Whom will enumerators call in February, and why?

Posted on 10. February 2022 14:26

The Population and Housing Census continues in February but on a smaller scale and mainly as phone interviews. Home visits, which were used during the previous census, will be kept to a minimum by Statistics Estonia, to prevent the spread of any viruses.

In order to limit the need for enumerators to make home visits, Statistics Estonia asks anyone who receives an enumerator’s phone call to answer it. “It is possible that an enumerator will call you even if you have done your part and completed the e-census. It means that your address is included in the mandatory random sample and the enumerator has information that someone living at the same address has not completed the e-census. If you have already filled in your questionnaire, you may rest assured that the enumerator will not ask the same questions again. But they need your help to reach the people who have not yet responded to the census,” said Liina Osila, Population and Housing Census project manager.

Osila stated the main reasons why an enumerator may have called you or might still do so.

  1. You may get a call from an enumerator because, based on the Population Register, your phone number is linked with an address that is included in the mandatory sample – responding to the census is mandatory for residents at these addresses.
  2. If you have already completed the questionnaire online, you might still be contacted if someone living at the same address has not filled in the e-questionnaire. The e-census has provided Statistics Estonia with information about the number of residents at this address. The phone call is made to specify all the persons living at the given address.
  3. We need answers from all the persons living at the mandatory sample addresses. Therefore, the enumerator will ask for the names and personal identification codes of all the persons living at the given address. Based on this, the enumerator can determine whether you have already answered the questions online or not.
  4. If you have filled in the online questionnaire, the enumerator will verify this based on your personal identification code and will not interview you again. If you have not completed the e-census or refuse to provide your personal identification code, the enumerator will offer to conduct the interview.

The census project manager added that if there are no phone numbers linked with a sample address in the Population Register, the enumerator will go and leave a note in the mailbox, providing the enumerator’s phone number and asking the residents to make contact. Actual home visits will only be made in exceptional cases.

All the data collected during the population census are strictly protected pursuant to the Personal Data Protection Act and the Official Statistics Act. “The data provided to Statistics Estonia are anonymised immediately after collection, meaning that names and personal identification codes are removed from the dataset. This ensures that the answers given during the census cannot be associated with a specific individual. The data are only used for statistical and scientific purposes, and published in an aggregated form, emphasised Osila.

If anyone has suspicions about a call received from an enumerator, they can call Statistics Estonia’s customer support at +372 625 9300 to verify the enumerator’s name and ID number from their proof of employment. It is possible to search for enumerators by name on Statistics Estonia’s website. 

By 22 January, nearly 600,000 persons were enumerated using the online census questionnaire. The goal of the second stage in February is to collect sample survey responses from as many people living at the mandatory sample addresses as possible. Although just over 61,000 persons across Estonia live at such addresses, all completed e-census forms are taken into account in the census. The survey data are supplemented with data obtained from 32 registers. Therefore, all Estonian residents will be enumerated. The census results will be published gradually from June 2022 until the end of the year.