A Population Census is the total process of carrying out a total count of all the person within the territorial boundaries of a given state at a given period of time and disseminating the findings. The count captures both the numbers and the characteristics of the persons. Of recent, Population Censuses are also used for capturing the housing conditions of the people, hence the naming of Population and Housing Census (PHC). The essential features of a PHC are individual enumeration, universality withing a defined territory, simultaneity and defined periodicity.
In Uganda, Population Censuses have remained the main source of information on the population size and distribution, as well as the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the population. These have provided the necessary data for policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation of national development programmes at national and local government levels.
Census taking in Uganda started in 1911 under the colonial rule, however, the first post-independence census was held in 1969, and this revealed population of 9.5 million. Subsequent Censuses were held in 1980, 1991, and most recently in September 2002. The resultant population from these Censuses were 12.6 Mill, 16.7 Mill, and 24.1 Million Receptively.