Zensus Why are people obliged to provide information in the 2022 Census?

Pressrelease #14 of 13. May 2022

  • Obligation to provide information to ensure the required high quality and accuracy of results
  • Census results as basis of important political decisions
  • Questions can be answered online quickly and easily


WIESBADEN - The legislators established an obligation to provide information for the 2022 Census. All people who are asked to provide information for the census are obliged to answer the questions truthfully, completely and within the time limits set by the survey offices.

“The required high quality and accuracy of the census results can be achieved only if
people do participate,” says Katja Wilken, overall project leader of the 2022 Census at the Federal Statistical Office. The 2022 Census would show how many people live in Germany and how they live and work. “Politicians can take important decisions on the basis of the census results,” says Wilken. This includes answers to questions like these: Where do we need more dwellings for families? Where are dwellings that are vacant and why?

Completing the questionnaires will take only a few minutes
After a short personal interview, respondents can easily complete the questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or PC wherever they want. For the census of buildings and housing, respondents may fill in the entire questionnaire online. Only the questions applying in each case will be displayed in German and in up to 15 other languages. Filling in the questionnaire will take five to ten minutes depending on the respondent’s personal situation. “Responding online is more rapid and less error-prone than completing the paper questionnaire,” Katja Wilken explains.

Those who do not provide information will be reminded several times
Those who do not respond will be reminded and asked once again to provide the required information. Then there may be further stages at each of which respondents have the opportunity to answer the questions. Administrative or coercive fines can be imposed if respondents fail to comply with the obligation to provide information even after having been reminded several times. The amount to be paid is determined by the Länder.

The obligation to provide information does not end when the deadline set has been reached but only once the fully completed questionnaire has been submitted to the survey office.

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.

Follow us on www.twitter.com/zensus2022!

For further information: www.zensus2022.de/contact