Date January 21, 2020
One of the main objectives of the census is to determine the official population figures on the census date. The Statistical Offices of the Federation and the Länder use data from the official population registers to avoid having to directly interview all inhabitants. The population registers therefore play an important role when it comes to preparing and conducting the census.
The population register of each municipality contains basic demographic and geographic data for every person who is registered in Germany (e.g. place and date of birth, nationality, home address). On 2 February, the municipalities will submit their population register data to their local statistical office for the third time.
A total of five data submissions from the population registers and one pilot data submission are planned for the preparation and execution of the 2021 Census. The pilot submission was carried out in January 2019 for the purpose of checking the transmission channels, reviewing the quality of the data to be submitted and testing and developing the programmes used to conduct the 2021 Census.
When the third set of population register data is submitted on 2 February 2020, the reference database will be updated. The reference database contains all addresses from the registration and surveyor’s offices, as well as demographic information on the persons registered there. In the 2021 Census, it will be used as the basis for generating a random sample of households, for providing addresses for the preparation of personal interviews and for determining the current addresses of homeowners for the census of buildings and housing.
The municipalities have been contacted by their local statistical offices and informed about the steps they have to take to submit their population data. As soon as the data is received from each municipality, it will be checked for errors and missing information. The population register data will technically be received via the central system used by the Federal Statistical Office. The local statistical office responsible for the data will then grant its approval for it to be transferred to the reference database. The legal foundations are the Federal Statistics Act (BStatG), the 2021 Census Preparation Act (ZensVorbG 2021) and the 2021 Census Act (ZensG 2021). The data transmissions will be encrypted.