This sarvey is the third in the series of surveys conducted
by the Department of Census and Statistics under the
National Household Sample Survey Programme. First in the series
was the Labour Force and Sooio Economic Survey -1980/81. The
second is the is the Survey of Household Economic Activities - 1984/85.
The Labour Force and Socio-Economic Survey - 1985/86 will provide comprehensive
information on labour force charachteristics, income and expenditure. additional
background information on demographic characteristics of the population was also
collected as such information is needed to analyse the labour force, income and
The Labour Force and Socio Economic Survey - 1985/86 provides
comprehensive information on labour force charachteristics, Income
and Expenditure and additional background information on demograhic
characteristics of the population.
The information on labour force are generally used to :
(1) to study the situation and trends in employment, unemployment
and under employment.
(2) to quantify the magnitude and distribution of employment oppertunities
at any point of time or over a given period of time.
(3) to monitor the performance of employnlent programmes and of the
economy in general.
(4) to evaluate the impact of such programmmes on unemployment and
under employment, income and the satisfaction of the basic needs.
The information on income and expenditure usually serve the one or more
of the following objectives.
(a) To obtain weights and other useful data for planning,
price collection or the construction or revision of
consumer price indexes.
(b) To supply basic data needed for policy making in
connection with social and economic planning and to
facilitate determination of needs or the establishment
(c) To provide data for assessing the impact on household
living conditions of existing or proposed economic
or economical measures, particularly changes in the
structure of household expenditures and in household
(d) To provide data for estimating the redistributive
effects of direct and indirect taxation and of a
wide range of social benefits, on the situations
of the various types of family.
(e) To analyse the variations in levels of living
over a periods of years and the disparities among
households in socio-economic groups, geographic
areas urban, rural and estates sector etc;
(f) To supplement the data availabilty for use in
compiling official estimates of household accounts
in the system of national accounts and balances.
(g) To furnish data on the distribution of household
income and expenditure.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Individuals from the population aged 10 years or more
v1.0: Full edited dataset, original version for internal DPD use.
v1.0: Full edited dataset, original version for internal DPD use.
The scope of LES 1985/86 includes the following key sections:-
1). Identification Information & Control Data
2). Personal Charachteristics
3). Persons 10 years and over
4). Persons age 5-14
5). Persons age 15-29
6). Persons age 15-49
7). Income Part 1
8). Other Cash
9). Income in kind
10). Monthly rental value
11). Income from non agricultural activities
12). Income from agricultural activities
13). Income from other agricultural activities
15). Household expenditure - housing, fuel and lighting
16). Expenditure of boarders, lodgres etc;
The survey will cover all the district in Sri Lanka.
Working age population (10 years and above) living in the non-institutional households in Sri Lanka
Producers and sponsors
Department of Census and Statistics
Ministry of Finance and Planning
Sample design is strtified two stage design. The first step was to define the sampling domains,
for each of which an estimate desired. It was decided that the final
estimates are required at district level and at the same time by
sectors at all island level, In addition to this, seperat estimates are required for large
large cities such as Colombo M.C., Dehiwala -Mt.Lavania M.C. and Kotte U.C.
A total sample of 25,000 housing units were decided, to have 1000 housing units for
each district on the average.
Bach domain for which separate estimates are required were
made a separate stratum. As such each sector within each district is
a seperate stratum, in addition to the three large urban cities.
.,A two stage design is adopted, first stage units (PSU) being
the Cens blocks prepared for 1981 Census of population and the
second stage units (SSU) being the housing units. It was decided to select
10 housing units from each. selected Census Block. Thus a first stage sample
of 2500 census bolcks have to be selected from entire island.
Deviations from the Sample Design
Non completion schedules in Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Kilinochchi district were high due to the disturbances.
The response rate at all island level was 96.4%.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
The District S.Os were instructed to choose 10 housing units at random from
5 different blocks, surveyed by 5 different Statistical Investigators for re-interviewing.
Households in the housing units so selected were re-interviewed by the S.O. for selected
questions of the survey schedule.
In the instances where the responses so obtained were different from the original responses,
they were entered in the schedule so that these entries could be clearly distinguished from
those recorded at the initial interview. A summary report of his findings were sent to the Sample Survey Division each month. In this manner, weaker Statistical Investigators in performing field work were identified and were given instructions if it seemed necessary.
Data Collection Notes
Approximately 250 Statistical Investigators, who belong to the permanent
field staff of the Department of Census and Statistics were primarily involved in the listing
operation prior to the survey proper, and in the survey data collection operation itself. Each
S.I. is incharge of all statistical activities in an administrative geographical unit called an
Assistant Government Agent Division (A.G.A. Division). Each administrative district comprises
of number of suchA.G.A. Divisions and there are altogether 256 A.G.A. Divisions
in Sri Lanka (in the 25 administrative districts). These officers were given a thorough training
before they were entrusted with the said survey operations. In each diStrict there is a Statistical
Offi-cer (S.O.) who is incharge of the statistical activities in the district and one of his
main functions is to supervise the work of the Statistical Investigators.
The functions of the Statistical Investigators in the field for this survey were
(a) Updating the lists of housing units of the selected blocks (PSU's) and preparation
of listing forms (LFSE- L) as described in Part 1-3. (sample design
and estimation procedure).
(b) Interviewing the households in the selected housing ,units.
A special feature in the interviewing process of the Labour Force and SocioEconomic
Survey - 1985/86 was that, it was necessary for a Statistical Investigator to make
at least three visits to each household allocated for him for the survey enumeration. This
procedure was sq. adopted to enable each S.1. to collect reliable information on daily consumption
expenditure on Food, Drink & Tobacco, for seven consecutive days, as required 'in
the sub-section 4.1.01 of the survey schedule (see annexure for the schedule). On his first
visit he was expected to collect necessary information under this sub-section correspondin-gto
the day prior to the day 'of first vi'sit, which we may refer to as the first'day of the seven consecutive
days. He was expected to make his second visit to the same household .on the third
day after the day of first visit. On this visit he could collect the information necessary under
this sub-section for the second, third and the fourth days of the seven consecutive days.
On his third visit to the household which would take place on the third day after the day
of the second visit he could collect the information necessary under the same sub-section for
the fifth, sixth and the seventh days of the seve.n consecutive days. Investigators were expected
to cover-up the other sections of the schedule also, during the time of. these three
The survey schedule which was canvassed to households comprised of four sections.
The first page of the schedule collected the identification information of the household
giving the District, Electorate, Assistant Government Agent's division, Grama Sevaka divison
and if situated in an -urban sector, the name of the M.C., U.C. or T.C. arid if in the Rural or
Estate sector name of the village or estate respectively. The census block number to which
the household belongs and the number of households within that housing.unit were also recorded.
In the control data section, information was sought on the date of visit to heusehold,
result of the visit and the time taken to fill the schedule on each visit. The total number
of visits made by an interviewer to a household was expected to be not more than six. visits.
A code indicates the result of the visit in the following manner_: completed - 1, partly completed
- 2, no competent respondent at home - 3, refused - 4, household is temporarily closed - 5
house is demolished - 6 or any other reason under 'other' - 7. These data not only control
the flow of the schedu les, as a schedu Ie had to be completed at least up to the control data
for each of the selected households, but also enable to compute the different non-response
rates such as refusal rate, demolished cases etc.
The four major sections of the schedule are the Section 1, which deals with demographic
characteristics of the household members, Section 2, which deals with the labour
force which consists of persons 10 years and over, and supplementary questions in respect of
children aged 5-14 years, youths aged 15-29 years and women in the age group 15-49,
Section 3 deals with all sources of income received by the household members and
Section 4 deals with the household expenditure incurred during different reference periods.
All completed schedules were subject to a comprehensive manual editing operation
by a well trained group of officers at the Sample Survey Division. At this stage, schedules were checked
for the skip pattern, impossible entries, unreasonably large values and also for internal consistency.
The relevant field officers were contacted to get the necessary adjustment!; done, if
it seemed necessary. Coding of the responses, to the questions which were not in the precoded
form, was also done simultaneously with the editing operation.
Most of the edits performed manually were incorporated in the computer edits
and the data was 'thoroughly, cleaned before the working master files were created. The
computer edit consisted of three parts.. ,
(a) structural edit
(b) range edit
(c) edits for internal consistency, between and within sections
Estimates of Sampling Error
Estimation Procedure of Sampling Error is given the Preliminary Report.
The Preliminary Report is attached in the external resources section.
Department of Census & Statistics
Sample Survey Division
Department of Census & Statistics
Under the Statistical ordinance, micro data cannot be released with identifications for public use. Procedures are in place to ensure that information relating to any particular individual person, household or undertaking will be kept strictly confidential and will not be divulged to external parties. Information on individual or individual Household/establishment will not be divulged or published in such a form that will facilitate the identification of any particular person or establishment as the data have been collected under the Census/Statistical ordinance, according to which the information at individual level cannot be divulged and such information is strictly confidential.
The dataset has been anonymized and is available as a Public Use Dataset. It is accessible to all for statistical and research purposes only, under the following terms and conditions:
1. The data and other materials will not be redistributed or sold to other individuals, institutions, or organizations without the written agreement.
2. The data will be used for statistical and scientific research purposes only. They will be used solely for reporting of aggregated information, and not for investigation of specific individuals or organizations.
3. No attempt will be made to re-identify respondents, and no use will be made of the identity of any person or establishment discovered inadvertently.
4. No attempt will be made to produce links among datasets provided by the Department or among data from the Department and other datasets that could identify individuals or organizations.
5. Any books, articles, conference papers, theses, dissertations, reports, or other publications that employ data obtained from the Department will cite the source of data in accordance with the Citation Requirement provided with each dataset.
6. An electronic copy of all reports and publications based on the requested data will be sent to the Department
The following rules apply to micro data released by the Department of Census and Statistics.
• Only the requests of Government Institutions, Recognized Universities, Students, and selected international agencies are entertained. However, the Data users are required to strictly adhere to
the terms stipulated in the agreement form.
• All the data requests should be made to Director General (DG) of the DCS as the sole authority of releasing data is vested with the DG, DCS. DCS of Sri Lanka reserves sole right to approve or reject any data request made depending on the confidential nature of the data set and intended purpose of the study or analysis.
• Requests for micro data should be made through the agreement form designed by DCS for this purpose (Form D.R.1). The agreement form should be filled in triplicate and the Study/project proposal should accompany the filled agreement form. If requests are made for the micro data of more than one survey, a separate agreement should be signed.
• If the data request is from a student a letter from the respective Dept. Head/Dean/Supervisor, recommending the issue of data, should also be accompanied.
• If the request is approved only 25% of the data file is released at the first stage. The release of the total data file is considered only after reviewing the draft report prepared on the basis of the 25% sample data file.
"Department of Census and Statistics, Labour Force and Socio Economic Survey - 1985/86, Version 1.0 of the public use dataset (October 2008), provided by the National Data Archive, Data Processing Division, www.statistics.gov.lk"
Department of Census and Statistics
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The Department of Census and Satatistics bears no responsibility for any results or interpretations arising from the secondary use of the data.