More than 30 million German citizens were surveyed

The census will start in Germany in a few days. By mid-May, more than 30 million randomly selected German citizens will be surveyed. All information at a glance.

It’s a kind of country inventory: from May 15, the federal and state government statistical offices will conduct a census for the first time since 2011.

Nationwide, more than 30 million citizens have been surveyed to find out how many people live in Germany, how they live and work.

Who is being interviewed?

An estimated 10.3 million randomly selected people are asked about name, gender, marital status and nationality, among others. According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, about three-quarters of people are also asked questions by an extended questionnaire. It is about the qualifications of leaving school or a job.

About 300,000 people living in dormitories and municipal accommodation are also registered. Residents of the shared accommodation are not interviewed directly. The facility manager provides information there.

Moreover, all of the approximately 23 million homeowners or administrations must provide information about their apartments and apartment buildings. In Germany there is no uniform administrative register that records the stock of apartment buildings and apartments across the board. That is why the registration of buildings and apartments is an important part of the 2022 census, explained the Federal Statistical Office.

For the first time, the cold net rent, the duration and reason of a vacancy and the source of heating energy are also questioned. This addresses current data requirements and provides an important database for future planning.

What is the purpose of registration?

The goal is to create a credible planning basis for political and economic decisions at the federal, state, and local levels. The purpose of the census is to determine the exact population figure and to correct inaccuracies in the population registers.

In 2011, it turned out that fewer people live in many cities and communities than expected – with painful financial consequences, as the amount of payments from the financial equalization system is based on population.

How does the survey work?

Nationwide, 100,000 so-called survey officers will be deployed. The relevant interviewer comes on a previously announced date. All selected persons are asked questions about age, marital status or family size. This takes five to ten minutes.

About three-quarters of people are also asked questions by an extended questionnaire. It is about the qualifications of leaving school or a job. This survey will take another 10 to 15 minutes. You can answer these questions directly in a personal conversation, fill out a paper questionnaire, or answer them later online.

There are no personal interviews in the registration of buildings and dwellings. Owners and administrations of the living space will receive a letter with internet access details on the main date.

Do you have to answer?

According to the census law of 2022, the selected persons must provide information and it is not possible to refuse participation. Failure to comply with this obligation, according to the Federal Office, may result in a fine.

How is data protection guaranteed?

The Federal Office states that data protection requirements under the Federal Statistics Act and the General Data Protection Regulation have been complied with. The data will not be passed to the authorities outside of official statistics and will only be evaluated anonymously.

In addition, personal data will be requested for processing and will be deleted at the earliest possible time. Only summary results have been published, which do not allow conclusions to be drawn for individuals, families or buildings, he said. Interviewers should engage in writing to maintain statistical confidentiality.

How often is a registration made?

The European Union obliges its member states to conduct a census every ten years. This would have happened in Germany in 2021, but the date was postponed due to the corona pandemic.

When do surveys start?

The deadline is May 15, 2022. Surveys should be completed by mid-August. The 2022 census results are expected to be available by the end of 2023.

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