This was the forth General Population and Housing Census with the main purpose to provide demographic and socio-economic statistics on the people of Rwanda for the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS), District Development Plans (DDP) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Other objectives of PHC 2012 were:

To know how many people live in Rwanda:

- How many men and women? How old? Where do they live?
- What do they do? How well educated? How healthy?

To show how fast the population is growing – births, deaths,migration

To provide linkages to other household surveys:

- Facilitate poverty mapping
- Provide sampling framework

Censuses were carried out in 1978, 1991 and 2002. This was Rwanda’s fourth PHC.