Measuring Population and Housing in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia

Measuring Population and Housing in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia

Review of Practices in the 2010 Round of Censuses You do not have access to this content

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02 Oct 2017
9789210582797 (PDF)

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The population and housing census provides, at regular intervals, information on the number and characteristics of the population of a Country, and on its housing stock. It is an essential source of information for small-area, national, regional and International planning and development. This publication reviews the practices followed by countries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia in the population and housing censuses of the 2010 round (taken between 2009 and 2014). The aim is to compare the different approaches and practices adopted among these countries as well as with those in other countries in Europe and North America. and to assess the compliance with the "Conference of European Statisticians recommendations for the 2010 censuses of population and housing". The publication reports that, in contrast to the diverging methodologies being adopted elsewhere throughout the UNECE region, the censuses carried in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia have continued to follow the long-standing approach of entire field enumeration. The publication reviews in detail how the different countries collected information on the various population and housing census topics, highlighting similarities and differences, and providing useful information for users of census data and planners of future censuses.

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  • Preface

    This publication reviews the practices followed by countries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) during the 2010 round of population and housing censuses. The aim is to compare the different approaches and practices among these countries and, in general terms, with other UNECE countries in Western Europe and North America, and to assess the compliance with the Conference of European Statisticians (CES) Recommendations for the 2010 Censuses of Population and Housing (referred in the publication also as “CES Recommendations” or “CESR”). The review complements the UNECE publication “Measuring Population and Housing - Practices of UNECE countries in the 2010 round of censuses”, and provides a useful tool for users of census data and planners of future censuses.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Methodological and operational aspects of census taking

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    • Methodological and operational aspects of census taking: Introduction

      In the 2010 census round of population and housing censuses, many countries in the UNECE region as a whole followed the trend, first started in the 1970s, by moving from a wholly ‘traditional’ approach based on a full field enumeration to alternative approaches to collecting census information in an attempt to reduce costs and improve efficiency. However, in those countries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia that are the focus of this publication, it was universally the case that the ‘traditional’ census approach conducted through a door to door interview with household was adopted.

    • Overview of the methodological approaches adopted in the 2010 round

      This chapter presents a review of the basic methodology adopted for carrying out the census in the 2010 round in countries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) and compares this with the different methodologies adopted by countries in the rest of UNECE region in the 2010 round (covering the period 2005-2014). In making comparisons with the previous (2000) round, information from the 2008 UNECE publication Measuring Population and housing – Practices of UNECE countries in the 2000 round of censuses has been used. The countries that are covered in the EECCA region include

    • Technology, outsourcing and innovations

      The 2014 UNECE publication on practices in the 2010 round of population and housing censuses noted that developments in technology were changing the way censuses were being conducted. Such developments included scanning technologies to replace manual data capture, the use of digital maps and geographical information system (GIS) technologies to supersede traditional census cartography, and the use of the internet to provide respondents with an opportunity to submit their census information online. For many of the countries that responded to the UNECE survey in respect of this topic, these technologies were used for the first time in the census in the 2010 round, while for others they represented a consolidation of existing practices.

    • Operational framework I: Field operations, communications and publicity
    • Operational framework ii: Legislation, security, confidentiality and disclosure control

      In most countries, the preparation and conduct of a census and/or the collection and compilation of statistical data from administrative sources requires a legal basis, regulating issues such as: the allocation of funds for the census operations; the obligation of citizens to provide census information; the relationships between the agency responsible for the census and other public administrations involved in the census operations; the uses and linkage of registers to produce census data or to support field operations; and data security and confidentiality.

    • Operational framework iii: Dissemination, documentation, metadata and archiving

      A census is not complete until the information collected is made available to users in a form and to a timetable that is suited to their needs. In short, it must be fit for purpose. Furthermore, an important component of any country’s programme of dissemination is a comprehensive portfolio of supporting documentation and metadata to help explain, clarify, and enhance the value of the statistical outputs, particularly with regards to making comparisons with previous censuses and other data sources.

    • Costs, benefits, quality and coverage

      Population censuses are, in most countries, the largest statistical operation undertaken in the context of the official statistical system. They are also – at least as far as traditional census taking is concerned, and particularly in the EECCA region – the most expensive one, and since census expenses are usually concentrated during a short period of time, census costs may appear to be greater than if they were spread evenly over a decennial period.

    • Challenges and successes

      In the 2010 census round – as in previous censuses – many changes were introduced by many countries to reflect, among other things, the need to reduce costs and improve efficiency and quality, and to take advantage of developing technologies and methodologies. Such changes may, or may not, bring with them success but all present challenges. This chapter notes some of the key difficulties faced by countries in the 2010 round as reported in the UNECE survey, but also shows the other side of the coin by commenting on some of the successes.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Census topics

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    • Census topics: Introduction
    • Defining the population base

      As noted in the 2014 publication of UNECE, the definition of ‘the population’ is not only central to the census operation, but it is at the very heart of the institutional and socio-economic setting of a country. Defining the rules according to which a person is part or not of the population of a country has indeed far reaching consequences, first-hand examples being the allocation of parliamentary seats or the attribution of funds depending on the population size. The definition of the population is therefore a fundamental component of the statistical information of a country – if not its most fundamental – and the population census is the primary framework in which such choice is made.

    • Geographic characteristics
    • Demographic characteristics
    • Economic characteristics

      As was noted in the 2010 CES Recommendations, statistics on the economic characteristics of persons are needed from population censuses for many reasons. Information on the number and characteristics of the employed, unemployed and economically inactive persons are needed in detail at the same reference point of time that other demographic and social items are being measured so that a comprehensive picture of the socio-economic situation is available. Such statistics might be obtained from other sources such as household-based labour force surveys or administrative records, but these other sources have certain limitations. Data obtained from labour force surveys are subject to sampling error and, therefore, rarely provide reliable estimates for small areas, or for detailed groups of industries and occupations. Administrative records may not necessarily have the same quality of occupational and industry coding, nor the same comprehensiveness in population coverage.

    • Educational characteristics

      This chapter briefly reviews the practices regarding the collection of educational characteristics in the last census round, based on the responses from 50 countries to the UNECE survey.

    • Disability status

      A census can provide valuable information on disability in a country, although the sensitivity of this topic makes the collection of this type of information in a census relatively complex, and may affect the quality of the results. For countries that do not have regular special population-based disability surveys or disability modules in on-going surveys, the census may be the only source of information on the frequency and distribution of disability in the population at national, regional and local levels. Countries that have a registration system providing regular data on persons with the most severe types of impairments, may use the census to complement these data with information related to the broader concept of disability based on the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF). Furthermore, census data can be utilized for planning programs and services (prevention and rehabilitation), monitoring disability trends in the country, evaluation of national programs and services concerning the equalization of opportunities, and for international comparison of the disability prevalence in countries.

    • Migration

      Migration in general, and international migration in particular, plays an important role in shaping the demographic and socio-economic profiles of most, if not all, countries in the UNECE region. In many countries the population census is not only a primary statistical source, but it also has a pivotal function for the range of definitions and classifications it produces. It was therefore important that common definitions and concepts should have been adopted in the last census round in order to provide consistent and comparable migration information, and especially for the identification of migrants stocks.

    • Ethno-cultural characteristics - Household and family characteristics

      This chapter presents a review of the national practices in the EECCA region with regard to the collection of ethno-cultural characteristics in the censuses of the 2010 round, comparing these with other countries in the UNECE region.

    • Housing

      All countries in the UNECE region that conducted a population census in the 2010 round and responded to the UNECE survey also collected information on housing. A few countries (for example Tajikistan) collected only very limited information on housing, while most countries collected detailed information on a number of housing topics selected from among those presented in the 2010 CES Recommendations.

    • Agriculture

      It may seem, at a first glance, to be somewhat strange to include the subject of ‘agriculture’ in a review of practices of population and housing in censuses, since this is clearly a subject that is normally covered extensively in agricultural censuses. However, the CESR for the 2010 round of censuses gave particular attention to two non-core topics that countries could consider for inclusion in their population census, in order to facilitate the preparation of a frame of agricultural holdings by the household for use in a subsequent agricultural census.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Lessons learned and plans for the 2020 round

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    • Lessons learned and plans for the 2020 round: Introduction

      It is generally recognised that censuses of population and housing are never perfect, and that mistakes are made and/or poor practices followed. The value of making critical evaluations of the entire census process is that they not only help to assess the quality of the data but also enable the valuable lessons learned to be recorded in order to benefit the design and planning of subsequent census operations.

    • Key lessons learned

      While there may be a great number of circumstances and situations experienced during the course of taking a census that are unique to each country, there are also many common experiences and hence similarities in the lessons learned throughout the EECCA countries and indeed, across the UNECE region as a whole. In reviewing the responses to the survey a number of common themes emerged. However, it should be noted here that the survey itself was quite challenging, in that it required countries to critically review their last census and succinctly describe those elements that went well and those that did not. For some countries, the results provided an early insight into how their next census might develop in the light of the lessons learned.

    • Plans for 2020

      At the time of the UNECE survey (early 2013), planning for the next round of censuses was either at a very early stage or, in the case of several countries, non-existent. Nevertheless, from the comments reported above it is clear that for some aspects of the census at least, some forward thinking had already been undertaken. This is particularly the case where the future use of technology and/or other innovations are concerned. Accordingly, the survey enquired about future plans with reference to a number of specific topic areas such as technology and innovations.

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