The 2011 Population and Housing Census (PHC 2011) is used to collect data on all permanent residents, households and dwellings in Estonia. The census questionnaire consists of essential questions about population and living conditions, and the answers should reflect any changes that have occurred in the past ten years.
The questionnaire has three parts:
The questions in the Personal Questionnaire concern ethnic nationality, place of birth (including parents’ place of birth), mother tongue, migration, education, employment and marital status, and in case of women also the number of children. Another aim of the Census is to find out people’s religious preferences, because the Census is the only opportunity to collect such information. Answering the questions regarding religion is voluntary.
The questions about the dwelling concern its type, size and amenities. There are also questions about the composition of the household, ownership of the dwelling and possible ownership of agricultural holdings.
Compared to previous censuses, the 2011 Population and Housing Census will provide the society with a fuller dataset. For instance, for the first time, the census questionnaire includes questions about your knowledge of dialects, the origin of your grandparents, and whether any member of your household has permanently settled abroad after the census of 2000. This enables us to determine Estonia’s actual population size, the extent of external migration in the last decade, and the geographic distribution and living conditions of permanent residents in Estonia.
The exact number of questions depends on the respondent’s age, socio-economic status (employed, retired, etc.), previous changes of residence, type of dwelling, and other criteria. The answers to some questions are pre-filled in the questionnaire if a national database already contains the required information in a suitable format. Such information can be corrected if necessary. A single questionnaire is completed on each dwelling and household, but a separate questionnaire is completed on each resident.
In case of a household with two members, the completion of all questionnaires will take 30 to 45 minutes, on average, with a further 15 minutes required for each additional person.