Why a census?


A census is a general population and housing count and is held every 10 years according to the principles and recommendations of the United Nations. During a Census everyone is counted who, at a specific moment in time (the Census moment), has been living on Aruba for 1 year or longer or who has the intention of living on Aruba for 1 year or longer. This year, the Census moment will be on Thursday October 1st, 12:00 o’clock midnight.

This year, The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) will be organizing the 6th Population and Housing Census on Aruba.


The purpose of the Census is to collect data that is detailed, trustworthy and of high quality in order to get an overview of the developments that took place in our population during the past 10 years. Data collected during a Census answers 4 crucial questions: Who are we, how many are we, where do we live and how do we live?

The Census is held to find out exactly the number of inhabitants and living quarters and at the same time get a detailed overview of the social and demographic characteristics of our population, such as age, sex, household composition, health status and level of education.

A Census is very important for our people, because the collected data helps to guide the public- and private sector to plan based on the actual and current situations in our community. Furthermore, with the current data, comparisons can be made with past Censuses.

By contributing to the Census, every person that lives on Aruba gets the opportunity to contribute to their own wellbeing, the wellbeing of their family and also to the wellbeing of our entire community.


A Census can be compared to a photograph that is taken of the inhabitants of Aruba. Everyone who is in the photograph at the moment that it is taken, will be counted. The Census is a complete count of a specific moment of our country.

Every person that has been living on Aruba for 1 year or longer or who has the intention to live on Aruba for 1 year or longer will be counted. This counts for everyone regardless of their legal status. Those who are abroad for vacation or medical purposes at the moment that the photograph is taken are, should also be counted.

Everyone who is part of the community, including those living in institutions such as retirement homes, as well as those who are in KIA and those who are homeless, will also be counted.

All inhabitants of our country will get the chance to be included in this photograph and can therefore contribute to the wellbeing of our country, YOUR COUNTRY.


The Census questionnaire is based on the recommendations of the United Nations and includes subjects that are current and relevant for Aruba. The questions are standardized, which makes it possible to compare the data that is collected during the 2020 Census to the past Censuses and also to the Censuses that are held in other countries in the world.

The Census questionnaire consists of 3 main parts: questions concerning the household composition, the characteristics of the living quarters and the characteristics of everyone in the household. Questions regarding migration, health, education, labor and income have to be filled in for every person in the household in order to get a complete picture of everyone living in households on Aruba.

All the questions that are asked during the Census serve the purpose of giving answers to 4 main questions: Who are we, how many are we, where do we live and how do we live. Only with your cooperation, can these questions be answered.


Where do we live and how do we live? It is important to get an overview of the characteristics of the living quarters in which households on Aruba are living. For example, the number of rooms, the number of bathrooms and whether the household has access to basic facilities.

The number of rooms in a living quarter divided by the number of persons living in the living quarter indicates, for example, whether the space that the household lives in is sufficient or limited. This calculation is part of the so called ‘Better Life Index’. For more information visit: http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/

To be able to, among other things, calculate the ‘Better Life Index’, the Census questionnaire includes questions about the type of living quarter that households are living in, e.g. if it is a house, an apartment or other type of living quarter. There are also questions about whether the household has ownership of the living quarter or how long the household has been living in the living quarter.

Other questions included in the Census questionnaire are the total surface of the living quarter, whether there is a kitchen present or another area to cook, whether there is a water meter, electricity meter, fixed telephone and cable connection, and whether the connections are open.

These questions are essential to give a complete overview of the characteristics of the living quarters on Aruba. During the selection of these questions the recommendations of the United Nations (UN) have been considered regarding core questions that must be included in a Census questionnaire. For more information, download the most recent publication at: https://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic-social/

To make the best decisions based on recent data, information about your living quarter is important.


Who are we and how many are we? Changes in the population structure of Aruba and the household composition on Aruba plays an important role in the economic- and social wellbeing of our country.

To determine the household composition, the relationship between the persons in the household need to be identified. For this reason, we ask whether everyone in the household is related to each other, also by marriage. We also ask if the mother and the father of the persons in the household are living in the household and if the persons are living with a partner on a durable basis, married or not married. We also ask about the marital status of every person 14 years and older.

In the Census questionnaire we also ask about the sex, age, date of birth, country of birth, and nationality of everyone in the household.

All these questions together make it possible for the CBS to determine the household composition of every household on Aruba as well as the structure of our population according to age, sex and origin.

These questions are essential to be able to closely follow the social- and demographic developments that have taken place on Aruba in the last 10 years and to make projections of the population for the next 20 years. For more information please download the following publications:


The population of Aruba is multicultural. It is a mixture of persons who come from different countries and who have different nationalities. According to the 2010 Census, the population consisted of persons originating from 133 different countries and with 96 different nationalities. Of those born on Aruba, one third had at least 1 parent that was born abroad.

During the past 10 years, different developments have taken place not only on Aruba, but also in other countries in the world which have had an impact on the migration to and from Aruba.

How many persons born on Aruba continue to live on Aruba their whole life? How many leave and return? How long does a person not born on Aruba continue to live on Aruba? These are questions that can be answered with the data that is collected from a Census.

Questions concerning origin provide us with the opportunity to assess the cultural diversity of our population. Would you like to know more? Cooperate with the 2020 Census.


The Census questionnaire also has questions concerning general health, physical- and cognitive limitations and care needs. These questions are essential because there are, for example, no administrative sources to determine how many persons on Aruba suffer from physical- or cognitive limitations. In this case, every 10 years the Census provides the opportunity to get a detailed overview of persons with a limitation. These questions are part of a list of questions recommended by the United Nations (UN) and from the ‘Washington Group on Disability Statistics” (http://www.washingtongroup-disability.com/).

The Census also provides a picture of the number of persons that needs care and maybe are not receiving the care needed. It is extremely important to know more about these vulnerable groups in our community to be able to provide them with the care and support that they deserve.


Why questions on education? During the Census we ask 2 important questions about education, one that is directed towards those attending school and the other to be able to assess the highest level of education of our nation.
Education is one of the main subjects of the Census because education takes center stage in the development of a country. A well-educated nation represents the greatest wealth of a country.

For this reason, the questions on education are directed to all persons that are attending school or who are following an education, including the smallest baby that visits a playschool, children and youth that attend school in the morning, afternoon and at night and those who follow online education.

We also collect valuable information on the highest level of education of our population, including of those that are part of our work force. With this data, a determination can be made in which fields of study we have sufficient well-educated persons and in which fields there is a lack of knowledge. This information helps to outline policy to come to a well-educated nation that can carry the economic development of our country in the years ahead.

The questions on education were selected based on the recommendations of the United Nations (UN) and the UNESCO. For more information, download the recommendations of the United Nations: https://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic-social/Standards-and-Methods/files/ or visit the website of the UNESCO: http://uis.unesco.org/


Why questions about the use of technology in the Census? Technology can improve the quality of life of mankind and can be used as a means to teach and educate, to stay in contact with each other and to provide and receive information. Given the swift developments in the world of technology, it is very important to assess the developments that are taking place on Aruba in this area.

In the Census questionnaire we included questions about internet access, the use of internet for school and work and access to devices that are used to go online. This data becomes more important today, certainly when considering that Covid-19 has forced us to go more and more in the direction of working online and from home and also follow online classes.

The ICT questions included in the 2020 Census also serve the purpose to calculate indicators of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). For more information, visit: https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/publications/wtid.aspx


In addition to the question ‘How many are we’ there is also the need to answer the question ‘Who are we’ in terms of e.g. age, sex, education as well as employment status. Therefore, during the Census, we ask all persons 14 years and older if they have worked in the week prior to the Census or not.

To those who have worked, we ask about the type of job they performed as well as the name and the address/location of the company, business, or establishment where they were employed. By doing this, we can get a complete view of the labor force on Aruba as well as the distribution of occupations and industries on Aruba.
To those who have not worked, we ask if they are looking for work as well as what the main reason is why they are still without work. By doing this, we can also get an overview of the scope of the unemployment situation on Aruba as well as of those that, for one reason or another, are not active in the labor market.

Data about our labor market is extremely important because it provides an overview of the economic- and social development of our country.

The questions about labor that are included in the Census 2020 questionnaire are in accordance with the international standard of the International Labor Organization (ILO). For more information, visit: https://www.ilo.org/global/standards/introduction-to-international-labour-standards/lang–en/index.htm


One of the main purposes of a Census is to collect detailed data of the socio-economic situation of persons and households on Aruba. To make this possible, the 2020 Census form includes questions about the income that every person in the household receives, either from their main job, or from another source of income. This data helps to determine the economic wellbeing as well as the poverty status of households on Aruba.

Data about the actual socio-economic situation of our population is essential.

For more information on how to use the data about income to calculate the socio-economic situation of households, visit the following website:

or download the following publication:

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