The most important information about the census at a glance

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The population survey in Germany began on May 15. But what is the actual census and who is surveyed?

Frankfurt – As of May 15, data will again be collected on a large scale in Germany. The 2022 census is around the corner. In fact, it should have been done last year. Because of Corona, it was postponed for a year.

But what is the subject of the survey actually? Should everyone do it? And how does all this work? We’ve summarized everything you need to know here for you.

Germany Census 2022: What is a census?

A census is colloquially understood as a population census. Not only the population of Germany is surveyed, but all apartments and buildings with living space are also recorded statistically. This also includes all residents of apartments and shared dormitories. It is usually registered by the facility management.

Census 2022: Germany’s census surveys will begin on May 15, after being postponed last year due to Corona. © Marijan Murad / dpa

The survey is representative. Data from relevant civil and administrative records form the basis of the census, which is supplemented by random samples from the population. The demographic situation in Germany results from the assessment of these figures and thus has a significant influence on many policy decisions at the federal, state and local levels. On the basis of the census, for example, money is distributed from the family budget or districting.

The census takes place every ten years, the last of which was in 2011. Because of Corona, the actual reference date has been pushed back from May 16, 2021 to May 15, 2022.

Census 2022: Who Participates in the Survey?

The survey included more than 30 million people in Germany. Of these, about 10.3 million (about 10 percent of the population) were randomly selected. Then there are the approximately 300,000 people living in residential facilities. The 23 million living space owners or managers are also included and asked about net rents and reasons for job openings.

Census 2022: How does the survey work?

Citizens randomly selected for the census are asked to participate in the survey by letter. If possible, this should be done online. However, the questionnaire can also be filled out manually and returned by post. Postage for this is free.

For a small percentage of them (about 400,000 respondents), a written questionnaire is also accompanied by a personal interview, which according to the Federal Statistical Office is intended to “ensure the quality of the results”. Specially trained assistants (survey officers) conduct the survey at the front door of the respondent after making an appointment in advance and oblige to provide official identification without being asked. They have no right to enter the living space. These interviews will take place starting May 16th.

What data will be collected in the 2022 census?

All participants in the census must provide information on the following data:

  • family name
  • sex
  • date of Birth
  • nationality
  • Title
  • Social status
  • living conditions

In addition, questions about immigration background, school-leaving certification, or employment may also be asked.

Is participation in the 2022 census mandatory?

Yeah. Anyone who finds an envelope marked “Census 2022” in their mailbox is obligated to provide information. The 2022 Census Law provides for this. Anyone who fails to do so or refuses to provide information sometimes has to dig into their pockets because, according to the Federal Ministry of Justice, they face a fine of up to 5,000 euros.

Census 2022: What comes after the survey?

After the original deadline for the census was pushed back last year, May 15, 2022 is now the new deadline for the survey. This is expected to continue until August 2022, after which the data will be processed and evaluated. However, results cannot be expected before the end of 2023. (rku/epd)

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