TALLINN - Statistics Estonia met with the parliamentary groups of the Riigikogu and the parliament's study committee to solve the demographic crisis to introduce the data to be collected with the 2021 Population and Housing Census as well as the method of the census.
"Estonia is ready for a register-based census, data for the main census characteristics are available in the registers," Mart Magi, director general of Statistics Estonia, said. Statistics Estonia is to use data from at least 24 registers in the census and cooperation with the registers started some 10 years ago.
"We created a model for supporting the improvement of the quality of the data in the registers, and Statistics Estonia also developed original methods for overcoming bottlenecks in the register-based census. As a result of effective cooperation, Estonia's system of national registers is currently one of the best in the world," Magi said.
"The Estonian registers provide census information on persons, family and dwellings mandatory for European Union countries," Diana Beltadze, the Register-Based Population and Housing Census (REGREL) project manager, said. "In addition, upon the request of Estonian consumers, it is possible on the basis of data in registers to submit statistics, for example, about nationality, mother tongue, the number of children born and a number of other characteristics, and this information can be presented with the accuracy of a village," she said.
Statistics Estonia emphasized that when it comes to characteristics missing in registers, such as dialect, religious affiliation, self-assessed health condition and so on, various selective studies can be used. "If the collection of data on the total population is necessary to compile these characteristics, Statistics Estonia needs 10 million euros as an additional census cost," Beltadze said.
The plan is to carry out the 2021 Population and Housing Census for the first time in Estonia's history only on the basis of register data. This means that people will not be asked anything directly, the results will be achieved on the basis of information in national databases, or registers -- hence it being the Register-Based Population and Housing Census. The Population and Housing Census is a government-approved statistical work with the method and sources of it selected by the Statistics Estonia in accordance with international principles. The second pilot census currently ongoing in Estonia was started on 31 December 2018 and based on its results and quality, Statistics Estonia will decide on the census method at the end of this year.