In 2011, the Portuguese will be able, for the first time, to respond to online censuses. The legislation that regulates the 2011 Census, which will be published next Monday, already provides for the possibility of responses through the Internet, Lusa anticipates.
According to information provided by the National Statistics Institute to the agency, the data collected during the next census will serve to make the transition to a new census model.
Another novelty is the evaluation of «administrative files to verify whether the information they contain can be used to produce information equivalent to the census, at least for the most important variables», explained the INE.
«This model has been used by several European countries, which have managed to produce census statistical information on an annual basis», adds this organization.
Two years from now, the collection of information on population and housing buildings will still be done according to the classic model – with distribution and face-to-face collection of questionnaires – but, for the first time, it will also be possible to choose to answer questions via the Internet.
In 2008 and 2009, the first two test surveys were carried out to simulate the conditions under which the work will be carried out and to identify and correct any flaws and in 2010 a pilot survey will be carried out.
Field tests are extremely important, particularly to understand the budgetary implications of the project, said INE, revealing that the budget for the 2011 Census is 47 million euros.
Censuses are the largest statistical operations carried out in any country in the world. In Portugal they happen every ten years. The next will count on the collaboration of 30 thousand people, covering a universe that is estimated at 10.7 million inhabitants.
Meanwhile, INE dedicates a section of its website to monitor the process that will lead to the 2011 Census.