Census 2022: Census starts on 15 May

What exactly is the census? Why is everybody who lives in the hall of residence surveyed? Do I have to take part in the survey?
Grafik in Gelb und Hellblau mit verschiedenen Symbolen wie einer Lupe, einem Haus, einem Smartphone und Sprechblasen

In 2022, a new census will be taken in Germany. The aim of the statistical survey is to determine how many people live in Germany and how they live and work.

Starting on 15 May, people all over the country will be interviewed in short personal interviews on general topics related to their life situation.

Many decisions at national, regional and local level are based on population and housing figures. In 2022, the primary source of data of the census will be the population registers in German municipalities. However, some of the population will also be interviewed directly as part of a survey of randomly selected households, in order to improve the quality of the database.

Based on this data, political, social and economic decisions can be made, such as:

  • Where should schools, kindergartens and hospitals be built?
  • Where is new residential space needed?
  • How will traffic systems be expanded and rebuilt?

Who will be interviewed?

Household survey (part of the population)

Slightly more than 10 % of the inhabitants of Germany are interviewed. That is about 10.3 million people. The households are selected at random. In a sample questionnaire (German) you can find out which information is required for the household survey. 

Full survey in  residential establishments and collective living quarters

In the Census 2022 a full survey will be conducted for all residents in residential establishments and collective living quarters. Due to a relatively high fluctuation or insufficient reporting behaviour, it can be assumed that there is a lot of outdated and/or incomplete information in the registers of residential establishments. Therefore, data on all residents is collected

This also includes our student halls of residence. Starting with the census deadline on 15 May 2022, the interviewers (the so-called survey officers) will first announce themselves in writing to the residents. On the announced date, the interviewers will identify themselves with an ID card and then conduct a short personal interview. Some of the participants additionally receive access data for an online questionnaire, which they use to answer further questions. In this case, an extended questionnaire is used, which also includes questions about education and employment.

A sample questionnaire for halls of residence (German) can be found online on the Census website.

Is participation in the census mandatory?

Yes, anyone who is selected for the survey is obliged to participate. The duty of disclosure is laid down in §23 of the Census Act.

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