Zensus What's new in the 2022 Census?

Pressrelease #06 of 30. March 2022

  • Main focus is on online participation
  • Housing: new questions on rent, heating energy source and vacancy
  • Sample survey extended for small municipalities
  • Results to be released already in November 2023 

WIESBADEN - Starting in May 2022, the statistical offices of the Federation and the Länder will carry out a register-based census for the second time. Compared with the 2011 Census, the following items in particular have been optimised in preparing and conducting the 2022 Census.

Questions will be answered online by most respondents
The online questionnaire will be at the centre of the 2022 Census. In 2011, the questions were answered in personal interviews or on paper questionnaires in the majority of cases. A goal in the 2022 Census is that as many respondents as possible provide their answers online. “The benefits of this approach are obvious as online response is more rapid and less error-prone than the paper version”, explained Katja Wilken, overall project leader of the 2022 Census at the Federal Statistical Office. “The respondents may easily complete the online questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or PC - whenever and wherever they want.”
In several tests, the online questionnaires were tested for user friendliness, acceptance and practicability. It will be easy for respondents to quickly get started with the questionnaire on the website www.zensus2022.de when the survey starts in May 2022.
In addition, online questionnaires are more resource efficient. “Piling up all paper questionnaires of the census of buildings and housing from 2011 would have produced a pile exceeding the height of the Mount Everest, which is 8,848 metres”, said Katja Wilken. Using less paper questionnaires also means less letters sent by post and, consequently, less C02 emissions.

New questions on net rent exclusive of heating expenses, energy source and vacancy
There are a total of three new topics in the census of buildings and housing that will allow more precise housing policy planning. Compared with the 2011 Census, the additional variables of net rent exclusive of heating expenses, heating energy source as well as duration of and reasons for a vacancy will be covered this time. Considering the current lack of housing space and the importance of the energy issue, such results play a particular role.

Sample survey extended in small municipalities
In the 2022 Census, the sample survey aimed at correcting the population registers will be conducted also in municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants. “The 2011 Census showed that the error and correction rates in the population registers in small municipalities was higher than had been expected”, said Katja Wilken to explain the adjusted approach. Based on a judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court of 2018, the legislator has adjusted the legal basis to further improve the quality of the results.
For further information on the register data and sample size, please see the interview with Steffen Seibel of the Federal Statistical Office.

Earlier provision of results
It is expected that all results of the census will be released in November 2023. The results of the 2011 Census were released much later.

Further information on the 2022 Census, factsheets and pictures for reproduction are provided at www.zensus2022.de.

If you are interested, we will be pleased to find you interview partners to discuss census issues.

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For further information: www.zensus2022.de/contact