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A quantitative approach to the European census quality reporting

Jan Beise
12. Quality assurance
By the Statistical Office of the European Communities, 2009.

The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament adopted in 2008 a regulation on population and housing censuses. For the first time, a European Union (EU) regulation defines the concepts to be used in the census exercises, the topics to be covered and the data sources, and fixes the reference year for the first round on 2011. Further legislative measures – currently under preparation – are foreseen to define the technical specifications and breakdowns of the topics, the programme of statistical data and metadata, the technical format for data transmission, the modalities and structure of the quality reports. The methodological elements of this Regulation acknowledge the Conference of European Statistician (CES)Recommendations for 2010 Round of Population and Housing Censuses.

The Regulation (EC) No 763/2008 attributes great importance to quality issues. In particular, it devotes one entire article to the quality assessment, defining its dimensions, prescribing the submission of quality reports from the Member States to Eurostat and stating that "The Commission (Eurostat) shall assess the quality of the data transmitted.” Hence, for the first time, the population and housing censuses in the EU will have a formal, structured and comparable quality reporting. Further, quality shall be assessed and this is a significant step forward in comparison to simple reporting.

Paper presented at the joint UNECE/Eurostat meeting on Population and Housing Censuses, Geneva, 28-30 October 2009.


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