How often is a census carried out?


1. Term: Statistical recording of the population (size and structure) of a country by means of a full survey, carried out every ten years in accordance with the recommendation of the United Nations, last in Germany in 1987.

2. History: Population censuses were the basis for the first statistical surveys on military fitness, tax strength and the like; Methods and partial results of censuses in Egypt 3,000 BC have been handed down. BC, Greece 850 BC BC, Rome 566 BC In the German Middle Ages there were no censuses, apart from individual church, town and guild censuses. Since the 19th century, regular censuses have been carried out in most of the German states, in 1871 for the first time for all states of the German Empire. In the federal territory, censuses were last carried out in 1950, 1961, 1970 and after the passing of the Census Act in 1987.

3. Previous procedure: The counting takes place with the reference date at midnight (for the elimination or recording of births and deaths) by specially trained counters for each counting district (approx. 50 households). Sources of error through consciously or unconsciously incorrect completion (e.g. withholding illegitimate children) are largely eliminated through control questions or automated verification through plausibility checks. In principle, the resident population is used as the basis for statistical calculations. However, this may differ from the local population recorded at the same time. Occasionally people were recorded at their place of temporary residence (1946 because of evacuation and mass exodus). The upcoming census will differ significantly from previous censuses. The 2011 census is carried out as a register-based survey, which uses existing register data, e.g. residence registers or data from the Federal Employment Agency.

4. Registration features: Population censuses record characteristics of population statistics and employment statistics in a detailed technical and regional breakdown. Subsequent sample surveys, especially the microcensus, and the ongoing updating of the population as well as the population projections are based on the results of the census. The most important basic demographic data are gender, age, marital status, religious affiliation, nationality and the predominant source of livelihood. The employment statistics collected include participation in working life, predominant livelihood, weekly working hours and commuting behavior, as well as the type and duration of training.