Final count for 2011 Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings

Introduction

Final count for the 2011 Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings contains final population counts and dwelling counts based on information collected in the 2011 Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings. The final count includes three different population concepts. These are: the de jure usually resident population, the usually resident population present in Tokelau on census night, and the census night population.

The Tokelau population has a unique composition. A significant proportion of the population temporarily leaves the islands (eg for healthcare, education). In 2011, core demographic information for people who usually live in Tokelau but were away on census night was completed on their behalf by the head of the household.

Comparison of absentee numbers over two censuses is limited as the number of people absent from Tokelau continually fluctuates. Appropriate population measures were developed for the 2006 Tokelau Census to ensure all usual residents were counted – including those who were not present in Tokelau on census night. This methodology was repeated for 2011.

The final dwelling count includes private, occupied dwellings. In Tokelau, some people sleep in sub-dwellings that usually surround the main dwelling. The census counts only the main dwelling. The main dwelling often, but not always, houses the families’ cooking, washing, or living facilities and is the unit in which most household activity takes place.

Users of Tokelau census data can be confident comparing census data between 2006 and 2011. However, final population and dwelling count comparisons are not recommended before 2006. Inconsistencies in collection methodology and population count calculations mean data from censuses earlier than 2006 is not directly comparable with 2011 Census data.

Final population counts

1. De jure usually resident population count

The de jure usually resident population of Tokelau was 1,411.

This count is of major interest to Tokelauan users, as it will be used for distributing funds to the three atolls.

The de jure population includes the usually resident population present in Tokelau on census night (1,143) and the usually resident absentee sub-population (268).(1)

2. Usually resident population present in Tokelau on census night

The usually resident population present in Tokelau on census night was 1,143.

3. Census night population count

On 18 October 2011, there were 1,205 people in Tokelau. This figure includes all people present in Tokelau on census night, including overseas visitors. People absent from Tokelau on census night were not included in this total.

Population count definitions

De jure usually resident population

The de jure population count consists of the usually resident population present in Tokelau on census night plus usual residents who were temporarily overseas at the time of the census. This includes Tokelauan Tokelau Public Service (TPS) employees based in Apia and their immediate families.

Usually resident population present in Tokelau on census night

The usually resident population present in Tokelau on census night is a count of all people who usually live in Tokelau, and were present in Tokelau on census night. This count excludes visitors from overseas and residents who were temporarily overseas on census night.

Residents who were away from their usual address (ie on another atoll), but were in Tokelau on census night are counted as part of the population of the atoll where they usually live. This ensures they form part of the usually resident population present in Tokelau on census night for their home atoll.

Census night population

The census night population count gives a snapshot of the population at a point in time. It is the number of people at the place where they were interviewed on census night. This count includes overseas visitors as well as visitors from elsewhere in Tokelau. It excludes Tokelau residents temporarily overseas.

Comparison of 2006 and 2011 Tokelau Census

The following tables detail how the Tokelau population has changed between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses.

Table 1

Changes in de jure usually resident population count by atoll
De jure usually resident population count (includes absentees)
Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings, 2006 and 2011
Atoll of usual residence
De jure usually resident population Increase or decrease (-) 2006–2011
2006 2011 Number Percent
Atafu 524 482 -42 -8.0
Fakaofo 483 490 7 1.4
Nukunonu 426 397 -29 -6.8
Samoa 33 42 9 27.3
Total  1,466  1,411  -55  -3.8 
Source: Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings, 2006 and 2011

Table 2

Changes in usually resident population count by atoll
Usually resident population count present in Tokelau on census night (excludes Samoa)
Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings, 2006 and 2011
Atoll of usual residence
Usually resident population Increase or decrease (-) 2006–2011
2006 2011 Number Percent
Atafu 417 385 -32 -7.7
Fakaofo 370 449 79 21.4
Nukunonu 287 309 22 7.7
Total 1,074  1,143  69  6.4 
Source: Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings, 2006 and 2011

Table 3

Changes in census night population count by atoll
Census night population count (excludes Samoa)
Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings, 2006 and 2011
Census night atoll
Census night population Increase or decrease (-) 2006–2011
2006 2011 Number Percent
Atafu 453 405 -48 -10.6
Fakaofo 407 480 73 17.9
Nukunonu 291 320 29 10.0
Total 1,151  1,205  54  4.7 
Source: Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings, 2006 and 2011

Table 4 

Changes in absentee(1) count by atoll 
Usual residents absent from Tokelau on census night 
Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings, 2006 and 2011
Atoll of usual residence 
Census absentee population Increase or decrease (-) 2006–2011
2006 2011 Number Percent
Atafu 107 97 -10 -9.3
Fakaofo 113 41 -72 -63.7
Nukunonu 139 88 -51 -36.7
Total 359 226  -133  -37.0
1. People away from Tokelau for less than 12 months.
Source: Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings, 2006 and 2011

Table 5

Changes in occupied dwelling count by atoll 
Private occupied dwellings
Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings, 2006 and 2011
Atoll
Private occupied dwellings Increase or decrease (-) 2006–2011
2006 2011 Number Percent
Atafu 83 84 1 1.2
Fakaofo 82 85 3 3.7
Nukunonu 66 77 11 16.7
Total 231 246  15 6.5
Source: Tokelau Census of Population and Dwellings, 2006 and 2011

Planning for the 2011 Census

Local representatives and Statistics New Zealand staff conducted the 2011 Tokelau Census on 18 October 2011. Significant planning went into how data for the 2011 Tokelau Census would be collected and how the results would be published. Officials consulted on various aspects of the census (for example questionnaire content consultation) in Tokelau, Samoa, and where appropriate, New Zealand.

The 2011 Tokelau Census questionnaire was similar to the 2006 version (based on a standard form developed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community). Two new topics were added to the 2011 questionnaire and some minor questionnaire improvements were made.

Further information

In early 2012, Statistics New Zealand will publish further information releases based on data from the 2011 Tokelau Census. 

  • Tables – late January 2012
  • Atoll profiles – 29 February 2012 
  • Analytical report – 30 April 2012 (publication date revised 29 March 2012).

Provisional count: 2011 Tokelau Census was published in New Zealand on 2 November 2011 and on 1 November 2011 in Tokelau.

Data requests and enquiries should be directed to:

Kele Lui, 2011 Tokelau Census Manager
Phone international (+685) 208 22
Email tua5fafau@lesamoa.net

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Footnote
1. People recorded as absentees from Tokelau on census night (those who qualify as usual residents under specific immigration criteria) – a total of 268 (made up of 42 TPS employees and their immediate families counted in Apia, Samoa and 226 other international absentees not counted in Apia).