WIESBADEN – In September and October 2019, the online questionnaire for the 2021 Census will be tested during a census of buildings and housing. The aim is to ensure that the 2021 survey provides reliable results with regard to the number of buildings and housing units in Germany and to make the process as simple as possible for respondents. The aim of the census is to determine how many people live in Germany and how they live and work. Many decisions at national, regional and local level are based on population and housing figures. The national population has to be regularly counted to provide reliable figures for planning.
Voluntary and anonymous
50,000 homeowners from around Germany have been randomly selected for the test. They will receive their access data for the electronic questionnaire from their local statistical office. Their participation is voluntary. All entries will be processed anonymously according to the principle of statistical confidentiality and they will be used exclusively to improve the questionnaire.
Ease of use
The test is necessary to make sure the online questionnaire is easy to understand and easy to use on all devices – from smartphones and tablets to desktop computers. The aim is to interactively guide users through the questionnaire to make sure that it can be completed in under 10 minutes. This would not be possible with a conventional paper questionnaire. This method also cuts postage costs and protects the environment.
As part of the census, buildings and housing Gebäude und Wohnungen are also counted. This information is used to answer fundamental questions, such as whether there is enough housing in Germany and where new housing is urgently required. As there are no administrative registers for buildings and housing in Germany, all homeowners will be interviewed in May 2021 to obtain comprehensive information on the national housing situation and the housing supply. In 2021, the homeowners will be contacted and asked to complete an online questionnaire with some questions on their living space. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for respondents to complete the mandatory survey.
The Federal Statistical Office and the Statistical Offices of the Länder would like to thank those who have agreed to participate in the upcoming test. By taking just a few minutes of their time, the participants can help to ensure reliable results in the 2021 Census and they will make the process as comfortable as possible for respondents. The test questionnaire will also familiarise the respondents with the questions before they take the actual survey.
In addition, a pilot study will be launched in November 2019 to trial new methods to be used for the survey of households (personal survey).
More information on the census methodology and its advantages can be found on our newly designed website: www.zensus2021.de.