Zensus Test survey of households for the 2021 Census

Press release No. 02 of September 19, 2019

The country needs reliable data so that national, regional and local policy-makers can make informed decisions. This information will be based on the 2021 Census, which will be conducted by the Statistical Offices of the Federation and the Länder to determine how many people live in Germany and how they live and work.

The national population has to be regularly counted to provide reliable figures for planning. As most of this data is sourced from administrative registers, most inhabitants do not have to provide any information. In Germany, the 2021 census will be based on administrative registers, supplemented by a random sample and combined with a census of buildings and housing.

The method used to survey households is currently being optimised in preparation for the next phase of the 2021 census. The Statistical Offices of the Länder will interview selected households to test their questionnaires and work out how to organise the survey. Citizens from around 40,000 households are invited to voluntarily participate in such interviews.
The aim of the test run is to stop any problems from arising when households are actually surveyed during the 2021 census. This will make the process easier for respondents, eliminate the need for costly reworking and improve the quality of the results.

Interviewers will contact randomly selected households and invite them to participate in the survey on behalf of the statistical offices. The respondents will be interviewed personally and asked to provide general information about themselves and their household (e.g. name, gender, marital status and nationality). Following the personal interviews, most of the respondents will receive access data for an online questionnaire. When testing the online questionnaire, they will be asked questions about their housing situation, schooling, further education and employment.

In addition, the questionnaire for the census of buildings and housing will be tested in September 2019.

As with all surveys conducted for the purpose of official statistics, data protection and confidentiality will be comprehensively ensured. Each individual piece of information will be anonymised, treated as strictly confidential and used exclusively for statistical purposes.

More information on the census methodology and its advantages can be found on our newly designed website: www.zensus2021.de.

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