What we ask about in the 2021 Census

22 February 2021

In the upcoming Population Census, which starts on 27 March, less data (by a half) are surveyed than ten years ago. Statisticians used existing data from registers as much as possible and ask only about information that cannot be obtained in another way. Therefore, for example, census forms for buildings will not be filled in any more, property conditions or health condition will not be surveyed any more.

A census form (questionnaire) for a household has two parts: a part with data about housing and household composition and a part for individual persons. A form for natural persons contains questions about usual residence first, which often does not have to be a place of permanent residence. What is surveyed is not only residence as at the date of the Census but also the one a year before the Census and the one on the date of birth. “It is important to find out migration trends. It means from where and to where people move, whether only people from neighbouring municipalities come to bigger towns or whether they also come from localities farther away; whether people who were born in the countryside come back or whether country life rather attracts people born in towns,” Marek Rojíček, President of the Czech Statistical Office, says.

Another set of questions focuses on economic activities and employment. These pieces of information together with data on education and age provide a more detailed view of the composition of the population in various localities and regions and are used, for example, as a background material for planning and implementation of programmes to support employment, education or, on the other hand, to prevent unwanted phenomena.

Data about commuting to work or school are crucial for organising and planning of the public transport and transport infrastructure. A census form surveys where and how often people travel to work or to school and what means of transport they use for that. In the Census, women aged 15 years or more also fill in how many children were born to them.

The census form also includes optional questions about nationality and religion. People do not have to answer them if they do not want to; however, we recommend providing truthful answers. It is because for churches and national minorities, the information about the number of their members is very important and the Census is the only way to find it out. Knowledge about representation of various nationalities or religious groups in towns or regions help when organising activities focusing on those target groups and also are an important argument for announcing and allocating grants or other forms of support to cultural traditions and co-existence of minorities in the society.

In the form about housing, people fill in the way of their housing (e.g. in a dwelling/flat in a house, a holiday house, a mobile dwelling), whether they live in their own homes or rental housing and basic parameters of the dwelling/flat, i.e. the floor area, number of rooms, and location of the dwelling (flat) in a house. Following questions are about connection to gas and water mains and the way of heating and fuel used. The last section in this part of the census form surveys the number of persons in a household and relations between them (e.g. a father, a mother, children, a grand-mother...).

It is not difficult to fill in census forms; anybody is able to do that. “It depends on the number of persons in a household and on knowledge of all necessary pieces of data how much time you will spend filling in the census form. On average, it takes 10 minutes to fill in the common part of the census form for a dwelling/flat and a household and as for the second part it takes 5 minutes per person,” Marek Rojíček adds. It is faster to fill in the online census form thanks to its autocomplete function and automatic displaying of questions based on filled in data.

The Population and Housing Census is carried out once in ten years. It is aimed at acquiring precise and current data that serve to make planning of many aspects of the public life more effective. The 2021 Census is being prepared primarily as an online Census – for the first time in our history. People will be able to get counted in a simple and safe manner over the internet at www.scitani.cz. They can thus fulfil their legal obligation easily from their homes without a need to be in contact with a census enumerator (census officer) or to visit a contact point of the Census.

 

Contact:
Jolana Voldánová

2021 Census spokeswoman

Mobile phone number: +420 
704 659 357
e-mail: jolana.voldanova@scitani.cz

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