Census 2022: What You Should Know About Your Census Survey – Your SZ

Eleven years later, it’s time again: people are counted. Statistical offices must update their data and determine how citizens live, work and live in Germany. As part of this 2022 census, all property owners, landlords and property managers in this country are also obligated to cooperate. More than 23 million characters have been submitted to enumerate buildings and apartments in waves since May, with the latter coming soon.

What’s new is that, for the first time, senders must also reply via computer. Online participation is off to a very good start, says Katja Wilkin, Director of the 2022 Census Public Project at the Federal Statistical Office. But some landlords and landlords are hesitant and unsure – and above all they have many questions. What those treated should know, why tenants are affected too, and there’s no point in slowing down. Answers to the most important questions.

Why is there a census?

With the help of the census, the state wants to know the current data about its population. Only a small percentage of families, less than ten percent, were asked about their education, marital status, age, occupation, and nationality in the personal sample interviews. Then the results are extrapolated. There is also an extensive census of buildings and residences. Explains Enrico Becker, a spokesman for the Federal Statistical office in Wiesbaden. Important federal, state, and local decisions were based on census data. The same applies to the calculation of EU subsidies and the fiscal equivalent of the federal states. Information provided by citizens is subject to statistical confidentiality and is used only for statistical purposes, Becker asserts. Return to authorities or third parties is excluded. According to Becker, “obtained data will be deleted as soon as possible, but no later than four years after its collection.”

Who is contacted?

The 2022 Census collects not only basic data on the population, but also data on the construction, housing and housing status of households. This is why everyone who owns a house or apartment in Germany, is a multi business owner and manager, will receive a letter. The sender is the relevant state bureau of statistics in which the property is located. So if you have a house in Munich and an apartment complex in Frankfurt, you will receive mail from the offices of the states of Bavaria and Hesse. With the message, the senders receive access data with which they can log into the website www.zensus 2022.de on their computers. Information must be provided separately for each object. Each feature has its own access and activation code. If you own a lot of buildings and apartments, you have a lot to do. If there are multiple owners, only those contacted should provide the information.

What does the state want to know?

Among other things, the year of construction, type of building, type of heating, living space, number of rooms, as well as net cold rent and the reasons for possible vacancy are queried. “This question is allowed,” explains Christoph Stein, a spokesperson for the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI) in Bonn. Dietmar Wall of the German Tenants Association in Berlin stresses that tenants’ consent to reveal their names is not required for the census. There is no veto. However, many landlords have to inform their tenants about the query. If the rental agreement already contains a general clause that the landlord may transfer data if he is legally obligated to do so, the tenants are deemed to have already been notified. Wall advises: “I recommend sticking to the truth in the query and not giving any flowery names.” Due to the comparison of data with registry offices, fraud becomes a boom.

Do you need special computer skills?

The answer number is very fast for PC users, at best everything is done within ten minutes. Provided that defendants are prepared and have pre-selected their documents for the property. Once the access and activation codes are entered, the list takes the citizen in action and guides him point by point through the online survey. Typos will be displayed immediately. The system immediately checks entries for reasonableness and completeness. If you need explanations for individual questions, you can click on the information fields. There is no time pressure. Older and inexperienced people who do not have a computer or need support can get help from children, relatives or acquaintances in the online survey. Anyone who is afraid to contact can find out more about the details at www.zensus2022.de, look at a questionnaire form in advance or call the hotlines of statistical offices. The numbers are on the cover letter.

Should everyone contacted participate?

yes. Every citizen selected for a household survey or contacted for a building and dwelling census must participate. The obligation to provide information can be found in Article 23 of the Census Law. Anyone who is late and does not answer the online survey within the given deadline will automatically receive a reminder with a paper form. So ignoring is pointless, a hefty fine of at least 300 euros. The amount is determined by the federal states. You can’t push but don’t answer either. If necessary, statistical offices may specify payments of fines even for those who refuse to provide information. Also, always stick to the truth. Cheating and providing false information can sometimes be more costly than refusal. In Lower Saxony, for example, a fine of up to 5,000 euros is due for incorrect information.

Can the state inquire about all this?

yes. “There is a legal basis for the census,” explains BfDI spokesperson, Stein. Since 2008, there has been a uniform European-wide regulation (763/2008), which also obliges Germany to conduct a population census every ten years. The current survey was already scheduled for 2021, but was postponed to May 15, 2022 due to Corona. In the lead-up to this, there was criticism of the collection of individual personal data and the technical processing of data collected with the help of a network provider in the United States. “One or another statement could have been dispensed with in the survey,” says Enrico Becker. In addition, the Federal Statistical Office had to make technical improvements. Overall, however, there are no longer any concerns, as Becker says: “The logging is compatible with data protection.”

Leave a Comment