Federal cabinet decides to postpone the 2021 Census by one year
September 2, 2020
On 2 September 2020, the federal cabinet passed a bill to postpone the 2021 Census in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The census has been postponed by one year and the data submissions and surveys required for the census will be adjusted in line with the new date. The postponement is due to the restrictions imposed to combat the coronavirus pandemic, which have also affected the public administration.
On 29 July 2020, the federal cabinet had previously passed a draft regulation to suspend the submission of data from the population register in November 2020. The data submission required to prepare for the census, as stipulated in the 2021 Census Act (ZensG 2021), will subsequently be suspended, as the data will only be necessary at a later date if the census is postponed. The regulation is yet to be approved by the upper house.
As the legislative process continues, the postponement of the census will be coordinated with the EU in accordance with the European regulations.
If the census has to be postponed once again due to the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic or other extraordinary circumstances, the bill passed by the federal cabinet will empower the federal government to make the necessary adjustments through legislative enactments with the consent of the upper house.
The Statistical Offices of the Federation and the Länder currently assume that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic will be sufficiently cushioned by postponing the census for one year. In addition, comprehensive measures are being developed to maximise social distancing and new hygiene plans will be implemented during the 2022 Census.