Wed, 23 12 1441 | 12 Aug 2020

Gender Statistics Methodology

Methodology Introduction.

First: Scope.

Second: Design.

Third: Organization.

Fourth: Data Collection

Fifth: Classification.

Sixth: Review.

Seventh: Publication.

Eighth: Assessment

Ninth: Management






The General Authority for Statistics (GaStat) applies in all its statistical work a unified methodology that conforms with the nature of each statistical product. It depends on the Handbook of Statistical Work Procedures, which is compatible with internationally approved procedures. Statistical products go through eight major stages, in addition to a ninth stage represented in the comprehensive “management”stage which is illustrated in the following figure and the subsequent explanations:








The first three stages (scope, design and organization) are collaborative stages between GaStat and its clients who are data users from development entities. The fourth stage (data collection) is a collaborative stage between GaStat and the statistical population, whether households or establishments, to gather data and information. The remaining stages (classification, review and publication) are statistical and are undertaken by GaStat. Afterwards, the eighth stage (assessment) is again done in collaboration with the clients. The management stage is administrative and organizational and is involved in all other stages. Those stages have been applied to the gender statistics as follows:



Stage I: Scope:

This is the starting point of the preparation of gender statistics, and the first collaborative stage between GaStat and its government entities partners. These entities were contacted and workshops and meetings were held with these entities which were: the Civil Service Ministry, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Justice as the main source of data. Furthermore, coordination was established between statistical departments in GaStat to provide data from the outputs of surveys, and the key beneficiaries of gender statistics such as the Family Affairs Council, the National Observatory for Women, and the Shura Council were contacted as data providers and beneficiaries at the same time. The purpose of contacting such entities was to understand the needs and recognize the requirements of data users, and to take their opinions in consideration to ensure the realization of all the objectives of gender statistics which are summarized into the following:

  1. Supporting decision-makers, policymakers, researchers, and those interested in obtaining comprehensive and updated gender statistics in Saudi Arabia.
  2. Providing decision-makers with the data necessary for empowering and developing the skills of women in line with Vision 2030, in addition to monitoring developments and progress through bulletins on women’s empowerment.
  3. Utilizing this data for local, regional and international benchmarking.
  4. Creating a database that can serve as a reliable gender statistics resource for specialists and relevant parties (locally, regionally and internationally).

Gender statistics help meet the requirements of Saudi Vision 2030 as well as other requirements of regional organizations such as: ESCWA, and international requirements set out by UN WOMEN.



Stage II: Design:

This stage is for designing statistical work as an integrated product. It involves identifying the method and tools of data collection. Clients are made partners in all those procedures to benefit from their observations to meet all requirements and include them in the statistical product.


The key outputs of this stage are:

1.   Statistical Sources:

The Gender statistics data rely on two main sources to ensure comprehensive gender data for KSA. The first is GaStat’s field sources (censuses, sample surveys), and the second is administrative sources (records) that provide data on a regular and periodic basis to allow GaStat to measure and publish indicators in the Gender Statistics Bulletin. 

The following table illustrates the Gender Statistics data sources and types:

Source Type

Data Source
Household Field Surveys General Authority for Statistics Population Characteristics Survey
Demographic Survey
Education and Training Survey
Household Income and Spending Survey
Workforce Survey
ICT Access and Usage by Households and Individuals Survey
Household Health Survey
Household Sport Survey
Civil and Administrative Records Ministry of Civil Service
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Justice
Capital Markets Authority

2.  Gender Statistics Terminology and Concepts:

2.1.  Gender Statistics:

Statistics related to gender issues in terms of identifying the status of males and females in different fields and throughout their lives, and finding out differences and inequality. Like other statistical branches, gender statistics has its own concepts, tools and methodologies.


2.2.  Measurement Tool

The Gender Gap Index is a key tool used to measure the gap between the sexes and variations in society, in addition to identifying the level of women’s participation in various development fields in a specific period of time.


2.3.  Mean age at first marriage:

Mean age in years when people under 50 first married.


3.4.  Life expectancy at birth:

How long, on average, a newborn is expected to live, if current death rates do not change.


3.5.  Illiteracy rate

Percentage of population aged 15 and above who cannot read and write and understand a simple statement about their daily lives.


3.6.  Workforce:

Individuals aged 15 and above who are able and willing to provide services and commodities, whether employed or unemployed.


3.7.  Worker:

Individuals aged 15 and above who work or used to work in the government or private sector, provided that the working hours are not less than one hour during the timeline.


3.8.  Unemployed persons:

Individuals aged 15 or above who are able to and looking for work and whose work is available to them but have not worked during the timeline.

3.9.  Unemployment rate:

Number of unemployed persons to the total workforce.


3.10.   Economic participation rate:

The percentage of economically active persons in a given year to the total human force (15-64) in the same year. 


3.11.   Main Occupation:

The main type of work a worker is involved in within the timeline.


3.12.   Household:

An individual or group of individuals who may or may not be related, and who share residence and food in one dwelling during the time of survey. A household includes:

  1. Saudis and non-Saudis who typically reside at the household but were not present at the time of the survey because they were traveling temporarily, such as: businessmen, and individuals traveling abroad either for treatment, tourism, or education.
  2. Members who typically reside at the household but were not available at the time of the survey due to their night shifts. For example: physicians, nurses, fishermen, airport staff, guards...etc.
  3. Domestic workers and drivers residing within a household.
  4. Family members who are travelling within the Kingdom.


3.13.  Household income:

The total cash and in-kind income of all female and male household members of all ages that can be spent or saved. Income consists of several sources:

  1. Salaries and cash and in-kind payments.
  2. Property rent.
  3. Business net income.
  4. Property income.
  5. Current transfers.
  6. Other income streams.


3.14.  Head of household:

An individual aged 15 years and above who is considered the main decision-maker in the family. If a family is comprised of a mother and her children and is looked after by a male relative who does not reside with them, this relative is not considered the head or a member of the household, and the head of the household in this case would be the mother.


3.15.  Average household income

A mathematical average is the sum of a group of values divided by the number of values in the group. The average household income is the sum of household income divided by the number of household members.


3.16.  Average household spending:

A mathematical average is the sum of a group of values divided by the number of values in the group. The average household spending is the sum of household spending divided by the number of household members.

3.17.  Total fertility rate:

Average births per woman in her whole life.


3.18.   Participation in the Political and Public Life:

Providing more opportunities for women to participate in the political and public life, access and control resources, improve their reality by knowing their rights and duties, access jobs, and promote their ability to make decisions.


3.  Definition and identification of variables:

This stage identifies and defines the variables and indicators used when extracting survey results including:

Gender Gap Indicator (GGI):

Measurement Methodology:

This methodology was developed based on the global methodology prepared by the World Economic Forum to unify measurement methods and definitions in order to facilitate benchmarking and measurement of the gap between males and females. Measurement is carried out according to the following:

Gender Gap = (male%) - (female%)

A negative value means that the attribute is in favor of females (i.e. the performance of females is better than males' in the concerned index) and vice versa.


The Bulletin included a number of results and indicators pertaining to gender statistics, mainly:

4.  Statistical Classifications Used:

Classification is defined as being an arranged set of related categories used for data collection according to similarity. It is the basis for collecting and publishing data in all statistical fields, such as economic activity, products, expenditures, jobs or health, etc.  It allows the classification of data and information by putting them into meaningful categories to produce useful statistics. Data collection requires a precise and methodological arrangement according to common attributes so that the statistics can be reliable and comparable. Gender statistics are subject to international standards in terms of collecting and classifying their data. Main gender statistics data depend on the gender gap indicator according to the measurement methods followed in international reports published by the  United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Economic Forum, which consists of indicators that measure the participation of women in development, and reflect the difference and equality between women and men. Sections (fields) are categorized according to the classification of gender indicators and the importance of these sections as per the formatted Gender Statistics classification of the Saudi gender statistics, which includes 9 different fields:


Section Title


Population and demographics






Labor and Wages


Participation in the Political and Public Life


Income and Spending







5.  Coverage:

5.1.  Spatial Coverage:

Gender Statistics cover data related to the Saudi population inhabiting all 13 administrative regions in KSA, which are: Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah, Qassim, Eastern Province (EP), Asir, Tabuk, Hail, Northern Borders, Jazan, Najran, Al-Baha, and Al-Jouf by gender and age. Administrative records of gender statistics include data of Saudis whose data are recorded at the relevant government entities.


5.2.  Temporal Coverage:

The timeline of the Gender Statistics data is typically the year preceding issuing the Gender Statistics Bulletin.


Stage III: Organization:

It is the final preparation stage in which the required workflow procedures are established for preparing gender statistics, starting with the collection stage and ending with the assessment stage and the organization and grouping of those procedures. The optimal sequence of those procedures is chosen to arrive at a methodology that achieves the goals of gender statistics. A review was made in this stage of the procedures that were taken upon the preparation of the previous version of gender statistics to develop the work procedures in the current version. Those procedures were also described and documented to facilitate any updates in future rounds. The statistical workflow procedures were tested and examined to ensure their compliance with the requirements of preparing gender statistics in their final form, approve the procedures of the statistical workflow, and develop a roadmap for implementation.



Stage IV: Data Collection:

In coordination with the relevant government authorities, GaStat has obtained gender statistics data from the administrative records available with such authorities via online sheets that were uploaded and saved on its databases. They were audited and reviewed using the scientific statistical methodology and accepted quality standards. Data sources were consulted when a potential error was encountered. The Population Estimates and Projections Department collaborated with the relevant GaStat departments to provide it with field survey data required by gender statistics.



Stage V: Categorization: 

Raw data categorization in gender statistics relied on the coding and classification inputs made in the data collection phase, in which all data were categorized based on the measurement methods adopted in international reports published by UNDP and World Economic Forum.

During this stage, specialists from the Population Estimates and Projections Statistics Department  processed and analyzed data based on several procedures:

  • Sorting and arranging data in a particular sequence or into different groups or categories.
  • Summarizing detailed data into key points.
  • Combining and interconnecting many data segments.
  • Processing lost or missing data.
  • Processing illogical data.
  • Converting data into a form that has statistical significance.
  • Organizing, presenting and interpreting data.

In this respect, data were displayed in suitable tables to help in summarizing, understanding and drawing conclusions from it, as well as comparing it to other data and observing statistical significance as they relate to the Study’s population, thus facilitating access thereto. The most significant data processes procedures included "Data anonymization". In order to ensure data confidentiality, GaStat removed the identifiers from the input fields for the field survey data, such as hiding the names and addresses of the individuals as well as other identifiers, to protect their privacy.



Stage VI: Review:

First: Verifying data outputs:

After reviewing and verifying the data accumulated during the fourth stage , GaStat calculated and extracted the results, after which it uploaded and stored it on the database. The final reviewing processes were conducted by specialists in the Social Statistics Department using modern technologies and software designed for the purposes of review and audit.


Second: Dealing with confidential data:

Pursuant to Royal Decree No.23 dated 07/12/1397 AH, GaStat is committed to the absolute confidentiality of all obtained data and not using them except for statistical purposes. Therefore, data are safely stored on GaStat’ss servers.

In any case, individual data on the household or its members shall not be disclosed. Materials set for publication are only aggregated, statistical tables circulated at the KSA, administrative regions and major cities’ level based on demographics and social and economic attributes.



Stage VII: Publication:

First: Preparing and setting data for publication:

In this stage, GaStat coordinated, organized and reviewed the data contained in the bulletin.Afterwards, publication tables and graphs for data and indicators were set and prepared, and metadata and methodological data were added to them and were prepared in Arabic and English.


Second: Preparing media content and announcing the Bulletin:

After GaStat announced the Bulletin’s release date on its official website at the beginning of the calendar year, it prepares in this stage the required media materials to announce the Bulletin’s release on all media outlets, as well as its various social media platforms. The announcement will be made on the date set for publication. The Bulletin will be first published on the official website in various templates of open data in Excel format

to guarantee its circulation and accessibility to all clients and parties interested in gender statistics and to add it to the website’s statistics library.


Third: Communication with clients and Bulletin dissemination

Due to the great importance it gives to communication with clients using its data, GaStat contacts them upon the release of the Gender Statistics Bulletin to provide them with it. It also receives their questions and inquiries regarding the Bulletin and its results through various communication channels used to request data as well. Inquiries and requests are received through:

  • GaStat’s official website:
  • GaStat email:
  • Client support email:
  • Visiting GaStat HQ in Riyadh or one of its branches across the Kingdom.
  • Official Letters.
  • By Statistical Phone (920020081).


Stage VIII: Assessment:

After the Bulletin is released and received by all GaStat’s clients, the clients are contacted again in this stage in which the entire statistical process is assessed, with the aim of constant improvement to obtain high-quality data. The improvements may include methodologies, processes, systems, statistical researchers’ skills and statistical frameworks. This stage is done in collaboration with data users and GaStat’s clients through a number of steps:

First:Collection of Measurable Assessment Inputs:

Comments and remarks are collected and documented from their sources throughout all stages, such as the remarks deduced by specialists concerned with reviewing, checking and analyzing data collected from administrative records. Comments and remarks presented by data users are collected and documented after publication, in addition to what is being monitored via media outlets or the clients’ remarks which GaStat receives through its main channels.


Second: Assessment:

Collected assessment inputs are analyzed, and the results of this analysis are compared with pre-anticipated results. Accordingly, potential improvements and solutions are identified and discussed with experts and specialists and entities concerned with gender statistics are engaged. In this stage, the performance of clients’ use of gender statistics results and their satisfaction with them are measured. Based on that, recommendations are developed to enhance the quality of the results of future gender statistics.



Stage IX: Administration:

A comprehensive stage that spans over all the stages of producing gender statistics. This stage determines the general production plan, including the feasibility study, risk management, means of funding, disbursement mechanisms, as well as developing performance indicators, quality standards, human resources map necessary for production, following up on the execution of tasks assigned to all departments in each stage, and submitting reports to ensure that GaStat fulfills its commitments towards its clients.