Time left until the start of the population and housing census

Participating in census

  • E-census

    E-census is open to respondents from 28 December 2021 to 15 January 2022. The questionnaire is completed in the e-census environment about oneself and about minors living in the same household. Parents living at the same address with minors can respond about the younger members of the household. Children who are 15 years old or older can respond themselves.

    Submitting census data online is not difficult: anyone who has used the internet can manage. The questionnaire has instructions and you can also ask for help on the phone. The e-census manual can be found here.

    To participate in the census, it is not necessary to have a computer or internet connection at home. For example, the questionnaire can be completed in a public internet access point, at work, in school, at a friend’s place or in the closest library.

    In order to fill in the e-questionnaire, a person must have an ID-card, Mobile-ID or Smart-ID and PIN codes, as it is necessary to identify yourself securely when logging into the census environment.

    When exiting the census questionnaire, you must also exit the e-census environment by clicking on “Exit”. If it is not possible to participate in the e-census, an enumerator will contact the person and schedule an appointment to ask the same questions that other people respond to online.

    Who can fill in the e-questionnaire?

    For answering on the internet, there is an e-census environment where one can log in using an ID-card, Mobile-ID or Smart-ID. Once logged in (persons aged 15 and older), personal data (given name, surname, ID code and date of birth) are displayed. To log in, a person must have a personal identification code of the Republic of Estonia.

    E-census, or online questionnaire, is open to all persons whose permanent place of residence is in the Republic of Estonia, including persons who are temporarily abroad (up to 12 months). To participate in the census, a personal identification code of the Republic of Estonia is required. Parents living at the same address with minors can respond about the younger members of the household. Children who are 15 years old or older can respond themselves.

    Persons who are under 15 years of age as at the census moment (31 December 2021) cannot log into the census environment on their own. Once an adult has filled in their own questionnaire, the data of the person's minor children are displayed. The children's data are prefilled on the basis of family relationships and rights of custody recorded in the population register. Each mother and father or a child's/children's legal representative sees information about all his or her minor children.

    Each person fills in one's own personal questionnaire and the questionnaires of minors who live in the same household, at the same address. The questionnaire is not filled in for children who live elsewhere. If there are more minors living at the same address, their data can be added.

    Staying abroad

    One of the many advantages of the e-census is the possibility to participate in the census even when staying temporarily abroad. Everyone who is temporarily out of Estonia during the e-census period (28 December 2021 to 15 January 2022) can fill in the e-questionnaire on the internet.

    How to fill in the e-questionnaire?

    When filling in the questionnaire, please consider the information below.

    1. Current place of residence is a person's actual place of residence where he/she spends most of his/her daily rest and sleep time during the period from 1 November 2021 to 31 January 2022.
      1. If you spend most of your daily rest and sleep time in several residences in Estonia, indicate the place of residence that you consider the main residence in Estonia. If there is no preferred main residence, indicate the place of residence where you currently stay or stayed last (if not currently in the place of residence).
      2. If you move during this period, indicate the new residence in Estonia as the place of residence.
      3. If you spend most of this time abroad, indicate the place of residence where you stay in Estonia.
      4. If you are abroad during the entire period, but spent most of you daily rest and sleep time in 2021 in Estonia, indicate the place of residence where you stayed in Estonia.
      5. Children who live alternately in two places (e.g., with separately living parents) are considered as living at the same address as you if they spend the majority of rest and sleep time during this period with you. If a child spends an equal amount of time with both parents, the parent with whom the child lives at the census moment (31 December 2021) should indicate the child as living with him/her.
      6. Students living in dormitories choose the place of residence according to clause 1.
    2. Household members – persons living at the same address.
    3. Partner – a person who is legally married, in a registered partnership or in an unregistered partnership with the observed person.
    4. When entering the number of persons living with a person, use the information provided in section 1.
      1. Adult – a person who is 18 years old by 31 December 2021, i.e. his/her date of birth is before 31 December 2003.
      2. Minor – a person who is not 18 years old by 31 December 2021, i.e. he/she was born on 31 December 2003 or later.
    5. Residence is considered continuous irrespective of short visits (a total of less than 3 months in a year) to Estonia.
      1. Continuous residence outside Estonia shall not include:
        1. employment in a foreign country, if the respondent stays most of vacant days with own household living in Estonia;
        2. studies in general education school (upper secondary school, gymnasium, basic school etc.) if parents’ home was in Estonia;
        3. compulsory military service in the foreign country and participation in a war.
      2. Studies in an institution of higher education or higher vocational school in a foreign country are considered continuous residence outside Estonia.
    6. Ethnicity is determined by the respondent. The person has the right to declare himself or herself a member of the ethnicity group, to which he/she feels the strongest ethnical and cultural affiliation.
    7. A person is deemed to speak the language if his/her language skills enable him/her to manage with speaking, writing and reading in familiar language use situations. If you can express yourself in familiar communication situations, understand clear talk on everyday subjects, understand the general meaning of uncomplicated texts and can write short texts for general use (brief messages, fill out standard documents), the language skills are sufficient to give an affirmative answer to the question. If you lack one skill but another skill is at a higher level compared to the previously described requirements, your answer should still be affirmative. For example, you can consider yourself to speak the language if you
      1. speak the language quite fluently but cannot write in it;
      2. can read specialty or hobby-related literature in a foreign language but cannot speak the language.
    8. Mother tongue is the language, which was learned in early childhood as the first language and in which the person is generally most proficient. The mother tongue and the ethnicity of the person do not have to be the same. The mother tongue of deaf persons may also be sign language. If a person became deaf at a later age, indicate the first language learned as a child.
    9. Local language form or dialect means local language customs that are different from the Estonian literary standard, not foreign languages. Such language customs can be referred to as local language, dialect or subdialect. A person who speaks a local language form is someone who understands and can also express oneself in this language.
    10. Has a religious affiliation – is indicated for a person who feels an affiliation to a religion (denomination). Membership in a church or congregation is not relevant here. It is also irrelevant whether you are baptised, go to church regularly or are a member of some non-Christian association.
    11. "Long-standing" means that illness or health problem has lasted or is likely to last for at least six months. This also includes health problems, from which a person has suffered for a long time, but which have not been diagnosed by a doctor. In addition, long-standing health problems include recurrent health problems (e.g., seasonally exacerbating symptoms, such as allergies), as well as conditions, which are controlled or relieved by regular administration of medication or other treatments. The question does not require specification of the exact nature of the long-standing illness or health problem. This question does not concern temporary or short-term illnesses or health problems occurring during the census. Conditions, such as mild myopia or pregnancy, should not be considered as health problems in this context, even if they last longer than six months.
      The evaluation should be about health in general, not at the particular moment. Both mental and physical health are meant here. For example, a person with a chronic disease or health problem could consider one's health very good.
    12. The question is intended to measure long-term limitations due to health, not financial, cultural or other reasons unrelated to health. Time specification “past six months” refers to the duration of the limitation, not the duration of the underlying health problem.
      “Activities people usually do” refers to working, studying, housekeeping, personal grooming, communicating with other people, recreational activities, etc. In the case of activity limitations, it should be assessed whether the person could or could not perform the activity independently. Do not consider situations such as not washing windows or not doing housework for reasons related to living arrangements (not poor health).
      Activity limitations must have lasted for the past six months. If a health-related activity limitation occurred less than six months ago, the answer should be based on an assessment whether the limitation is likely to last for at least another six months. This means that any temporary limitations, such as an arm cast, should be excluded; however, limitations caused by a need to use a wheelchair due to losing a leg two months ago should be included.
      Daily activities are severely limited if a person cannot perform household tasks independently and requires daily assistance of another person.
      Daily activities are limited but not severely if a person can manage with a technical aid(s) and requires assistance of another person for some activities, but not on a daily basis.
    What will the data be used for?

    The Population and Housing Census will provide a very valuable and detailed data set. The statistics produced on the basis of census data will be used as input for important decisions that affect the whole society and for development strategies and other plans. The provision of correct data is crucial as the data will indicate where a new road or a new school should be built or where a growing need for welfare services may arise, for example. Parts of the data set will be prepared for international use, to allow comparisons between Estonia and other European Union countries. The statistics based on the census data will be published on the website of Statistics Estonia for everyone to read.

    Below, there are a few examples of the potential use of census data.

    Development of life in Estonia – time series

    The census data can be compared with the data of previous censuses, in order to see how life in Estonia has changed, including changes in people’s level of education, distribution of occupations, the composition of households and families, residential buildings and dwellings, and living conditions.

    Reference data for assessing and forecasting population trends

    The census data can be used to calculate important indicators of population trends, such as the average number of children born to a woman, for example.

    Local governments and census data

    As the census is conducted across the country, there will be detailed information available even on the smallest local governments. The primary data on all rural municipalities will be freely available and it will be possible to compare the data on one rural municipality with the data on the neighbouring rural municipalities or with the average values of the county or Estonia as a whole.

    What is asked in the questionnaire?

    The questionnaire forms used on the internet and in the face-to-face to interview are generally the same, the differences are in the parts where information is collected about the persons living in the dwelling and the address.

    The form filled online consists of four sections.

    1. Person's section (A)

    • Address
    • Number of people living at this address
    • Information on partner living at the same address
    • E-mail addresses of adult members of household

    2. Minors in household section (A)

    • Identifying minors living in household

    3. Person's section (B)

    • Migration
    • Ethnic nationality
    • Languages (incl. mother tongue), dialects
    • Religion
    • Health

    4. Children's section (B)

    • Migration
    • Ethnic nationality
    • Languages (incl. mother tongue), dialects (asked about persons aged three and older)
    • Religion (asked about persons aged 15 and older)
    • Health
  • Face-to-face interview

    A survey where enumerators call or visit homes starts on 22 January 2022 and lasts until 20 February 2022. Enumerators visit only the people who live at addresses selected by random sampling but who have not answered to the online questionnaire.

    How is face-to-face interview organised?

    If all people living at the same address respond to the questionnaire on the internet, an enumerator does not have to contact them.

    If a person has not started, finished or has broken off the questionnaire, the enumerator must contact the person, first by phone. If the enumerator is not successful, he or she has to go to the address and ask only the unanswered questions. Enumerators have a working list of dwelling addresses, which means that they do not add new addresses themselves.