7 things that everyone living in Estonia should know about the Census

Posted on 6. December 2021 10:44

The upcoming Population and Housing Census will be special, as Statistics Estonia will organise it mostly on the basis of register data. What else should we know about the Census?

  1. The Census will give a detailed overview on how life has changed in Estonia in ten years

    One of the principles of the Census is the agreed Census moment, i.e. the critical moment at which data are collected, regardless of the time or method of submitting the data. In Estonia, the Census moment is at 00:00 the night before 31 December 2021. It means that both register and survey data are collected as they are at that moment. This creates a picture of the situation of the Estonian population, families and dwellings at that precise moment. It also makes it possible to compare data internationally. If a child is born into a family at 00:15 on 31 December 2021, the child will not be covered by this Census. A similar Census moment and the same questions were also used in the last Census in 2011. Therefore, we get accurate data about how life has changed in Estonia since then.
  2. An online survey will take place from 28 December to 22 January

    This time, a combined method will be used for the Census. This means that Statistics Estonia will collect necessary information mainly from national databases, i.e. registers. Additional information is asked from Estonian residents only concerning the data that is not available in the registers. For that purpose, an e-Census is conducted from December 28th to January 22th.

    The e-questionnaire can be filled in independently by all residents who are at least 15 years old. These people who fail to answer online but belong to the random sample of the Census, will be contacted by an interviewer by phone or at home from February 1st to February 28th, 2022.
  3. The survey is used to collect necessary data that are not available in the registers

    Estonian registers are some of the best in the world and cover the most important information, but they lack some self-assessed data needed for national purposes: religious affiliation, health issues and their impact on daily activities, knowledge of foreign languages and dialects. These data are collected with the survey. It is the same case with ethnic nationality and mother tongue; information about these is available in the population register, but the additional census questionnaire allows selecting two options for both of these.

    Based on the results of the survey, decision-makers who shape our daily lives can make high-quality and relevant decisions. For example, the answers to health questions allow us to find out where more people with health restrictions live, how old they are, and as a result, plan better health and social services. Based on the questions concerning migration, it is possible to analyse how much of the Estonian population is affected by short-term mobility and commuting. The Census also makes it possible to assess changes in destination and source countries of people and to prioritise with which countries Estonian foreign missions should strengthen co-operation.

  4. Everyone is welcome to respond to the Census survey, but it is mandatory for around 60,000 Estonian residents

    All Estonian residents are welcome to answer the online sample survey, because the more respondents there are, the more accurate and complete the result will be. However, random sampling has been used to select around 41,000 addresses all across Estonia. For the approximately 60,000 people living at these addresses, it is mandatory to answer the Census survey. They will be mailed an invitation to participate in the Census.

  5. Answering takes 510 minutes

    In the last censuses, long questionnaires of several pages had to be filled in. While in 2011, it took on average 51 minutes to complete a set of questionnaires online for a 2–3 member household, this time the survey is significantly shorter, taking less than 10 minutes per person to answer it.

  6. The data collected in the Census are protected

    The data collected in the Census are strictly protected. The obligation to protect data is based on both the Personal Data Protection Act and the Official Statistics Act. The data processing takes place under strict security requirements and the data are used only for statistical and scientific purposes. Names and personal identity codes are removed from the collected data, so that the data could not be linked to any specific person. The data are not shared with third parties.

  7. The first Census results are published in June 2022

    The aggregation and analysis of the Census data starts at the beginning of the new year and lasts for nearly half a year. As this is a very large survey, the data analysis and data releases take place gradually. Statistics Estonia will publish the first results on June 1st, 2022, and thereafter by subject until the end of 2022.