More than 30 million German citizens were surveyed

In a few days the census will start in Germany. As of mid-May, more than 30 million randomly selected German citizens will be surveyed. All information at a glance.

It’s kind of a state inventory: As of May 15, federal and state statistical offices will conduct a census for the first time since 2011.

Nationwide, more than 30 million citizens were surveyed to find out how many people live in Germany, and how they live and work.

Who was interviewed?

About 10.3 million randomly selected people are asked for their name, gender, marital status, and nationality, among other things. According to the Federal Statistical Office, about three-quarters of people are also asked questions from an expanded questionnaire. This is about school leaving qualifications or a job.

Nearly 300,000 people living in dormitories and shared accommodation have also been registered. No direct interviews are conducted with residents of shared accommodation. The facility manager presents the information there.

In addition, nearly all 23 million dwelling owners or management are required to provide information on their apartments and apartment buildings. Germany does not have a unified administrative register that records the stock of apartment buildings and apartments in all areas. That is why the census of buildings and apartments is an important part of the 2022 census, the Federal Statistical Office explained.

For the first time, net cold rent, duration and reason for vacancy as well as energy source for heating are also queried. This addresses current data requirements and provides an important database for future planning.

What is the purpose of the census?

The goal is to create a reliable planning basis for political and economic decisions at the federal, state and local levels. The purpose of the census is to determine the exact number of the population and to correct inaccuracies in the population records.

In 2011, it turned out that the number of people living in many towns and communities is less than assumed – with painful financial consequences, since the amount of payments from the financial equilibrium system depends on the population.

How does scanning work?

Nationwide, 100,000 so-called survey officers will be deployed. The respective interviewer comes on the previously announced date. All selected people are asked questions about their age, marital status or family size. This takes five to ten minutes.

About three-quarters of the people are also asked questions through an expanded questionnaire. This is about school leaving qualifications or a job. This survey will take another 10 to 15 minutes. You can either answer these questions directly in a personal conversation, fill out a paper questionnaire, or answer later online.

There are no personal interviews in the enumeration of buildings and apartments. Owners and administrations of living quarters will receive a letter with online access data on the main date.

Should you answer?

According to the 2022 Census Act, selected people are required to provide information, and participation cannot be refused. If you do not comply with this obligation, according to the Federal Office, there may be a fine as well.

How is data protection ensured?

The Federal Office emphasizes observance of data protection requirements of the Federal Statistical Act and the General Data Protection Regulation. The data will not be passed to the authorities outside the official statistics and will only be evaluated anonymously.

In addition, personal data will be required to be processed and deleted as soon as possible. She added that only summarized results are being published, which does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about individuals, homes or buildings. Interviewers will have to undertake in writing to maintain statistical confidentiality.

How often is the census conducted?

The European Union obliges its member states to conduct a population census every ten years. This could have been the case in Germany in 2021, but the date has been pushed back due to the Corona pandemic.

When do the surveys start?

The deadline is May 15, 2022. The surveys should be completed by mid-August. The results of the 2022 census are expected to be available by the end of 2023.

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