Fourth Population and Housing Census, Rwanda, 2012

Year published: 10/01/2014

The Fourth Rwanda Population and Housing Census (RPHC4) enumerated a resident population of 10,515,973 people of which 107,822 were living in institutional households and 10,378,021 living in private households. Only the latter were eligible for the questions on economic activity. The official minimum working age in Rwanda is 16 and above. Females were predominant among the working-age population (54%).

Of the entire population aged 16 and above 74% were economically active. The economic activity rate was higher in rural areas (75%) compared to urban areas (68%) and it was higher among males (76%) compared to females (72%).

There were 4,152,682 employed people, representing 71% of all residents aged 16 and above.

Unemployment in Rwanda is an urban phenomenon and affects young people (16-35 years) more than adults. The unemployment rate in urban areas (7.7%) was more than twice as high as the one at the national level (3.4%), whereas it was 2.6% in rural areas. The unemployment rate among active youth (16–35) was 4.0% and 8.7% respectively at the national level and in urban areas, while it was 2.6% and 5.6% among adults (aged 36–65).

The breakdown of the unemployment rate by the highest level of education showed that young persons with secondary and university levels of education are most exposed to unemployment. 13% of active persons with an upper secondary education level were unemployed and the unemployment rate was 10% for those who had attended university.

The level of education of the labour force is still low. 26% of the employed population have never attended school and 61% have attended only primary school. 47% of the unemployed population had a primary school level of education.

The Rwandan labour market is predominated by agriculture (73%).A higher percentage of employed females is employed in agriculture (82%) compared to males (63%) and a higher percentage of employed persons in rural areas is farmers(83%) compared to those in urban areas (21%). Non-agricultural occupations in urban areas were mainly services and sales workers and craft and related trades workers. Except for agricultural and clerical support workers, men predominated in all other occupations.

Concerning employment status, the results showed that the majority of the employed population in Rwanda were self-employed in the agriculture sector (60%), followed by employees (18%) while self-employed out of agriculture represented 8% of the total employed population. The proportion of males who were employees was twice as high as the corresponding figure for females, while the proportion of women contributing to family work was more than double that of men.