arose in the course of the enumeration.
1.9 Publicity and Information
The Census operation was supported by an extensive publicity and information campaign. Television, radio and the print media were used for the purpose. Information material, in both Maltese and English was addressed to all households in Malta and Gozo.
The above-mentioned campaign was supported by a number of press briefings and television and radio interviews with the Census Officer and other officials.
During the three-week Census period, a telephone Freephone service was operated for 13 hours daily. This help-line service proved very popular with the members of the public. It is estimated that during the period during which this service was operated about 15,000 calls from the public were attended to.
1.10 Enumerators and Supervisors
Nine hundred and forty-seven enumerators as well as eighty-one supervisors were appointed by the Census Officer to assist in the enumeration process.
These enumerators were selected on the basis of suitability for the job or on the strength of previous experience in this or related field-work from among those employees of Government and other Parastatal organisations who had applied to perform these duties. These enumerators and supervisors were assisted and supported by the staff members of the Central Office of Statistics.
The names, private addresses and respective assignments of supervisors and enumerators were published in the Government Gazette.
All personnel performing duties connected with the Census were sworn in by the Census Officer in terms of the Census Act to ensure the complete maintenance of secrecy in relation to information furnished for the purposes of the Census.
1.11 Training of Census Staff
Two intensive briefing and training sessions on all aspects related to the Census were held both in Malta and in Gozo between the 1st and the 17th November 1995. All supervisors and enumerators were required to attend each briefing session.
During the first briefing session, a comprehensive set of instructions on all aspects of enumeration covering the questionnaire and forms, method of completion, definitions, practical advice on difficulties likely to be encountered, procedures, relations with the public, codes and the preliminary summarisation of data, was distributed to enumerators and supervisors. The material provided, was also thoroughly explained by the Census Officer and other officials. Then supervisors and enumerators were asked to familiarise themselves with the Census methodology, their locality and enumeration areas and to bring up any problems for discussion during the second briefing session.
The second briefing session was devoted to a review of the Census methodology and enumeration process and to the difficulties that were raised by both the supervisors and the enumerators. During this second meeting, staff members of the Mapping Unit of the Planning Authority helped those supervisors and enumerators resolve the difficulties which they encountered during their reconnaissance visit of the localities and enumeration areas.
Door-to-door enumeration started at 16:00 hours on Monday the 20th November 1995 simultaneously in all localities and proceeded smoothly right up to the last day in the Census period, namely the 10th December 1995. The following enumeration approach was adopted:
(b) households were encouraged to fill in the Census questionnaire themselves and to provide the required information as at midnight of the 26th November 1995.
(a) the Census questionnaire was mailed to all households in Malta and Gozo before the 20th November 1995.
(c) Census enumerators paid their first visit to the households in their enumeration area in the week between the 20th and the 26th November 1995. During this first visit the enumerators were required to discuss the Census questionnaire with the households and to determine the kind of assistance, if any, that households required in filling in the questionnaire.
(d) whenever households were unable to fill in the questionnaire themselves, enumerators were required to fill in the questionnaire on behalf of households.
(e) Enumerators were required to pay households a second visit in the two weeks following Census Day in order to either finalise the filling in of the questionnaire, to check and collect the questionnaire or else to ascertain that the circumstances of the household remained unchanged.
(f) the Census was taken in accordance with the "de jure" method of enumeration. Briefly, this means that the enumerated persons were counted at their permanent place of residence.
A total of 902 enumerators carried out the required fieldwork across the whole country. Another 45 stand-by enumerators were engaged to act as support staff as and when required. In the course of the Census, a number of these stand-by enumerators were called upon to carry out actual enumeration duties.
The enumeration process within each locality and within each enumeration area was under the supervision of 81 supervisors. Each supervisor was assigned a number of enumerators who, in turn, were instructed to liaise with and report progress to him/her on a regular basis. The supervisors' role was to assist the enumerators in resolving any difficulties that could arise during the enumeration process and to ensure as complete and proper a coverage of all the parts of each locality as possible.
During the enumeration process, the response of the public was most satisfactory in all localities. In the course of the Census, it was not found necessary to use legal powers to compel reluctant respondents to furnish information. There were, however, cases of households requiring a certain degree of persuasion on the part of enumerators and their supervisors before accepting to cooperate fully.
Most of the households were enumerated at their usual residence. However, a substantial number of households was found to be either living temporarily at an address that is not their usual address or else to be temporarily overseas. Most of the households reported to be living elsewhere on the island were actually enumerated at their temporary residence. However, some others and notably those that were reported to be temporarily overseas had to be followed up after the close of the Census.
All enumerators were also asked to keep a proper record of all those instances where they failed to establish a contact with the tenants of a housing unit. The information thus collected was afterwards investigated in order to ensure as complete a coverage as possible of all the households in these islands.
1.13 Census Processing and Report Generation
All follow-up action subsequent to the field-work was carried out by the staff of the Central Office of Statistics. A number of households had to be followed up in order to reduce as much as is reasonably possible the under-enumeration factor. Moreover, the completed records were compared to other available administrative records and benchmarks in order to ascertain as complete a coverage as possible.
All data-entry work and verification was carried out by the staff members of the Census Office. The Census reports were drawn up with the assistance of Ms Maja Miljanic Brinkworth, B.Sc. (Econ.), M.Sc. (Econ.), Dipl. (ISS).
Volume 1 Tables
Population, Age and Gender - Citizenship
Volume 1 Chapter 2: The Legal Background to the Census
Volume 1 Chapter 3: Definition of Census Terms
Volume 1 Chapter 4: Household and Family Characteristics of Persons
Volume 1 Chapter 5: The Demographic Characteristics of the Population