NSO launches public consultation for 2021 population and housing census

Andrea Piacquadio (Pexels)

The National Statistics Office has launched a public consultation for Census of Population and Housing 2021.

The Census which will be the 18th national census will be held on Sunday 10 October 2021. The national census is held every ten years, and involves the carrying out of a comprehensive survey to enumerate all permanent residents in Malta.

Next year, an estimated population of half a million living in private households and in about 250 institutional households will be surveyed. Part of the census process includes a public consultation on additional themes and questions that could potentially be included in the census. NSO said that at this stage it is essential to ensure that the needs of users are carefully considered.

For the census 2021, the entire population would be evenly divided into over 1,000 enumeration areas which would typically encompass an average of 220 dwellings. The enumeration areas will be assigned to about 1,000 field interviewers which will be recruited purposely for the census. The field interviewers would collect the data directly from the household.

NSO explained that census 2021 would be marked by important innovations. Participants can opt to fill in the questionnaire through an online form. This would take approximately 20 minutes for a conventional household of three persons.

Interviewers will record the information in tablet computers. NSO remarked that the main advantage of this innovation is enhanced information security given that all collected data will be encrypted so that only authorised personnel with access to a secret password can read it. Further, the NSO is seeking to reduce paper use. Printed forms will still be available.

The enumeration process will include geocoding that is the recording of the coordinates of each dwelling and studying census results based on a one kilometre squared grid. This will allow a geospatial element at the analysis stage .

The questionnaire aims to collect key socio-economic information, in line with national legislation and European regulatory requirements, as well as the recommendations, concepts and definitions on population censuses made by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

The NSO has invited stakeholders to send their written submissions to email populationcensus.nso@gov.mt by Sunday 31 May 2020.