Year published: 17/11/2002

A Population and Housing Census is usually a huge complex operation designed to gather and analyse socio-demographic and socio-economic data needed for the planning of the development of a country.

The information gathered during this exercise ranges from essentially demographic details (relating to fertility, mortality and migration), to those relating to economic activity and household living conditions, as well as those concerning the social and cultural aspects of the population such as level of education and literacy. Details on the size, situation and characteristics of vulnerable persons are equally gathered in the process.

In view of the fact that the data from the second census of Rwanda of 1991 had become outdated on account of both the time that had elapsed since then and due to the disruptive effects of the war and the genocide of the early 1990s which entailed considerable damage of life, property and basic socio-economic infrastructure, the new Government of Rwanda felt the necessity for another General Census way back in 1999. This desire became a reality with the conduct of the 3rd General Census of Population and Housing in 2002. This unavoidable delay was due to the need to ensure that the population had properly settled down within the entire national territory after the massive displacements of the 1990s.

The main objective of this 3rd census was to gather up-to-date and reliable data that could be immediately utilisable for the reconstruction of the country and for the more consistent planning towards a sustainable socio-economic development of the country.

It is thus with much pleasure and satisfaction that the government of Rwanda is officially making available to various users, the detailed results obtained from this census, whether they be in the form of raw statistical data or of in-depth analyses conducted by our national experts under the supervision of the National Census Service.

I wish to use the occasion of this official publication of the census results, to express the gratitude of the Government of Rwanda, to all those who directly or indirectly contributed, in one way or the other, to the success of the various phases of this complex exercise.

Our sincere thanks must go primarily to the entire population of Rwanda for its massive, active and enthusiastic participation, both before and during the field data collection phase of the census. Its generally hospitable disposition played a very crucial role in the success of the entire census exercise.

We are also grateful to acknowledge the active collaboration of all the state institutions at various levels, as well as that of the Civil Society, which never hesitated to provide the much needed assistance to the various technical services of the census, particularly, by sensitizing the population to ensure its full participation during this all-important and evidently enriching national exercise.