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The European dissemination of 2011 census results

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

In 2008, the European Parliament and the Council adopted legislation that, for the first time in history, provides a framework to produce and disseminate comparable census data for all European Union (EU) Member States. This information will be of great value to policy making, administration, businesses and the EU citizens. It will not only support EU-wide activities, but will make it easier for people acting nationally or even regionally to see their situation as part of the larger European picture.

The EU legislation on censuses is "output oriented". It does not prescribe a specific methodology how the Member States have to conduct their censuses. The responsibility to develop appropriate census methodology and technology remains with the Member States (no "input harmonisation"). However, the EU legislation aims at a dissemination of census data that are comparable between the EU Member States. The data have to:
(a) follow transparent concepts, definitions and specifications;
(b) be of sufficient quality and subject to a quality reporting;
(c) follow a European programme of statistical data (hypercubes) and metadata, and be accessible via a user-friendly dissemination format.
To achieve this, the European Commission shall adopt different "implementing regulations".

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


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