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Republic of Costa Rica
Instructions for the Enumerator
National 1984
Agriculture and Livestock
General Directorate of Statistics and Censuses

[Pages 1-20 were not translated into English]

[p. 21]

Instructions for correctly filling out The Form of the Fourth Dwelling Census

Preliminary Observations

Before beginning to study the exact form of filling out each and every one of the questions of the Dwelling questionnaire, it is convenient to examine a little the three ways of writing down the responses or information that is obtained.

  • Questions in which you mark a circle with an X. They are the majority, it is the case of question number 11 (Type of Illumination)

[Below the text is a form.]

[p. 22]

  • Questions in which you, in addition to marking a specific circle with an X, should make other annotations; as a typical example is question number 2 (occupation, ownership, rent).

[Below the text is a form.]

  • Questions in which only digits should be written down. In addition to those that refer to numbers of the segment, of the dwelling, and the household and the space meant for the Summary of the Household at the end of the Form, a question in which numbers are only written in number 6 (No. and Use of Rooms). We see the following

[Below the text is a form.]

  • Questions in which like number 1 about the Type Of Dwelling, are marked with a circle that which corresponds to the correct response and, if it concerns a Collective Dwelling, should be specified with clear letters the "Name" (of the institution, organization, boarding house, etc.).

[Below the text is a form.]

What mean by dwelling and what are its characteristics?

So that you can classify each dwelling correctly according to the censuses, it is important to take into consideration the existing differences between the different types of Dwelling that exist in out country. As we said on page 9 of the Primary Unit, a Dwelling is the appropriate place that human beings use to sleep, prepare and consume their food and protect themselves from the inclemencies of weather.

[p. 23]

As you know in our country and in the world there exists a large variety of dwellings. With the purpose of being able to have information about the type and quality of the dwelling in which Costa Ricans reside and of contributing to the world wide statistics that compare the dwelling as an indicator of the level of the quality of life of each of the countries, we should look for a concept that unites characteristics similar to all of them. For the purposes of the National Censuses of 1984 we consider, then, the Dwelling as any premises that meets all of the following minimal characteristics:

  • Being a separate premises, that is to say, that it is surrounded by walls and is found to be covered by a roof.
  • Being a premises that has been built, transformed, altered, or available for the purpose of Lodging of Persons, in a temporary or permanent form, with reference to the Census Moment. The premises can be fixed or mobile and occupied by one or more persons related by family or not, that we have designated Household, or simply by a group of individuals without any family tie (Non Family Group).
  • Being an independent premises because they have entrances and direct access to the street or through halls, stairs, patios, corridors, a public or private terrace, etc. and that, because of these same characteristics, persons who reside there are not obliged to cross or pass through the interior of other dwellings in order to leave or enter the building.

In this manner a Dwelling can be:

  • A group of rooms or only one room, an apartment, a flat of a building or an independent house.
  • A vessel, railroad car, ship, truck, boat, "trailer" [in English], or any other class of premises occupied as living quarters and in reference always to the Census Moment.

The Census Moment, that is to say, 12:00 the night of June 10, 1984 or 0 hours of June 11 of the same year.

[Below, the text continues with a description of a dwelling.]

Any place occupied as a place of residence by one or more persons within a work center, that is to say, a local industrial or agricultural or livestock business. In this very special case, Dwelling is considered an independent premises within the total installation that has been equipped to lodge persons and permits them to reside there for many reasons (they are watchpersons or guards of an industry for example.

In general, dwellings can be built or adapted by man for this purpose considering them as Dwellings in Census terms when they fill the conditions of being separate, independent and persons live in them or they are suitable for living.

The Questions

Question 1: Type of Dwelling

This question is concerned with identifying if the dwelling is individual or collective. If it is individual, find out if it is the ordinary or common type, if it concerns a mobile dwelling, a hovel or a temporary dwelling. In this case what you the enumerator should do is mark with an X the circle that corresponds to the type of dwelling that is found.

(See the illustration on the next page)

For census purposes dwelling have been classified into two principal types, which we define below:

Private Dwelling

Separate and independent premises that are meant to lodge a single person (Private Dwelling) or a group of persons (one or many households) that can have family ties or not, but that are distinguished because they live together and because they prepare and consume their own food.

[p. 24]

A dwelling is not considered individual when the household established here has six or more persons considered as "Others non family" (Pensioned, etc.) agreeing with question 1 of the Population Census form. We can distinguish the following classes of private dwellings:

{Types of Private Dwelling}

  • Ordinary Dwelling

It is what we commonly perceive or consider as such because it has been built following a functional, structural or architectural design preconceived in terms of a habitual residence. It concerns a room or group of rooms and their dependents, located in a house, building or permanent place (permanent because it has a durability of 10 years or more) and that has been built with long lasting materials like cement, stone, concrete block, bricks, wood, etc., without its current state being important . This type of dwelling includes in addition to houses that we all know as such, apartments that are grouped in buildings or constructions named apartment buildings, apartment hotels or aparthotels. Also grouped here are shacks, which are ordinary in warm zones.

{An important observation with respect to apartments}

The reason for which we consider apartments within this classification, is because the occupants can develop the same style of life as occupants of a house, that is to say, residing for long periods of time, preparing food within the premises and living a common life independent of other premises (in this case apartments). Each apartment is a dwelling since it has direct access.

{Definition of a Shack}

With respect to shacks, it is advisable to remember that they are considered ordinary dwellings because their construction merits the use of materials of a certain durability and of a complete idea of the procedure adapting to the construction according to the usable material.

Shacks have walls and roof partially or totally built with materials like straw, palm, cane, etc. Although these materials can appear combined with wood and zinc sheets.

In this manner huts in which already many of our indigenous persons and some persons from costal regions principally live constitute as examples of shacks.

  • Mobile Dwelling

It is a premises that can be moved by its own design. Examples of mobile dwellings are the following: camping tents, trailers or a premises equipped as such in boats, ships, railroad cars, trucks, etc.

  • Hovel

A hovel is a premises built with discarded material. These dwellings are built, generally, with the purpose of responding to a need of immediate lodging. They are always found on banks of rivers, under bridges over rivers, in the outskirts cities, in overrun lands, of state or private property, etc.

  • Temporary

This other class or category of private dwelling includes that type of premises that has been available or meant for dwelling in:

a) Buildings or permanent places that normally fulfill other functions and that originally were not made to lodge persons. We refer here to a room or groups of rooms used for living like houses within mechanical workshops, wine cellars, granaries, factories, garages, stores, offices, guard houses, etc.

[p. 25]

b) Places that, by their configuration can be adapted as human dwellings and are bring used in this form on the day of enumeration. Here we can mention for example caves or any other natural refuge.

{Important Observation}

When we are found with a natural refuge (cave, hole in the trunk of a tree, etc.) that is possible to consider as a temporary dwelling, we only consider it as such if on the day of the visit there are clear indications that it is occupied as a residence.

Collective Dwelling

If the option of response to the question about the Type of Dwelling is Collective Dwelling you should take into account those places, buildings and houses in which the sick, police, prisoners for various crimes, young or children delinquents, workers, students, religious persons, the elderly or other groups that carry out or live together under the same roof. These places, buildings or houses in which groups of persons live without family ties between them, or that is, who being Non Family groups, have been designated by the government, by a private company or other institution, to resolve problems or social necessities like health, discipline, security, social adaptation, work in places far from the family dwelling, old age, being orphaned, poverty, study or religious life, etc.

We can cite the following as clear examples of this type of dwelling: hospitals, clinics and sanitariums in which exist the mentally sick or those who suffer diseases that have them weakened, barracks, jails, reformatories or centers of social adaptation, boarding houses, residence halls or students quarters, hospitals for orphans, asylums or retirement households for the elderly and convents.

{Something To Remember}

Caution: In a building or place meant to be a Collective Dwelling it is possible to find one or more private dwellings. You should be very careful about this. They are in hotels, jails, hospitals, convents, when any special group (owners, employees, managers, superintendents, etc.) has a dwelling with an entrance independent for them.

When in the dwelling form you should mark a Collective Dwelling (marking with an X the circle followed by the number 5) begin then to specify the name that the institution organization or place is known as in the line that follows the word "Name".

Immediately after beginning with the next thing, go to fill out the population forms for persons who correspond to it, as we will explain in the following unit.

Question 2: Occupancy-Tenure-Rent

(See Illustration on Page 22)

This second question of the dwelling form has the purpose of knowing if the private dwelling is found Occupied or Unoccupied. In the case in which the dwelling is found to be Occupied with respect to the Census Moment, that is to say, it has been inhabited before 12:00 the night of June 10 or 0 hours of June 11, 1984, you should make a distinction between those that are in it because the persons who reside in it pay a rent (Renters), and those occupied by a family that is its owner (Owners). The questionnaire leaves open the possibility that Occupied Dwellings will be found by other means, (for example: being poor or because it was ceded for reasons of work to the inhabitants, etc.) fact that should not be specified.

[p. 26]

In the end, you should mark with an X the alternative that corresponds, and only in the case that it is the first (Rented dwelling) write down the monthly amount in colones that is paid for rent.

In the case that the dwelling is found to be Unoccupied before the Census Moment, an X is marked in the circle that corresponds to the reason that explains why it is uninhabited, that is to say, "for rent or for sale", "under construction or repair", "for the summer", and "other" with the response not included in the previous ones and which it isn't specified in written form.

Section: Predominant Material and Condition of ____

The three questions that follow in the dwelling form refer, each one, to the Predominant Material and Condition of: the Outside Walls (question 3) The Roof (question 4) and The Floor (question 5). It concerns in these cases observing of which materials are built the walls, the floor and the roof of the dwelling in the census moment, to register its state, according to which part it corresponds to.

Question 3: Predominant Material and Condition of the Outside Walls

[Below the text is a form]

The Most Predominant Material Possible

As you can observe, question 3 refers to the predominant material in the construction of the outside walls of a Dwelling. It can be about "Wood" of any kind; of "Brick" which is all materials cemented and plastered, like brick, cement block, stone, etc. (outside walls of adobe and bahareque [local tree] that have been cemented should be included here also) and finally those of "Adobe-bahareque" which are blocks of earth in this case of adobe, and the structures formed by wooden beams, cane, mud and pieces of tile (bahareque). Always the "other" options is left for the case in which the predominant material is not any of the previous (for example: straw, palm, sticks, zinc sheets, etc.).

When we refer to the Predominant Material of the Outside Walls, we mean that material that covers or constitutes the largest area or surface of them, according to an appraisal of the front, sides and back of the dwelling.

The condition of the predominant material:

In each case you should make an appraisal that permits you to judge in what state is each material found, that is to say:

  • "Good": if you estimate that the Predominant Material of the outside walls does not present any deterioration (cracks, holes, etc.) and that also do not show any defect in its structure.
  • "Fair": when you observe that the predominant materials in the walls present any deterioration or structural defect that requires any necessary repairs but not a total replacement (some damaged planks, some missing bricks, etc.).
  • "Bad": In the case of the predominant materials that according to your appraisal are found to be in a bad state. ("Bad"), it is clear that you will have to had observed in them much deterioration, that means that there are cracks, holes, etc. and above all that part or all should be replaced for the protection and security for its use.

It is important to hear the opinion of the enumerated person, since they can know details that you cannot know from a simple look.

{The Case of Walls of Straw}

Of course, you will have to adapt to the circumstances to define with the most precision possible the state of the predominant material. So in the case in which the exterior walls are predominantly of straw or palm, as happens with Shacks, it is advisable to suggest the following to you:

"Good": if the walls have no holes, only the spaces without material of this type, are completely waterproof (without deterioration caused by rain), there is no evidence of an attack of insects or other animals and there are no deteriorations of any other type.

Question 4: Predominant Material and Condition of the Roof

[Below the text is a form.]

The Most Predominant Material

The roofs of Costa Rican houses are built mostly with metal sheets or with "mud tile". Of course, surely you will find some with asbestos, cement, or other type of material for the roof, although there are exceptions; for those last cases we have reserved, as in question 3, a space in which you will have to mark with an X the alternative that has been named "Other" (in which are included, for example: cement, mud tiles, wooden tiles, plastic sheets, palm, etc.).

We do not insist too much inasmuch as "tiles of mud" because it concerns that which we all know is made from baked mud and is found in the traditional farming dwelling, or rural villages or in recent mansions. The same goes for roofs made with "sheets of metal", which we know as sheets of zinc, although the possibility of finding a house where the tiles are only constitute a decorative element must be kept in mind, and under these are the sheets of zinc, that by being the predominant material of the roof will be marked as an alternative. For such a better possibility, verify from the resident of the dwelling or the Enumerated Person about this respect.

Also we call your attention inasmuch as the roofs made with a base of "asbestos-cement", which is a material used recently and known generally as "Ricalit", which is the brand that seems to have been used most. Asbestos-cement is as its name indicates, a material made with as its base a mixture of asbestos and cement. In addition to the type "Ricalit" of which we have spoken, other similar ones exist with other brand names. The important thing is that you know that you will find it generally in cases of recent urbanizations, principally those named "prefabricated".

[p. 28]

The state of the predominant material:

To evaluate the state in which the predominant material is found, we turn to the three categories that we have used in the previous question, saying:

  • "Good": when the roof does not shoe any defects or sagging.
  • "Fair": if the roof requires repairs of some importance, since it shows damages in its materials, although it does not constitute any imminent danger for the inhabitants of the dwelling.
  • "Bad": when the roof is in such a state that, is demands to be substituted almost completely, both because it leaves the inhabitants at the mercy of the rain, in danger of falling over or other possible mishaps.

[Below the text is a picture of houses with different roofs and a caption that reads, "a group of houses with roofs of asbestos-cement and similar materials not very frequent in Costa Rica.]

Question 5: Predominant Materials and State of the Floor

[Below the text is a form.]

The Most Predominant Material Possible

Here you have to register the material that is found in the majority of the floors of the rooms, sleeping quarters or bedrooms of the dwelling, that is to say, that covers a greater area of these.

If the floors in the majority are made of "Wood", the class of this material that is used and the form (for example, parquet) is not important. When the majority of the floors are "Mosaic", you should take into account in this classification also what is known as terrazzo, terracín [type of tile], palladian, and as it occurs with the other questions that we have examined up to now, also is left the possibility that the Predominant Material of the floor is made of "Other" type for example, rug over cement, rug over wood, polished cement, brick, other, etc.

[p. 29]

On the other hand it can be that the floor of the Dwelling is made of earth, that is to say, there is artificially built material over it. In this case you should mark the response that says "Does not have (dirt floor)".

{Polished floors are those that have been scrubbed and covered, generally with red or green ocher.}

The State of the Predominant Material

In the effort of establishing certain norms so that you evaluate the predominant material in the floors, in the manner that your judgments coincide with that of you fellow enumerators, and with those of technical statistics, we mention the following criteria to be used.

  • "Good": When the predominant material in the Floor does not show any deterioration such as a crack, hole, sagging base, etc.
  • "Fair": if the predominant material requires repairs of some importance, by having damages in its components or in its base.
  • "Bad": The floor is required to be substituted by having sagging or rotten bases, with evident danger for the inhabitants of the dwelling.
  • When the floor is made of earth the state is not established.

{An observation with respect to the state of predominant materials}

It can be that with a simple view the predominant materials both in the outside walls as well as in the floor and in the roof of the dwelling give the impression of being found in a good state. Because of this, it is advisable that you do not trust superficial observations and that you try to investigate with these enumerated persons if there exist problems with the material of which the outside walls, the floors and the roofs are constructed in the greatest form.

In addition to some places where there have been tremors and even earthquakes, many things can occur that change your judgments about the state of the predominant materials in the dwelling. For example, it is possible that in some houses you see cracks in the walls and floors; nevertheless, you should be careful about the time of classifying as good, average, or bad, the state of these materials.

Example No. 1: It results that many of the cracks are only superficial and that many families have asked for the evaluation of an engineer or an expert in construction to know if these apparent damages are serious or not.

Example No. 2: In many cases, a technical report has been clear in expressing that they only are cracks without importance, that the only thing that they require is a superficial repair, more than anything so that they are not seen as "ugly".

Example No. 3: In other cases, on the other hand, the opinion of the architect or engineer is that repairs of some consideration or structural repairs like changing or reinforcing columns, materials should be made. In the first example you should classify the predominant material as "good"; in the second as "average" and in the third as "bad". Consequently, you should explore with more detail when these situations present themselves to form a more exact opinion that will permit you to classify the material of these cases.

Question 6: Number and Use of Rooms

(See Illustration on Page 22)

Every dwelling has one or many rooms whose inhabitants use for different purposes: sleeping, cooking food, eating, relaxing, or receiving visitors, watching television, listening to the radio, etc. Of course not all dwellings have areas so different it includes that in some cases some area single room that is used for all, what in popular speech people called and at times now call a round room (cuarto redondo).

[p. 30]

This question has been designed precisely to know the number of rooms, bedrooms or sleeping quarters that the Costa Rican dwellings have and which of them are occupied for sleeping, preparing food, relaxing, etc. All rooms or bedrooms of the dwelling that are used for exclusively professional, commercial, industrial or service purposes should be excluded, such as lawyer's office, offices, local stores or grocery stores, barber shops or beauty shops, "cantinas [bars]" or bars, workshops, etc. Also halls, porches, bathrooms, inner patios, depots or garages, etc.

{How to register the number and use of the rooms of the dwelling}

In the open boxes placed at the right side of question number 6 (Number and Use of Rooms), you should register the information turning to the use of two digits or numbers. This operation has to be done first to indicate the number of rooms. For example: in a dwelling that has 10 rooms (four bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, television room, breakfast room, and a room for the servant, you should write down the total in the following manner:

[Below the text is a filled out form.]

Once you have registered the number of rooms of the dwelling it is necessary that you indicate how many are used for sleeping (remember that the room for the servant is where she sleeps), how many like living/dining room, how many for only cooking, how many for cooking and eating at the same time, and how many are meant to be for "other uses" without you having to write down what is specifically done in them.

Nevertheless, those dwellings exist that have a single room that its inhabitants use at the same time for sleeping, cooking, eating, and receiving visitors. You should consider them dwellings without bedroom, that is to say with "zero" (0) bedrooms, except in the case that this single room is used exclusively for sleeping. Then you should mark the digits 01 in the cells meant for indicating the number of rooms, such {0}{1} in those reserved for the concept "only for sleeping" it will have been indicated in the following form: {0}{1} that means something like "01 bedroom". The places used for commercial, professional, industrial or service purposes and that also serve as a residence for one or more persons are not considered as "only for sleeping" they are only registered as dwelling and as if it did not have a number of rooms, that is to say by what are referred to as rooms that are used as living room and dining room (living/dining room) and kitchen and dining room (kitchen-dining room) as a result obviously serve to fulfill two of the purposes that they indicate. Nor does any doubt exist when one talks about a room that is only for cooking ("only-kitchen); although in this case it can happen that any person or persons sleep in the kitchen (on the floor or on benches), but is considered as "only kitchen".

Caution. In the countryside it is possible to find that the kitchen is a "separate" construction from the rest of the dwelling. In this case it is taken as an integral part of the dwelling.

Finally, it remains for us to make some comment about rooms meant for different uses to those pointed out previously ("other uses"). Generally it concerns spaces or rooms that residents use as places or recreation and service. For example: Living room, dining room, study, recreation room, bedroom where also they cook.

Remember that no open box should be left without annotation, because of this, when there are no rooms of any of the specified classes, write down {0}{0} according to what it corresponds to.

Question 7: Water Supply

There exist many forms by which people are supplied water. In question 7 you can observe that in this page two principal types of supplying are mentioned: "Piped", and "By Other Means". As you know, in the country different types of piped systems exist for the supply of water to dwellings, but also with these piped systems, other traditional means, such as water from rivers, rain, which is channeled through a "public-source" (fuente pública), and wells with or without a pump.

[To the left of the text is a form.]

[p. 31]

Seven other possibilities of supplying water exist, two of them through means of pipes and five through other mechanisms or procedures. The piped system is connected to a "public system" or is part of a "private system", and in each one of these cases the inhabitants of the dwellings can receive the water only for service of their dwelling or they can receive it for their dwellings and other dwellings. You have to note one of these two possibilities when you investigate if the Dwelling receives water by pipes. If it is through this means, you have to find out if the pipe is part of a "public system" or a "private system". Finally you should indicate in each case in the pipe is "Only for this dwelling" or if it is "for this and other dwellings".

On the other hand, when the residents of a dwelling receive water through other means it is not specified if it is only for the dwelling or [not], because of not having interest in this detail. That is to say, it concerns:

  • A "Well with pump", when water is extracted from underground through the use of a pump. It is indicated when it is of exclusive use of an private dwelling.
  • A "Well without a pump", when water is extracted from underground through a bucket or recipient tied to the end of a rope. It is indicated when it is of exclusive use of the residents of an private dwelling.
  • A "River or stream", when the water used in the dwelling is obtained from a river or gully (initially obtained from a small hold made in the side of the river bed).
  • A "Public tap", when it is taken from a public place for use of a community, for example, a well (with or without pump), pipe from a public system, or a source that all the inhabitants of the community have access to.
  • "Rain" and other means, when the largest part of the water used is caught by any means of rainfall. Examples of this are tin pans connected to gutters of the roof, to catch rain water and the supply of water through cistern trucks.


You should mark with an "X" only one of the circles and only one response, since the alternatives that are shown in this case are mutually exclusive. If a dwelling has two or more sources (piped and well, etc.) write down the most used (principal) source as the only source.

{Mutually exclusive means that it is impossible that two or more simultaneous alternatives are given as a response.}

Question 8: Continuity of Water Service

[Below the text is a form.]

With this question you try to know the regularity with which the Private dwelling receives drinkable water service, independent of the form about supply that you have.

You should mark with an "X" the alternative that indicates the period of time in which generally (predominant period) water service lasts without interruptions, or if it is the case, there is almost a lack of it (last alternative).

This question, like the others that are included in the Dwelling form, is very important. You know that in our country not all people have continuous drinkable water service and that this causes problems to many people. Because of this we need to know with clarity how many dwellings and persons have water service.

[p. 32]

"All day" or that is, that they receive it without interruption for 24 hours of a day; only "In the morning" which means that they receive it regularly or intermittently during the morning hours (since the inhabitants of the dwelling get up until the noontime hours); only "In the afternoon" when the water supply does not have interruptions, although it does not arrive in the morning if they receive it in the afternoon, after noon; exclusively "At night" after six or seven; and finally how many dwellings and households "water almost never arrives (to them)", that is to say, how many count on a very sporadic, or irregular water service and how many barely receive it.

As you can see it is necessary to write down a response for summer and another for winter. We all know that places in the country and in the cities exist where the water supply in different in summer than in winter: some dwellings for example receive water "all day" in the rainy season, while they almost never receive it during the summer; other dwellings only have water at night during the summer and winter, etc. For these reasons you should ask about the availability of water that the enumerated dwelling has, both in the summer season, as well as the rainy season. For this begin to mark with an "X" a response that corresponds to the summer and the other to the winter.

In the case of supply by other means (not piped) this question should also be answered. If there are doubts write them down in "observations".

Question 9: Bath Services

Not all dwellings of our country have bath services, that is, a place adapted in some way for washing, cleaning or grooming the body through the use of water. Also, in many cases when dwellings have a bath, this service is not exclusive for one dwelling, but rather is shared by two or more of them. So question 9 includes three alternatives of response that you can observe in the illustration that we offer below:

Bath services is only for the Dwelling that is being enumerated ; it is shared by this and other dwellings and finally it can be that the dwelling has no bath, in which you have to mark with an "X" circle 3.

[To the right of the text is a form.]

Question 10: Type and use of toilet facilities

Something similar to bath services occurs with "toilet facilities". In some areas of cities and, principally, in rural areas, it is possible to find that dwellings do not have toilet facilities, that is to say, a space adapted in some manner for depositing urine and excreta.

On the other hand when you find that the dwelling that you are to enumerate has toilet services, of course it is not always the same type, also, in some cases it is only for the dwelling that is being enumerated and in others of more than one dwelling. You can see a faithful reproduction of question 10, such as it is included in the dwelling form.

As you will be able to see, for this question, 9 possible responses exist, according to the type or class of toilet facilities, that they have. Among these options are included dwellings that have no toilet facilities. If it has more than one class, write down the one of greatest use.

[To the right of the text is a form.]

[p. 33]

Definition Of Concepts

{Types of toilet facilities}

It is possible that all types or classes of toilet facilities that exist in the dwelling of the country are familiar to you. Nevertheless, it is not bad to review what consists of each class of toilet facilities.

  • Sewer or septic tank


It concerns a system that consists of a toilet bowl connected to a sewer system through which fecal material is eliminated.

Septic tank

It concerns a toilet bowl that is connected to a concrete or reinforced concrete tank, connected to drainage areas by means of which human residues are eliminated (urine and excreta). Generally a "septic tank" is in the patio of the house, with a simple glance there is no difference between facilities by sewer or by septic tank, which is the reason why they appear as a single category.

  • Concrete pit toilet

Commonly we call it in our country "pit toilet". It concerns a more or less deep hole over which is constructed a hut, in which the floor and base that serves as a toilet bowl is built of cement or concrete.

  • Wooden Pit Toilet

This case we also know commonly in our country as "pit toilet". It is similar to what we described previously, only that the floor or the base are wooden.

  • "Other" type of toilet services

Those toilet services that have a "bowl" or any object that does the function of it, connected to a waste pipe, irrigation ditch, (ditch), river, the sea etc. are classified here. That is to say, the form of discarding excreta is a natural current of water or a ditch built to give passage to water in an improvised manner or at times to the earth from some given height.

  • "Does Not Have" toilet facilities, that is to say, that there is no form of eliminating the human excreta and urine similar to those previously cited. Generally grown ups go to the woods (al monte) to do their necessities and children do it near the house.

Question 11: Type of Lighting

Great are the advances that our country has achieved in the matter of electric energy for the illumination of streets, buildings and dwellings. Nevertheless, many dwellings still remain that are illuminated by other means, such as kerosene, gas from small lamps, candles, etc.

[p. 34]

In the reproduction of question 11 of the dwelling form, it will concern the fact that 5 possible responses exist to the question "With what do we Costa Ricans illuminate ourselves?" The first refers to "Electric from a public service" illumination, that is to say, that type of illumination that entities of public service provide, like The Costa Rican Institute of Electricity, The National Company of Power and light, The Administrative Group of Municipal Electrical Services of Cartago, Heredia etc., the electricity cooperatives or persons who are in charge of supplying this type of service in public form to the dwelling. In such a situation, mark with an "X" the circle followed by number 1.

[To the left of the text is a form.]

The second response classifies "Type of illumination" as "Electric from privately generated plant". Here you should register with an "X" in the corresponding number 2, the dwellings that receive illumination from an electric service of private use supplied by a plant, dynamo etc. Dwellings that enjoy this service due to the fact that its occupants work on a farm, factory, mine etc. that owns a private service are included, whether it is free or not is not important.

Some use the fuel named "kerosene" to illuminate themselves. In such a case it is necessary to mark with an X circle number 3 of question 11. Finally, the form leaves open two more possibilities of response. Through these options can be classified those dwellings that have a type of illumination that is not kerosene or electricity, in whose case you should mark with an X the circle that says "Other" without detailing what this "Other" type of illumination consist of (for example, illumination from a gas lamp). On the other hand, the last alternative is for dwellings that do not possess any type of illumination and what the form figures as "Does not have".

Question 12: Cooking Fuel

At least five types of fuel are used in Costa Rican dwellings for cooking: electricity, gas, kerosene, coal from wood (plant coal), and firewood itself. For this question only one of the five categories should be marked with an X, given that it interests us to know which fuel is used most frequently even in the possibility that two of more classes of fuel are used. Nevertheless, as it is possible to find other possible sources of cooking fuel, the form has reserved an alternative for this "Other" material. On the other hand, also an alternative for dwellings and households in which they do not cook has been reserved "None" (do not cook) and, therefore they do not use any type of inflammable material for cooking. In this place dwellings should be registered in which in spite of having a kitchen, a burner, or other cooking facility, its inhabitants do not cook their meals there.

Examine well the reproduction of question 12 of the form that is included below.

[Below the text is a form.]

[p. 35]

Question 13 Appliances of the Dwelling

The last question of the Dwelling form has the intention of knowing most exactly the socioeconomic level of the household or the households that reside in the dwelling you are enumerating. The specialists in social science and statistics have come to the conclusion that one of the best ways of measuring the social and economic level of persons who inhabit a dwelling is through the registering of the appliances like radio, stove, electric iron, black and white television set, color television set, refrigerator, washer, bath warmer, telephone, vacuum cleaner, hot water tank, automobile vehicle that is not used for work or is principally for recreation. It is supposed that together with the evaluation of the state of the dwelling and the measuring of the education level, establishing if the households possess or not this type of appliances is a good indication of the social and economic level of the people who compromise the respective household.

As you will observe, it concerns those appliances that can be owned by one or more members of the household in question, but that are used by all of them. You should mark with an X, in each case, if in the household exists or not each one of the mentioned appliances.

[To the left of the text is a form.]

{Definitions respective of each type of appliance that is included in question 13}

In the case of the appliance radio or television in black and white or in color you should register if they "have" it or they "do not have" it in each household the type, size and number of them not being important. About the stove you should be careful that it concerns an appliance or mechanism made with the purpose of cooking or heating food. This means that an electric or gas grill, for example, or portable stove, a collection of stones or logs used in an improvised manner by the residents of a dwelling each time they want to eat, with the purpose of heating or cooking food is not taken to be a stove.

By what is referred to as "electric iron", it is clear that you should register only irons that work via electricity.

The refrigerator is found in a large amount of Costa Rican households due to, among other things, the increase of populations or human settlements that have electricity service. Nevertheless, refrigerators that work with other types of energy exist. In the case of those that are run on for example butane gas, consequently, you should register as "refrigerator" the appliance that is used to store in the cold food or materials that are perishable, the type of energy that it needs so that its motor works is not important. All this does not concern a freezer or other appliances that people use to keep their food cold, in which case you should indicate that the dwelling does not have a "refrigerator".

The washer does not offer major problems in comprehension since it only is an electric or gas machine that washes clothes.

The same thing does not occur with mechanisms that are employed to heat water that the members of a census household use both to bathe as well as to clean equipment. Two types of appliances exist that are used in dwellings to heat water: "bath heater" that is also known as "termo-hit", and the "hot water tank". The first is an electric appliance that is placed near the spraying or water exit and is connected to it to heat this water once it is connected by means of a "switch", to interrupt or connect to the electrical current.

[p. 36]

On the other hand the "hot water tank" is a deposit of metal of other material that is used to heat a good amount of water and keeping it hot during a more or less long time of the day. This appliance is generally electric but the case can be given that you will find tanks for heating water by other means of energy. The "hot water tanks" are connected generally to the pipe that brings water to the baths and kitchens. Two different lines exist to write down what refers to "Bath heaters" and "Hot water tanks". If it has only a tank do not write down heater and if it has only a heater do not write down tank; it can be that it has both or it does not.

As to what "telephone" refers to, simply register if the dwelling that you enumerate "has" or "does not have" this service by the ICE.

The "vacuum cleaner" does not exist in all the houses in our country, but it is very probable that you will find in your segment dwellings households that have this type of appliance.

Finally, something about the "vehicle (not for work)". It is important to emphasize that here only those automotive vehicles not used for work of the Census Household should be included. In other words, you only should say yes if in the household there exists any automobile, "jeep", van, "station wagon", etc. that the family members use basically for moving from one place to another be it in pursuit of fun or pastimes be it for shopping or going to their place of work. But careful with confusing a vehicle that is used simply for going to work and from there back household or any other place! When it is specified that it concerns a "vehicle (but not for work)", it is because you should ignore those automobiles, "picks ups", "jeeps", trucks, vans, etc. that the household uses for work and with which the head of the household or any other member of the household works (transporting products, distributing articles of consumption, carrying people, etc.

A space meant for registering "observations" has been included. Remember that in many cases, you will have to turn to this free space to make all the possible explanations with respect to special matters that present themselves in many of the questions. Particularly, it is necessary that you use this margin when in question number 2 (Occupation - Ownership - Rent) you find the example of a census household that has moved from the residence before the Census Moment, that is at 12:00 the night of June 10, 1984, or "0" (zero) hours of June 11, 1984 and was not enumerated in the dwelling that they occupied before moving. In this type of situation, you should fill out both the Dwelling form as well as the Population form, and in the part reserved for "Observations" write also the address of the dwelling writing down with printed letters the province, canton, district, etc. that the members of the household or households that you are enumerating inhabited. The same takes place with question 1 in which you find a Collective Dwelling that has no name. It is convenient, then, that you indicate the reason why it has no name and the way the dwelling is known and other information of interest.

This space of observations should be used conveniently, suggesting to you that you do it in an ordered manner, such that each observation has a number or order, clearly refer the number to the corresponding question, and do not give any room for doubts about the additional information that helps to understand the specific situation.

[p 37]

Third Unit
VIII National Population Census

Introduction: Usefulness of this census

Similar to what occurs with the dwelling, the country faces other problems over which we do not have exact and current information. It is the case, for example, of the composition of the population by sex and age, its geographic location, the conditions that each group of age has (children, youngsters, elderly) as well as the level of education, its participation in the work force. We know that estimates are made about the magnitude of these and other questions, through the resource of past censuses and from surveys by sampling. But also we know that measuring with certain periodicity the exact dimension of various elements of the population that resides habitually in our country is required, since this permits us to detect advances and changes as to which important information about the Costa Rican population we can assess.

A National Population Census gives us the opportunity to establish another point of reference for studying all inhabitants of Costa Rica through an enumeration or registration that is carried out on a determined date, in a direct and simultaneous manner. Using the form that about which we have spoken, the census responds or tries to respond, with precision, questioning that permits us to establish:

  • How many are we?
  • How many women and men live in Costa Rica?
  • How are inhabitants distributed in our country according to different ages?
  • How many of the inhabitants are national?
  • How many of the inhabitants are insured?
  • What level of population does this population have?
  • How many illiterates exist in out country?
  • How are the families formed?
  • What work do we do?
  • What is the level of participation in the work force in the different productive sectors?

As you can appreciate, all these questions are always vital for a country, especially in a moment of crisis which ours is in. The information that the census provides us offers us the possibility to set more precise objectives to find solutions to social problems, both short and long term.

Census Class

Two types of population censuses exist in the world: one that is carried out in a geographic place in which is found every person in the Census Moment and one that is done in a geographic place where the enumerated person resides habitually. The first receives the name De Facto Census and the second De Jure Census.

The National Population Census of our country is a De Jure Census which as we pointed out means that each person should be located and enumerated within the geographic area in which is situated their place of habitual residence, even though they are not present at the moment of enumeration. Different than the De Facto Census, in which persons are enumerated within the geographic area in which they are found in a given moment; this type of De Jure Census requires the information of the members of the household even if they are found to be temporarily away from their place of habitual residence. Because of this it has been important to clarify what this means.

[p. 38]

Census Moment

{Who should be enumerated with the population forms in each segment}

When arriving at a dwelling, you should find out how many households make it up. Subsequently for each household, find out how many persons make up each one of them and write down the information of each household in various forms, in the Household Summary that is found at the end of the Dwelling Census form. Upon finishing the Population interview, verify if the number of persons of the household that you wrote down is equal to the persons enumerated.

Independently of the type of population census that is being conducted, the recount or census of the inhabitants of the country should refer to a precise moment defined in advance. The following reason for this condition of fulfilling the census is pointed out. The number of inhabitants of a country changes continually; although given the case that no person enters or leaves, still continuous changes would be given due to births and deaths that happen daily; suppose that in your segment you arrive Tuesday at a dwelling where you find a person who has just died; this same Tuesday another enumerator works in another segment and finds that a child has just been born, should they be included in the census or not? And what would happen if you or the other enumerator had visited the respective dwellings the day before (Monday) or, would they be included in the census? In these cases different decisions would be able to be made, all of them with certain logic, but it is required to make only one decision for all teachers who fulfill the census.

To guaranty the unity of concept for all enumerators of the census, the census moment is defined as the instant that serves as reference for counting a person as existing.

{Definition of Census Moment}

For the National Censuses of 1984, the Census Moment is the instant that is given as twelve o'clock that night of (that is 24 hours) of Sunday, June 10, 1984; this moment can also be defined as zero hours, zero minutes, zero seconds of June 11, 1984.

All persons who were living at midnight june 10 should be enumerated, including new borns, even if they have died after this moment.

Those who have been born after this moment should not be enumerated.

Now we can make a unanimous decision, in the two cases given as examples, since we know it as Monday 11 or Tuesday June 12, 1984.

[p. 39]

[At the top of the page are illustrations of a new born baby and a coffin and a clock]

On the other hand, when carrying out the annotation of the total number of members of the household in question, you should take into account all the men, women and children whose habitual place of reference is in the Dwelling that is found within your segment, it is not important that because of work, study, sickness, travel etc. purposes any of the persons that make up this household are found to be away from the dwelling in the Census Moment.

A Special Case

It happens in certain places in downtown San José. An elderly woman or a family that does not have a roof to shelter them and sleeps in the threshold of a door.

What to do with these people who have no Dwelling? It is essential to be included in the Census Population; because of this it is recommended that you should enumerate them using only the population form. But, how to do it if you cannot refer them to a Household or a Collective Dwelling at the Moment Of The Census? If they are a family, that is to say, a group with related ties like a mother and her small children then you should enumerate them in the same Dwelling and Population form, according to what is advisable for any private household. If they do not have family ties between them, even if they are found to be close to each other in the space, you will have to register them as individual households.

[p. 40]

{The concept of household is reminded here}

We have emphasized the concept of household distinguishing it from a Dwelling. It will be remembered that a household is, for census purposes, a group of persons that, with family ties or without, reside habitually in an Private dwelling, live together and above all make and consume their own meals in common. It includes in this definition a person who lives alone in a dwelling in which it is prepared for them or they prepare meals for themselves. This forms what we call Private dwelling. The previous case is the exception to the rule, given that it is said that it is not necessarily the existence of a dwelling.

{A new concept is introduced: place of habitual residence}

We have spoken about enumerating persons in their place of habitual residence; we did it with special emphasis on defining the type of census that it is, that is to say, when we said that is was a De Jure Census.

When a person resides normally in a Dwelling that you are to enumerate within your segment, it is said that they reside in their Habitual Residence or, or precisely, in their Place of Habitual Residence. Nevertheless, by the recommendation of international organizations, in each country the range of temporary terms for the Place of Habitual Residence is defined considering the need to obtain the most precise information possible and being careful to differentiate clearly persons who are found to be in a certain place temporarily, in transit or visiting, from those who habitually reside there.

Therefore, in that respect in our country, a Place of Habitual Residence is a Dwelling that a person or group of persons linked by family ties or not usually occupy, especially with reference to the Census Moment not being accustomed to leaving it for periods of six months or more. Some examples will help to understand better this basic term of the National Population Census and will permit you to practice the use of this decisive term for the correct filling out of the population forms.


1. You arrive at a Dwelling located in your Segment. It is found that a family consisting of a father who is the Head of the family, the mother, three young children and the parents of the head lives habitually in this place. As you ask the questions, the person tells you that they also two single brothers of the mother live with them, but they only sleep there since they work all day and study at night and, also, always eat away from the dwelling.

Apart from that in the Dwelling also a household exists, according to the distinction that we have made in the previous UNIT and that you know, all inhabitants are habitual residents of it. Why? Because the person tells you that at the Census Moment none of the members of the family leave for periods longer than six months and that they only leave daily to go work, study, shop, etc.

2. Later you go to another dwelling and the following problem is found there: a widowed woman who is the Head of the Household, a daughter and two single sons reside there habitually, so that the mother is the Head of the Household. You fill out the forms that correspond to these five [four] members of the family and in the course of the interview the Head of the Household who is also the person giving you information, tells you many things, among them that she has a daughter interned in the Psychiatric Hospital for an indefinite time because she "suffers for nervous breakdowns". Upon learning this new information, you very delicately ask her if the internment of this girl is permanent and definite. The woman responds yes because her disease is incurable.

Which persons in this family should be enumerated in their Place ofHabitual Residence? All, except for the sick girl who is permanently interned in the Psychiatric Hospital and who should be enumerated in this hospital.

We hope that these examples can help you to understand well the concept of Place of habitual residence. Nevertheless, we will now try to tell you clearly who should be enumerated as residents in the Private Dwelling and in the Collective Dwelling.

[p. 41]

We wish that the list was exhaustive, although we know that it is not possible to exhaust all the possibilities that can be presented.

{Who should be enumerated in the private dwelling as habitual residents}

1. Members of the Census Household who reside in the Private dwelling habitually, that is to say, for periods longer than six months.
2. Members of the Census Household who are found to be on vacation the day of the interview, within or outside of the country. Of course, as we have defined the terms of the concept Place of Habitual Residence, if the absences are prolonged for more than six months, then you should avoid enumerating them as Habitual Residents within the Private dwelling that you are enumerating.
3. Persons interned in hospitals for periods also less than six months.
4. Components of a Census Household that are absent, from the Dwelling within or away from the country for reasons of work, especially when their lodging from the Place of Habitual Residence is not more than six months. It concerns, for example, crews of airplanes, traveling salespersons, chauffeurs of international transport and those who work on railroads and ships for periods that do not exceed the established time limit.
5. Persons who are found to be jailed for violations the law punishes with sentences less than six months in prison, or who are found to be jailed waiting while their case is being prepared or the sentence dictated. Of course, these individuals should be enumerated in the Indvidual Dwelling which you will enumerate, especially when their internment is not longer than six months.
6. In the same situation are found minors jailed or interned in social orientation and adaptation centers that give sentences of less than six months or that do not exceed this period of time, waiting to be judged.
7. Servants, chauffeurs, workers and similar employees, when by being at the service of a household, they eat and sleep habitually in the dwelling where they work. Their employers should be included in the Private dwelling as habitual residents, even if they spend holidays, weekends, vacations, or occasional sicknesses in the Place of Habitual Residence of their family members.
You should be careful in this case as with other exceptional cases, to clarify you should always turn to the question about how much time they spend working in this household, since the limit of six months that has been set to define the Place of Habitual Residence should be kept in mind in every moment of an exceptional case, if the enumerated person tells you that the person in question has been here barely a week working as a servant, then you should consider them as a habitual resident in this Dwelling; if they tell you that they already completed six months working here, then you should include them as a habitual resident of the employers.
8. Foreigners who claim to be in the country for six months or more taking as a reference the Census Moment plan to remain six moths or more in the country therefore, it should not matter to you if they have a bond of residence or if they are taking the steps to getting it. What really is important is that they have been or are waiting to be habitual residents of the private dwelling for six months or more.
9. The personnel of international missions and pensioned rentiers with their family members. For example, a civil worker who works in the Inter-American Institute for the Cooperation of Agriculture (IICA), if they have not completed the period of six months you should investigate if they were in our country by a work contract that obliges him to remain in our territory during periods of time longer than six months. If the answer is positive, you should enumerate them.

[p. 42]

{Who should be enumerated in the Collective Dwelling as habitual residents}

We meet many persons who, because of work, health, study, discipline, security or fun reasons, reside habitually in institutions or habitation structures specially designed or equipped for lodging more or less large groups of persons who have no family ties among themselves and who we have named for census persons as Collective Dwellings. These individuals should be enumerated in Collective Dwellings which are defined as Non Family Groups. Some of the most common examples for this classification are the following:

1. Patients in hospitals who do not have another habitual residence due to the fact that they have been away from their family members because they have no possibility of a mental or physical cure. These sick persons should be enumerated in the health center where they are found, considering them part of a Non Family Group, especially when they remain in the place for six months or more given that they have remained or will remain in the sanitarium for a half a year or more. In the majority, patients of sanitariums are there temporarily, that is, for periods of less than six months. Because of this, they should be enumerated in the Private dwelling of their family members and not in the hospital where they are found.

2. Persons who are found in nursing households or orphanages who for the same reason as being individuals without family or whose family has entrusted them in an institution of this type for their care and protection, we see ourselves obligated to considering them as Habitual Residents in it.

3. Professors, students, and administrative personnel who reside for more than six months interned in the place where they teach and learn lessons.

4. A personal and administrative director who lives habitually in penitentiary institutions and in centers of social adaptation whether they are alone or with their family members.

5. Clerics and lay persons who reside in convents, seminaries for the formation of priests, and other religious institutions who dedicate their lives or a time larger than six months to sacred learning.

6. Persons who reside in hotels, boarding houses, guest houses for periods more than six months. It is probable that you will find in a hotel persons who reside there habitually. We are referring, of course, here not only to servants of the hotel, boarding house or guest house, to administrative personnel, or the guards who have this place as their Habitual Residence, but rather to individuals or couples who in appearance are temporary guests but in reality have it as their house of permanent habitation. From here if in your segment there exists one of these Collective Dwellings, you should visit it, considering that it can serve as Habitual Residence to one or more persons. If it were the case you should classify them in the Dwelling form as Collective Dwelling and as Place of Habitual Residence in the case of the Population form.

7. Persons who reside in work camps or other kind (centers of spiritual rest, centers of voluntary activities like those with guides or "scouts", etc.) they do it within buildings or habitation structures so that they live together for a time of six months or more.

{Who should not be enumerated as habitual residents of a Dwelling}

1. Students and professors who, because of their kind of activity, remain for the academic year in an Individual or Collective Dwelling that you enumerate and that is found to be located in a Segment outside of the Place of Habitual Residence of their family members. They should not be enumerated if the time that they are in the dwelling lasts less then six months.

2. Workers who live seasonally more that 6 months in a place of work without returning during this period to the Habitual Residence of their family, even if they are accustomed to visiting it any weekend that they have free.

3. Crews of airplanes, international civil servants of Costa Rican nationality, traveling salespersons, etc. that spend time outside of their Place of Habitual Residence in which their family is found for more than six months.

4. Visitors, friends or relatives, of a family or a household that is spending a season in the Dwelling that you enumerate, especially when their visit is not longer than six months.
[p. 43]
5. Persons who entered the country as tourists or temporarily, either alone of with their family members, but it has been less than six months since having entered our territory. The same happens with foreigners and their family members with less than 6 months of being in the country, whatever their migratory condition is.

6. Students who study a major in a university or secondary school abroad and who, because of this, have been absent or will be absent for a time longer than a half a year.

{Who should not be enumerated at all}

1. Diplomatic representatives of other countries and their families who reside in ours, to do their duty. The same thing occurs with employees or civil servants of an embassy, consulate or commercial office of a foreign country who are not Costa Rican and live in Costa Rica by having been sent by their country of origin as administrative personnel or for support of diplomatic functions. Persons who serve as civil servants or employees of an embassy and are Costa Rican and have lived within the embassy or diplomatic representation more than six months should be enumerated. It is understood that many of the civil servants or employees of an embassy or consulate and who are Costa Rican are enumerated in the Place of Habitual Residence that they have together with their family members away from the diplomatic representation. In every case, if you meet Costa Rican persons who present their services in a diplomatic representation and lives in the Dwelling of this diplomatic representation, then you have two situations: 1) these persons reside within the premises of the diplomatic representation, in which case only the population forms are filled out and, if it is the case, the Agricultural and Livestock Census if they say that they have a farm, possess cattle or poultry away from here; 2) persons reside within the land of the diplomatic representation but in an independent premises and separated from the Dwelling of the diplomats, with this you should fill out the dwelling form, the population form, and if necessary that of the Agricultural and Livestock Census.
2. Foreigners that have come to the country for periods less than six months and reside either in an private dwelling or in a collective dwelling.
3. The Costa Ricans who live outside of the country for periods more than six months. Also foreigners who, if they have their family residing habitually in our country, or have been absent from the country for a period more than six months should not be included.

Structure and Content of the Population Forms

To fill out adequately the National Population Census forms in the place of the Interview, it is convenient for you to have a global vision of the structure and organization of the questionnaire. You will receive a Population and Dwelling Form with 10 population forms together with a Dwelling form on the first page. This will permit you to write down the information of up to 10 persons within a Dwelling and pertaining to this household. If the number of components of the household residents in a Dwelling is greater that 10, then you have to use additional forms or, better said, other Population and Dwelling Forms.

Every population form consists of a brief heading in which are written down the number of the interviewed person and theirs names with their surnames, and also two columns in which 18 questions are placed that you should ask with respect to each person who is a member of the household in question. The 18 population questions are grouped at the same time, in 5 blocks, each one of them is applied only to a group of persons characterized by certain common traits.

[p. 44]

First block: for all persons

The initial block includes question 1 to question 6. These questions should be asked with respect to each one of the members of the household or census family or, in the case of a Collective Dwelling, each one of the members who are named a Non Family Group.

Second block: only for persons 5 years old or older

Three questions cover this block, numbers 7, 8 and 9. They are only applied to persons 5 years old or older.

Third block: only for persons 10 years old or older

Consists of questions number 10 and 11.

Fourth block: only for persons 12 years old or older

Questions of this block refer to the economic characteristics of the population at the moment of the census. It is made up of questions 12 (condition of activity), 13 (principal occupation), 14 (occupational category), 15 (industry) and 16 (hours worked).

Fifth and final block: only for women 15 years old or older

It forms to questions, 17 (children had born alive) and 18 (children currently living).

Relation of each block with each type of person who should be enumerated

Keep in mind at the moment of the interview the relation that should exist between each one of the blocks briefly described and the sex, age and condition of the person to whom it refers. If for example you ask a person what is the Condition Of Activity of one of the members of the household who is 5 years old, not only would you lose time, but also you would get an inconsistent response and you would slow down the interview.

To get the most exact and trustful information it is essential that you look in the household for the most informed person. Of course, it is not always possible to find this person at household, because of this, it is convenient to take into consideration certain advice that now has been given to you.

The heading of the Population Form

You should begin filling out the form writing down in the first column (person No. 1), the information of the Head of the Census Dwelling or the Head of the Non Family Group and later each one of the persons of the household of the non family group.

In the case of private dwellings (where there can be one or more households) follow this order:

1. Spouse or companion
2. Single children, beginning with the oldest and continuing in descending order of age.
3. Married children or in consensual union, followed by each one of their spouses or companions and then their children.
4. Parents or in-laws.
5. Other family members of the Head including in-law relatives.
6. Domestic servants and their family members.
7. Other non family members (like lodgers or pensioned)

When it concerns married women, put after the name of the first surname when single and next that of their husband, preceded by the preposition de; in the case of a widowed woman, you will write down "widow of".

When you have finished writing down the names and surnames, read to the enumerated person all of the names of the members of the household who reside there habitually and ask them if they are sure of having included all of them. Make sure to include the babies born before the census moment and the deceased after this moment.

In the case of the collective dwellings, begin identifying the person who is considered to be "head", according to their age, authority etc. and then write down the other persons in the most convenient order to avoid omitting any person; perhaps the most correct way is to follow what those who direct or administrate the Collective Dwelling consider most convenient.

In the penitentiary centers you will have to adjust safely to the prevailing norms of society there and [do] a job by sections in which you should safely turn to a person for each one.

Perhaps the most comfortable way to write down the names and surnames of each one of the habitual residents of this, is locating a person or persons who can supply complete lists of these persons. This recommendation is adequate over all in institutions in which many people live, like the places or rest for the elderly.

First block of questions: for all persons

Question 1: Relationship to the head

[Below the text is a form]

This question considers the relation or tie that exists between each one of the members of the household (or non family group) with the respective head.

The head is the person considered as such by the rest of the members of the household, who is generally the one who supports the largest part of the economic resources of the household and has the most responsibility in making of decisions there. In non family groups whose members do not have any family relationship, the head will be the person who has the most authority, who carries out the administration, the one who has lived there the longest or the oldest.

If a person lives alone, that person is the head.

Before enumerating the head in the first two columns (first population form) find out who is the person considered as such. You should not accept as head a person who is not a resident in the household, even if they are the economic support of it and are being enumerated with the members of this household. Also do not write down as heads, persons under 15 years of age. Once the head has been identified, the resident members will be written down in the following forms (following columns), ordering them according to the family relation that each one of them has with the head of the household.

[p. 46]

The relation order is the same that appears in question 1 of the formula, that is spouse or companion, son or daughter, son/daughter-in-law, grandchildren, parents or in-laws, other family members, domestic service and their family members, other non family members.

In all the cases only a circle marked with an X should appear.

Question 2: Sex

This question is very simple you should only mark if the person is Man or Woman.

[Below the text is a form]

If the person is not present you should ask man or woman, since there are many names that can be used for both sexes, such is the case of Raquel, Concepción, Carmen, etc; also there can be the case of a name in any foreign language.

Question 3: Age in years completed

This question investigates the age in complete years of persons, not those that they are going to be. Ask specifically: How old are you in complete years? (or how old is another member of the group). Remember that it concerns the age in complete years on the date of the census moment, and not the date of the visit. Simple in appearance, this question presents problems in reality. It is possible that the persons do not know there exact age, or that of another member of the household; in many cases they will give you an approximate age that can be higher or lower then their real age. Also it is very common that persons who do not remember ages tend to give this number ended in "0" or in "5" like for example: 5, 10, 15, 30, 40 years, etc. (phenomena known as preferred digits).

[Below the text is a form]

For students who do not remember their exact age of some members of the household, it is convenient that you help the person. Ask that they please look for any document that can offer the precise information (for example: birth certificate, identity bond, Social Security card), ask them to remember any significant event that has happened in any precise moment of their life, whether personal or of the locality where they live, or it concerns events that occurred in the country and that can serve as precise points of reference to determine the age.

{How the age in completed years should be written down}

If the person who you ask is less than 1 year old, mark an X in the circle that corresponds. Write down the other ages in the respective little boxes, always with two digits, that is to say, if a person claims to be 3 years old, write down 03. If someone is 100 or more years old, write down 99, but write down in observations the exact age: 101, 103, etc.

Question 4: Place of Birth

This question supplies information about the geographic place where the person was born, considered this, as the place where the mother of the person resided habitually when they were born.

[p. 47]

Convenient that you ask specifically in what district, canton and province the mother resided in at the moment of birth and not simply asking about where they were born, since the majority of persons are born in hospitals, clinics, etc. that generally are not found in the same place in which the mother resided.

[Below the text is a form]

Write down the response according to the following instructions:

1. Mark the circle "here", as when being born, the mother resided in the district, canton and province where the person is found to be enumerated in your segment.
2. If at the moment of birth the mother resided in another district, write down legibly the name of the district, canton and province. If you cannot obtain the information about the canton or province, write down the district and locality.
3. If the mother resided abroad, write down the name of the country. In this case, you should ask for the year of arrival to the country and write down the four digits in the four boxes put there for this purpose.

Year of Arrival in Costa Rica

When a person was born abroad, it does not matter what country, it is defined as year of arrival in Costa Rica, which corresponds to the arrival with the purpose of establishing themselves in the country.

Question 5: Nationality

The objective of this question is to obtain the nationality of every person. Legal nationality is understood to be the national or foreign condition that every person has with respect to the country where the census is being fulfilled.

[Below the text is a form]

Ask the question in the following manner: What nationality are you? (or is such and such other person) and write down the response of the enumerated person conforming to the following rules:

If one is Costa Rican by birth mark with an X the corresponding circle.

If one is Costa Rican by naturalization, mark with an X circle 8.

If one is Another Nationality, clearly write down the corresponding nationality.

If a person is an expatriate, write it down. If their situation is not well defined clarify it in observations. If the person has dual nationality, ask which is preferred and write that down.

{Who are Costa Rican by birth or by naturalization}

So that you have no doubts regarding if a person who you enumerate is Costa Rican by birth or by naturalization, the following articles 13 and 14 of the Political Constitution are transcribed.

[p. 48]

Article 13. They are Costa Rican by birth:

1) The child of a Costa Rican father and mother born in the territory of the republic.
2) The child of a Costa Rican by birth father and mother, who was born abroad, and is registered as such in the Civil Registry, by the will of the Costa Rican birth parent, even while at a young age, or by the child after 25 years of age.
3) The child of foreigners born in Costa Rica that is registered as Costa Rican, by the will of either of the birth parents even while at a young age, or by the child after 25 years of age.
4) An infant, of unknown parents, found in Costa Rica.

Article 14. They are Costa Rican by naturalization:

1) Those who have acquired this quality by virtue of previous laws.
2) Nationals of other Central American countries, of good conduct and with a year of residence in the republic at least, who declare before the Civil Registry their decision to be Costa Rican.
3) Spaniards or Latin Americans by birth who obtain the respective letter before the Civil Registry, always who have had their house in the country during previous years at their request.
4) Central Americans, Latin Americans or Spaniards who are not citizens by birth and other foreigners who have had their house in Costa Rica for the minimum term of five years immediately before the request of naturalization, according to the requirements that the law indicates.
5) A foreign woman who when marrying a Costa Rican, loses her nationality or who claims her desire to be Costa Rican.
6) One who receives an honorable nationality from the Legislative Assembly.

Question 6: Social Security

The question should be asked to all persons in the whole country. Through it what is wanted to be known is the grade in which the population of the country is protected by the benefits of Social Security in any of its types.

[Below the text is a form.]

The first thing you should do in this case is ask the question: Are you (or is such and such other person) insured with any type of insurance that the Costa Rican Social Security Bank offers? Clarify to the interviewed person that you are asking about Social Security and not about any other type of insurance (for example, those that the National Institute of Insurances offers: for life, health (preinversión), against robbery, for automobiles, etc.).

If the persons responds that yes they are insured in any type of the two types or in both, (Sickness and Maternity and Invalid, Old Age and Death) then you should specify the type of insurance that they have as they appear in question 6.

Because in many cases persons do not know if it is for Direct, Family of Voluntary Insurance and also do not know that other types of insurance exists, it is convenient that we review the meaning of each one of these types of insurance.

{Types of Social Security that the Bank has}

Direct Insurance:

In this category should be the workers who receive a wage or salary and who by law have to pay monthly to the Costa Rican Social Security Bank. This payment is formed by a part of the wage or salary that these workers yield which is retained by the employer. Thanks to the employer, the worker receives in exchange medical attention for the worker and family members (parents, children and in some cases for other persons especially when they depend economically on the direct insurance.

[p. 49]

You should keep in mind that Direct Insurance can benefit from the Sickness and Maternity Benefits or from Invalid, Old Age and Death Benefits or both. This type of insurance is obligatory, but some regions or with respect to some workers the employers do not insure them, which is why one cannot always relate being insured with being salaried.

Voluntary Insurance:

This classification corresponds to persons who because of their occupational category, are not obliged to pay for the benefits of Social Security and who voluntarily signed a contract with the Costa Rican Social Security Bank, in virtue of promising to make payments.

Persons who have Voluntary Insurance can be attached to Sickness and Maternity Benefits only. Nevertheless, through an increase in their fee they can be protected, if they want, by both benefits at the same time, that is to say, by Sickness and Maternity and by Invalid, Old Age and Death.

Family Insurance:

This type of insurance protects persons in the following cases:

  • Spouse or children younger than 18 years old and are dependents of the Directly Insured person.
  • Single and who do not earn a salary.
  • Children and dependents between 18 and 25 years old, who are students at an education center.
  • Dependent children who are invalid or disabled, and also the parents of the Directly Insured person when they depend economically on them.

Other types of insurances:

They are registered in circle number 4 (Other). Old directly insured (and their family members) who are pensioned and persons who claim to be attached to the non contributed designated benefit, which is an insurance of investments for a person who, being 65 years old, is invalid and has no family members who can look after them. Also included in this category are designated workers for the account of the State, that is, indigent persons who have no families that can look after them, according how it is established in the Family Code, and who never had the opportunity or possibility of paying for Invalid, Old Age and Death benefits. This type of insurance is financed by a fund that the Law of Family Assignments provides.

If the answer to the question: Are you insured by any of the benefits of Costa Rican Social Security Bank? is negative, you should fill out circle 5 for "not insured".

Second block of questions: only for persons 5 years old or older

As was said when beginning this thematic division, the second block of the population questionnaire is formed by questions 7, 8 and 9.

All of these questions are applied only to members of the household who are 5 years old or older. If a person that you enumerate is less than 5 years old, you should cross out the whole block with two diagonally crossed lines and marked in such a manner that it crosses from corner to corner the whole block, continuing to fill out the population form corresponding to the following person.

Question 7: Place of residence 5 years ago

What is of interest here is information about the habitual residence of persons in June 1979. If you wish you can extend the question in the following manner:

In what canton and province did you (or such and such other person) reside in June 1979, that is, 5 years ago?

[Below the text is a form.]

[p. 50]

If a person about whom you received information lived 5 years ago or more, in the canton and is found in the Segment in which you are working, then simply mark with an X the circle that follows the word "Here". On the other hand, if they lived away from the canton which they currently inhabit, then you should write down legibly the name of the canton which it concerns and the province where it is located. Finally, if a person in the process of enumeration resided abroad, then mark only with an X the circle that is found to the right of the words "Away from the country".

Question 8: School enrollment

This question is asked to get information about if the interviewed person attends or does not attend any establishment of the regular educational system of the country.

[Below the text is a form.]

Ask the question to all persons 5 years old or older. Ask it as it is in the form - Are you enrolled in any regular education center?, or ask it in the following manner: Do you attend school, secondary school or the university?, and write down response be it affirmative or negative. If a person attends a center that does not from part of regular education of the country, they are not considered, for census purposes, "school attendance", as for example "equivalence high school degree"(bachillerato por madurez), classes of the INA, classes of business schools.

Question 9: Educational level

The level of instruction of a person corresponds to the highest passed year of study within the highest education cycle that has been studied in the regular system of education.

[Below the text is a form.]

It is advisable that you ask the question as it is asked in the form, but you can add a "that is to say" or a "that is" and continue the question according to the case. What is the last year or grade that you took in school, secondary school or the university?

You should find out what was the last year or grade that they really passed and not what they are taking in school, secondary school or the university. If the person tells you none, then simply mark the circle preceded by the words "No grade". If they tell you the first grade of school or the second or the third, etc. then you should mark with an X the circle that follows the word "Primary" and write down the number 1, 2, 3, etc. in the open little box that follows. As you know here you should only write down up to the number 6, since primary school only goes to the sixth grade. In the case of "Secondary or middle education", the number of years up to 5 or 6 and in "University" it can go up to 9 years. In each situation you should always mark with an X the corresponding circle and then the number of the year passed. If the highest level is "equivalence" (bachillerato por madurez), "25" is written down.

In a similar manner certificates of primary education are written down.

The equivalence in the current system of education is the following:

[p. 51]


I Cycle: First, second and third grade.
II Cycle: Fourth, fifth and sixth grade.


III Cycle: First, second and third year.
IV Cycle or diversified education: Forth, fifth and sixth year.

Cycles I, II and III constitute "General Basic Education".

Third block of questions: only for persons 10 years old or older

The two questions that form this block should be asked only to persons who have ages of 10 years or more. If a person is found who is not this old, then you should cross out the whole block with diagonal crossed lines and go to the next person.

Question 10: Are you able to read and write

[Below the text is a form.]

Information here is gathered about illiteracy, that is to say, whether a person knows how to read and write.

It is understood that you should repeat the question to each and every one of the members of the household that you are enumerating.

Knowing how to read and write is, for census purposes, not only being able to do it with texts of a certain complexity (newspapers, books, magazines), but rather also when is concerns very simple texts in the first language of the interviewed person (be it Spanish, English, French or any other language). You know that persons exist who know how to read and write but only very simple texts, those needed to face common situations of everyday life.

Consequently, if the person tells you that the person being referred to only reads and writes what is needed, then you should mark with an X the circle that follows the word "Yes". Of course, you should do it also in all the rest of the cases of persons that read and write correctly in levels that go from the most simple to the most complex (writers, professionals, etc.) The response is "No" when you are told that the person about whom you are gathering information falls into one of the following possibilities:

a) Does not know how to read or write a simple paragraph in their first language.
b) Only knows how to read.
c) Only know how to sign or write their name.
d) At one time knew how to read and write, but in the moment of the interview they tell you that it was forgotten.

Question 11: Marital Status

The objective of this question for census purposes is to get the marital situation of the persons in relation with the marriage laws and customs of the country.

[Below the text is a form.]

[p. 52]

Ask this question in the following manner: "What is the current marital state?"

Remember that it refers to the person about whom you are requesting information.

The question offers 6 possibilities of response: "United", "Separated", "Married", "Widowed", "Divorced" and "Single".

{Types of Marital Status}

Below we will review the 6 types of Marital Status that you can find with reference to the census moment. We will try to make it so each concept is clear to you so that you carry out a correct enumeration.

1. Consensual union: A person who lives in marital state without having been legally married with someone they coexist with.
2. Separated: A person who lives separated from their spouse and does not live in a de facto union.
3. Married: A person who has been legally married and lives with the spouse, that is to say, who has not been widowed, nor has been divorced or separated.
4. Widowed: A person who after the death of their spouse has not been married again and does not live in a de facto union.
5. Divorced: A person who having dissolved their marriage by legal means has not married again and does not live in a de facto union.
6. Single: A person who has never been married and who does not live in a de facto union.

If you find a person who says that their last or only marriage was annulled, classify them according to the marital state that they had before beginning the annulled marriage.

Fourth block of questions: only for persons 12 years old or more

This block of questions is formed by questions 12 to 16 and should be asked only to persons 12 years old and older. If a person that you enumerate does not meet this requirement, you should cross out the whole block with two diagonally crossed lines and go to the next person. This part has some complexity because of this it is recommended to put much care to each one of the concepts noted here. This block has as its objective gathering information about the work characteristics of the interviewed persons to attain correct information and a good understanding of the questions it is necessary that you keep in mind the following concepts:

1. Working age population
It is the group of persons 12 years old or older.
2. Work Force or Economically Active Population
It is the group of persons 12 years old or older who work, look for work.
3. Economically Inactive Population
It is the group of persons 12 years old or older who do not work and do not look for work.
4. Work
Work is understood to be a labor activity that has as its goal the production of goods and services with economic value in the market.

Question 12: Economic activity

The condition of activity or type of activity, is the relation that exists between each person and the current economic activity that is done within our country, in and of its sectors (industrial, agricultural or livestock, services, etc).

[Below the text is a form.]

[p. 53]

To determine the condition of every interviewed person, you should ask each person 12 years old or older: What did you do the week of June 3 to 9? (last week). The question refers to what the person did during this week, because of this it you need to know if the interviewed person was working, was a student, or any of the situations that appear in the question. Once you have asked the question begin to read each of the alternatives and mark with an X for that which the person answered affirmatively. It is recommended to make an effort to get information about the economic activity of women; many times women tend to be classified that they are in their house as "domestic craft", nevertheless, some of them carry out another type of economic activity in their house (sew, make cigars, make handicrafts, etc).

In the case of the agricultural work for self-consumption, do not consider persons who carry out these activities, within the category of "work". Some following basic concepts are given so that you can correctly fill out question 12. Nevertheless, before going to it is necessary to give a warning. The categories corresponding to "condition of activity" are not mutually exclusive, that is to say, a person can be working and at the same time looking for work or studying; also the case is given of women who work and attend the domestic work of their household. Then, to answer this question adequately, the first condition that the person has should be written down as the response according to the order established for the categories (for example if a person worked and studied, they remain classified as worked).

Definition of useful terms for correctly filling out question 12

[1. ]Worked or had a job: In this category a person who during the week of June 3 to 9 worked at least one hour or was in possession of a job is included, even if they are on vacation, incapacitated, on strike or in a similar situation. They could in exchange for the job: Have received remuneration in money, in kind or in both forms. Have had incomes or not. Have not had remuneration or income (family worker without wage).
2. Was unemployed :refers to a person having the capacity to work, who in the reference week did not work but looked for work and has worked at another time.
By looking for work it is understood to be the fact of trying to find a job through friends or relatives, answering ads in the newspaper or visiting places in search for a position. It includes also one who waits for responses to applications made recently or one who stopped looking for work momentarily because of a passing sickness. A person who already had obtained a job, but will begin to work after June 9, also is considered as being unemployed (or looking for the first time if they had no labor experience).
3. Looked for work for the first time: refers to a person with the capacity to work, who never has done it but during the week of June 3 to 9 was looking for it.
4. Pensioned or rentier: refers to a person who has a pension or investments and did not work or look for work. They should be considered in this category even though they do chores in the household.
5. Student: refers to a person dedicated to studying, without working or looking for work during the reference week.
6. Household duties: refers to a person who carried out household duties, such as washing, cleaning, cooking, etc. in their own house and does not fall into the previous categories.
7. Other: is understood to be persons not classified in the previous points, for example: residents permanently in jails; convents; asylums, hospitals; blind; beggars; disabled persons (always who do not have any occupation); older persons; tramps; those who already finished their primary education and do not attend school, and who do not look for work for the first time.

Question 13: Principal Occupation

Occupation is understood as the type of specific work that the employed person carried out in the reference period or did, for the first time, if unemployed, whatever the economic industry is that forms a part or the category they have.

[p. 54]

[On the top of the page is a form.]

The information about the occupation is gathered for those who were working the week before the census and also for those who were unemployed, even if for these cases the occupation will be what they did in their last job.

Ask the question such as it appears in the form, that is: What occupation or class of work did you do during the week of June 3 to 9 or in your last job?

The class of job should be written down as completely as possible, indicating the specialty of the occupation, for example, it is not enough to write professor, you should write professor of primary, professor of secondary, university professor, etc.

Also, do not confuse the principal occupation with the profession or craft. Doctors, lawyers or engineers, although they usually work in their profession, can do administrative work in a hospital, as well as judges, as well as managers of companies. Examples of the following "incorrect" and "correct" annotations are given to you that will help you understand better what has been said.

[Below are two columns, one marked "Incorrect annotation" and one marked "Correct annotation". I am going to translate them without using two columns.]

Incorrect Annotation

Correct Annotation
Professor of Primary
Professor of Secondary

Incorrect Annotation

Correct Annotation
Automobile Mechanic
Thresher Mechanic

Incorrect Annotation

Correct Annotation
Agricultural Worker
Quarry Worker
Poultry Farm Worker

Incorrect Annotation

Correct Annotation
Medical director of a hospital
Head of surgery of a hospital
Medical investigator
Professor of Pathology in the Medical Faculty

Incorrect Annotation

Correct Annotation
Lawyer, professor in the Faculty of Law
First Judge of a Lower Court
Judicial Advisor of a Ministry
Price Comptroller

If a person does not indicate the name of their job, tell them to describe the principal job they do and write it: managing a machine that stamps sheets, feeding animals at a farm, etc.

If the interviewed person had more that one job, write down only the principal one, considering as such the occupation where the largest amount of time was spent.

When a person about whom you are asking for information is absent, investigate their occupation with the remaining members of the household.

[p. 55]

Question 14: Occupational Category

The occupational category refers to the condition according to what the employed person did during the reference period, or did in the last occupation if they were unemployed. This question indicates if the person is or has been: salaried, worker on their own account, employer or family worker without wage.

[Below the text is a form.]

Ask the question in the following manner: Under what condition did you work in your principal occupation last week or during your last job? So that you are able to correctly write down the responses that they give you, you will have to be very clear with the following concepts:

1. Salaried worker: is considered as such, one who depends on an employer and receives a payment for the job. This payment appears under the form of wage, salary, day's wages, by the job or in kind.
2. Self Employed Worker: is considered as one who works (alone or with associates) without establishing a relationship of dependence with an employer and without hiring salaried personnel. They can, in some cases, have under their dependency one or many non remunerated workers (generally family members).
3. Owner/employer: is considered such as the owner or active member of a company that by carrying out their job hire one or more salaried workers.
4. Unpaid family worker: is considered as one who manages a job in relation with a member of the household of a farm, business, etc. of a family that resides in the household, and who does not receive payment (neither in money nor in kind).

Paying attention to the concepts related to this question that were expressed previously, you should be very sure of the occupational category of the interviewed person, before writing down the information in the box. Do not accept the fist response they give you, since it can be not correct. Overall in the case of independent workers (employers and own account).

Question 15: Industry

The economic industry is determined by the activity of the establishment in which the person had the occupation selected as principal occupation, or worked the last time if the person is unemployed.

[Below the text is a form.]

You should ask: What is done in the place of work or where you worked last? You should write down in clear and specific terms the activity that the establishment does, what the person did; a school teacher would answer: Public Education Center, of primary education. You should avoid generic terms like "work shop", "factory", "club", "store", etc. [omitted phrase: "se trata"] [p. 56] The name of the place is of help in the description: Warehouse (Estanco) of the National Committee of Production, etc.

Below you can see the "incorrect" and "correct" forms of doing the enumeration in this case.

[Below are two columns, one marked Incorrect and one marked Correct. I am going to translate them without using two columns.]

[For the first category there is nothing in the Incorrect column]

Automobiles repair Workshop
Dental Mechanic Workshop
Taylor Workshop


Shoe factory
Woman's clothes factory
Plastic wrap factory
Cardboard box factory


Grocery store
Wholesale store
Clothing store


Food industry
Textile industry
Electronic industry
Automobile industry


Dental laboratory
Clinical laboratory
Chemical-Pharmaceutical laboratory

[Nothing in this column]

Football club
Social club
Night club


Wood warehouse
Construction materials warehouse
Liquor warehouse


Sports equipment store
Fishing equipment store
Department store (La Gloria, La Universal, El Globo, etc.)


Ministry of Public Works
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Culture

If the person works for a company that manages more than one activity in which she performs the occupation written down before. When it concerns a commercial establishment, specify if it is Wholesale or Retail.

Question 16: Hours Worked

This question investigates the number of hours that the person usually works and not necessarily those that they worked during the reference week; for unemployed persons, write down the number of hours usually worked in their last job; revising this is very important in order to obtain the information that is wanted.

[p. 57]

[At the top of the page is a form.]

Ask the question as it appears in the form, stressing that they are the hours that are usually worked in the principal occupation. Write down the information in two digits in the corresponding boxes

In some occupations, for example farmers, it is always difficult to determine this information. There are times of very intense work, especially in the harvests, times of little activity. The desired response is the number of hours that were worked in the majority of the weeks in which they are employed. Some persons are going to tell you: "it varies", "it depends", "it is difficult to know", etc. do not comply with this; you should help the enumerated person specify the information, for example asking the time when they start work every day and the time when they end their labors.

Fifth block of questions: only for women 15 years old and older

This is the last block of questions of the Population Form. They are written as you can see in the questionnaire as two questions, 17 and 18, and only should be applied to women 15 years old or older.

Question 17: Children born alive

The information about the number of children born alive should cover all children born alive had by each woman 15 years old or older to the date of the census, without the marital state of the woman being important; keep in mind that this number does not include still births.

[Below the text is a form.]

Referring to the person that is being enumerated at the moment, ask the person: How many children born alive have you had? Write down the number of children according to the following lines: always put two digits, that is to say, if it is one, write 01; if it is two children, 02 and so on.

Before making the annotation, keep the following in mind:

a. All boys and girls born alive will be included even if they died immediately after the birth.
b. All boys and girls of all marriages or unions that the mother has had should be considered, in case she had some children while single.
c. Do not forget children who do not currently live with their mother.

{Definition of Born Alive}

Consider a child born alive as one who upon being born breathes or makes any other sign of life independently of dying moments after being born.

Question 18: Children currently alive

After having written down the total amount of children born alive, you will ask: Of the children that you told me were born alive, how many of them are currently alive?

[p. 58]

[At the top of the page is a form.]

Before making the annotation, keep in mind that:

a. They are children that are currently alive, from the total the was declared in the first question.
b. Do not forget to include children born alive but do not reside with the mother (because they work in another place, because they are married or because they live outside of the country).

Once you are sure of the exact number of children that the enumerated person has at the census moment, you should write down the information in the corresponding boxes. If none are alive on the date of the census, then simply mark with an X the circle corresponding to "None".


Upon finishing each population form, you are found with a small space for observations. This part should be designated for registering any information that serves to clarify doubts that arose in the course of the interview, and that have a certain importance. You should do it in a concise form always putting the number of the question to which it refers.

Revision of the form

Do it after having enumerated all members of the household that has its habitual residence in the Dwelling where you are found. Once you have finished the revision of the information included, you should count the number of persons included in the population form and compare it with what is written down in the space that has been designated in the Dwelling Form as the "Household Summery".

If this information does not coincide for any reason, you should repeat it to the person to determine if they forgot any person or if any other error exists. In all cases the number of men and women included in the Population Form should coincide with the information written down in the household summery.

We put special emphasis on the fact that you should ask if there are children younger than one (1) year. If there are, you should proceed to enumerate them if they were born before 24 hours (12:00 at night) of June 10, 1984 or zero (0) hours of June 11, 1984. All this we remind you because some enumerated persons tend to omit these members of the household.

Equally it is advisable to remember here that you should ask in all Dwellings, if any member of the Census Household is found to be interned in an institution (hospital, jail, school, etc) and proceed according to what is explained in relation to the place of habitual residence of these persons.

Final space for the enumerator and reviser:

At the end of the form you will find 2 spaces: one that is headed with the enumerator number and the other that says "signature of the Reviser". In the other you should write down clearly, your name, signature and put the date in which the interview was carried out. The other space is designated for the signature of the reviser of the forms, frequently it will be your supervisor.