Czechs gear up for 2011 population and housing census
The Czech Statistical Office is gearing up for the 2011 population and housing census which is to take place on March 25th-26th. The massive undertaking involving thousands of people took five years to prepare and is preceded by a nationwide media campaign.
“In 2001 we were in the position of a candidate country, while now we are a member of the EU, we are in the Schengen zone, all that is very important because 10 years ago we were a buffer state between the EU and other countries while now we are in the middle of the EU. I think it will be very interesting to compare the data concerning foreigners in the Czech Republic because in 2001 the share of foreigners in the population was only 1.2 percent and according to police statistics from the end of last year foreign nationals should now make up 4.5 percent of the population. That is one interesting area, another concerns the aging of the population, which is a significant phenomenon in the Czech Republic. And I would also mention the situation concerning so-called singles. In previous censuses singles generally denoted old pensioners, old women. Now we see two very different social groups –on the one hand the old ladies, pensioners, and on the other a rapidly growing group of young, dynamic, successful people in a very specific social position, which is very interesting information not just for psychologists and demographers but also for developers of dwellings.”
“If we are talking about tourists who are here for a couple of days or a week –that is not information that would be significant for social, demographic or economic analyses. But people who live here for 90 days or more certainly have some relationship to this country – use of infrastructure, transport, waste production etc. as well as the money they spend here which impacts the general economic situation of this country.”
The completed forms can either be picked up by the postal worker who delivered it, sent by post or people can fill in electronic forms, though they still need to get a paper form in order to fill in their respective “number” assigned in order to prevent duplicity. Within strict measures intended to guarantee privacy people filling in electronic forms will not be able to save them – only send them to the respective email address –after which they should receive confirmation of reception almost immediately. All forms must be returned by April 14th for processing. The results of the census should be available by the end of the year.