27 July 2001
Symposium on Global Review of 2000 Round of
Population and Housing Censuses:
Mid-Decade Assessment and Future Prospects
United Nations Secretariat
New York, 7-10 August 2001
Population and Housing Census in Lithuania *
Dalia Ambrozaitiene **
1. The first population and housing census following the restoration of Lithuanian independence was conducted in April 2001, under a Population and Housing Census Law passed by the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania on 10 July 1999.
2. The census was designed to collect reliable data about the size of Lithuania’s population and its composition. It was a part of the worldwide population and housing programme for the 2000 round of censuses adopted by the United Nations.
3. Census activities started on 6 April 2001. The census obtained demographic and social characteristics of the population including education, educational attainment, nationality status, economic activity and occupation, sources of livelihood, knowledge of other languages and housing and living conditions.
4. The census method of enumeration of the population was through visiting the households for face-to-face interviews of the members and people residing in dwellings. The population registers were not used because they are under preparation and also contain no information about nationality, languages spoken, religion, workplace and occupation, and housing characteristics.
5. The census questionnaire was designed following the United Nations and Eurostat recommendations for the 2000 round of population and housing censuses. These recommendations were analysed and adjusted to national needs in cooperation with other Lithuanian institutions (replies received from all interested parties), demographers and other specialists.
6. To ensure complete census coverage, urban and rural territories were divided on the basis of schematic plans and maps. Lists of residential dwellings and occupied buildings were updated and cartographic materials were revised. The work was organized by the Lithuanian Department of Statistics and local statistical offices. Census commissions were established in each municipality.
7. Census managers and their deputies, supervisors and enumerators were selected and trained. In all, about 15,000 employees were recruited for the census: about 600 census managers and their deputies, 1,900 supervisors and 12,000 enumerators.
8. In most territories the census was completed in eight days, and in the remaining ones in ten days. Persons not enumerated due to some reason were given the option to be enumerated later.
9. According to the final figures reported by enumerators, census questionnaires were filled in for 3.5 million residents. The census results show a decline in Lithuania’s population and in the population living in its biggest cities. Population has declined due to negative natural increase, emigration and temporary outmigration of the permanent population.
10. The census data are being processed using optical-recognition techniques (scanners). Automatic coding based on the international classifications is used for coding education (ISCED), economic activities (NACE) and occupations. Final figures will be released in October 2001.
11. The law on statistics provides that statistical data are confidential and may be used only for statistical purposes and disseminated only when aggregated.
12. The census output will be analysed and published according to the users’ needs. The main census data will be available via the Internet and will be provided to Eurostat, the United Nations and other international organizations once the data processing is completed.