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In 2022, Romania and other EU member states will hold a Census of Population and Households
In 2022, Romania and other EU member states will hold a Census of Population and Households – a complex statistical undertaking, which for the first time ever will be held preponderantly online. Each person will be able to self-census, in two steps. The first would be to fill in a pre-registration form, available using a link from the National Institute of Statistics – which is in charge of the census – or by accessing the QR code on the flier that everyone will get in the mail. Pre-registration is absolutely necessary in order to receive by e-mail a link to the questionnaire proper. Step two is filling in the questionnaire. Self-census will be available for any smartphone, laptop, or PC. Traditionally scheduled to be held every 10 years, the census was supposed to be held in 2021, but it was delayed by a year, as well as the pilot stage preceding it, and which is now in full swing.
Tudorel Andrei, president of the NIS, explained the reasons for the postponement:
“The trial census was scheduled for 2020, but there were a few very pertinent reasons for this delay. The main reason was the pandemic, obviously. The second was that this year we ran another census, the General Agricultural Census, for this one we had field data collection starting on May 1 and ending on 31 July. That is another very large scale action. Another very important reason is that of communication. We created a transparency panel with the involvement of all the forces of civil society, and we wanted this communication to be as broad as possible. But it is very hard to convey this message in a very short period of time. These are some of the motives, very pertinent ones, for which we moved the census, but with one observation – the European calendar does not change, therefore we comply with the European calendar, and we are not the only institute that made this calendar modification.”
The data points considered for the census are the traditional ones, such as demographics, activities undertaken after a certain age, statistical data on homes, or the furbishing in homes, so there are no major changes from the previous censuses, says Tudor Andrei. Most of the variables are common to all European level statistics, they do not necessarily only apply to Romania. The trial census will be run in around 50,000 households both in the rural and the urban environment, all over Romania. Its purpose is to test the capacity to collect, store, and process census data, and is needed in order to improve the way to run and organize the census proper, in the first half of 2022. The aim is to test the viability of the NIS instruments, not to obtain estimates on the variables in the statistical research, says Tudorel Andrei:
“The census of population and homes will be held next year, but this year we are in the pilot stage, which is very important for several reasons. The first reason is that this is a very different census from the ones we had so far, in the sense that we have administrative sources in data collection, and we have online collection, which is a novelty for official statistics in Romania. In fact, a lot of institutes apply this method for the first time, and only in the last stage will we have traditional collection, but in an electronic format. There are two great advantages to collecting most of the data online. The first is to show at the European level that we are a country in which informatics systems are being used routinely by citizens, the second has to do with costs: the more online registrations we have, the more costs go down, since data collection is no longer done in the traditional manner, and there is no need to visit each household. And if in fact we have direct household collection, we go to each person and collect offline, data is stored per household after a discussion with each head of household, and then they are transferred automatically to our database. We foresaw these things, which, unfortunately, exist in all countries, because there are localities that are isolated and have not Internet access.”
The first partial results, regarding the population of Romania, of each county, and a few demographics points, will be published in late 2022. Then follows the stage of processing, detailing of results, with final results being published definitively in late 2023, according to the European timeline.
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