The 1991 South African population census was an enumeration of the population and housing in South Africa.The census collected data on dwellings and individuals' demographic, family and employment details.
Kind of Data
Census enumeration data
Unit of Analysis
Households and individuals
Version 1.1: Edited, anonymised dataset for public distribution.
Version 1.1 is the version downloaded from Statistics South Africa's website on the 28th of April, 2011. It differs from the version downloaded from SSA's website on the 20th of July 2007 (version 1). In the current dataset the South African EA data file and District data files have been merged into one data file.
The data file "SA Census 1991 PP_20110428_1.1" has been split into 5 files to reduce the size of the files to be downloaded. The new files are: "SA Census 1991 PP_PR1_20110428_v1.1", "SA Census 1991 PP_PR2_20110428_v1.1", "SA Census 1991 PP_PR3_20110428_v1.1", "SA Census 1991 PP_PR4_20110428_v1.1" and "SA Census 1991 PP_PR5to10_20110428_v1.1". Data users who wish to analyze this data at the national level should append the split files to create one dataset.
The scope of the South African census 1991 includes the following themes:
Households: dwelling type, ownership type, type of area (rural/urban)
Individuals: relationship within household, sex, age, marital status, population group, birthplace, citizenship, duration of residency, religion, education level, language, literacy,employment status, occupation, economic sector and income.
The South African Census 1991 covered the whole of South Africa. The "homelands" of Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei were enumerated separately and the dataset contains data files for Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei. The dataset does not include a data file for the Transkei as this was never provided by Statistics South Africa.
The lowest geographic level in the population census 1991 is enumerator area.
The 1991 Population Census was enumerated on a de facto basis, that is, according to the place where persons were located during the census. All persons who were present on Republic of South African territory during census night (i.e. at midnight between 7 and 8 March 1991) were therefore enumerated and included in the data. Visitors from abroad who were present in the RSA on holiday or business on the night of the census, as well as foreigners (and their families) who were studying or economically active, were enumerated and included in the figures. The Diplomatic and Consular Corps of foreign countries were not included. Crews and passengers of ships were also not enumerated, except those who were present at the harbours of the RSA on census night. Similarly, residents of the RSA who were absent from the night were not enumerated. Personnel of the South African Government stationed abroad and their families were, however enumerated. Such persons were included in the Transvaal (Pretoria).
Producers and sponsors
Central Statistical Service (now Statistics South Africa)
Government of South Africa
Deviations from the Sample Design
As a result of the unplanned and unstructured nature of certain residential areas, as well as the inaccessibility of certain areas during the preparations for the enumeration of census, comprehensive door-to-door surveys were not possible. The Human Sciences Research Council had to enumerate these areas by means of sample surveys. 88 areas country-wide were enumerated on this basis.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Statistics South Africa
The 1991 Population Census questionnaire covered particulars of households: dwelling type, ownership type, type of area (rural/urban) and particulars of individuals: relationship within household, sex, age, marital status, population group, birthplace, citizenship, duration of residency, religion, education level, language, literacy,employment status, occupation, economic sector and income.
Central Statistical Service. Population Census 1991 [dataset]. Version 1.1. Pretoria: Central Statistical Service (now Statistics South Africa) [producer], 2004. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2011. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25828/hsh2-9x72
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