Date December 3, 2019
The date of the upcoming census has now been set in the 2021 Census Act (ZensG 2021): 16 May 2021. The law entered into force on 3 December 2019.
The census will be based on the existing administrative registers again in 2021. Some of the population will also be interviewed directly in a survey of randomly selected households (see “Who will be interviewed?”).
Important changes to the 2021 census
One new feature compared to the previous census is the focus on electronic reporting via the Internet. The number of paper questionnaires and personal surveys conducted by official interviewers will be reduced to the bare minimum to help make the process as comfortable as possible for respondents.
In comparison to the 2011 census, those involved in the household survey will not be asked about their affiliation to a religious community, nor will they be asked to voluntarily profess their faith. In the 2021 census, all information on religion will be taken from population registers.
When it comes to housing matters, respondents will be asked to indicate the basic net rent, vacancy duration and reasons for vacancy. These characteristics will be evaluated for very small regions during the census, allowing a detailed picture of supply and demand on the national housing market to be created for the first time. It will also be possible to show the supply and demand for specific types of housing (e.g. size of apartment and year of construction). In the case of buildings, the energy source will be added to the type of heating. By contrast, respondents will no longer have to provide information about the presence of a bathroom and toilet.
Strict data protection requirements
As with the 2011 census, the “additional auxiliary data” (e.g. name and address of respondents) must be separated from the data relevant for the census results (“survey characteristics”) as early as possible and deleted no later than four years after the census date.