Croatian Census Coming, Refusal to Participate Could Result in Fine

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, former Central Bureau of Statistics’ director Marko Kristof spoke for N1 about the upcoming Croatian census, the largest project of the Central Bureau of Statistics that is conducted every ten years.

“This is the most demanding statistical survey and the largest activity of any statistical office. Its a huge job and a great methodological and communication challenge,” warned Kristof, adding that this year’s Croatian census is even more demanding because the data from different sources will all be combined. Namely, in addition to contacting residents in the field, residents will be able to fill in the censues themselves through the popular e-Citizens (e-Gradjani) system.

“Filling in the Croatian census through the e-citizens system is a transition to the complete abolition of the census. Modern countries no longer conduct the census by going door to door,” Kristof stated, adding that he believes this will be a very good step forward.

There are three weeks left until the Croatian census starts being carried out, and Kristof points out that not much information about it is even known yet – no campaign has been conducted to explain to residents what the census is for and that the key thing is to enumerate people in their usual places of residence. He hopes, he says, that things in this regard will be done in a proper and timely manner.

As for the date itself, he says it’s good that the reference date has been moved from the traditional March the 31st, when the epidemic was much stronger than it is now. “The second thing is that if the census had been conducted then, it would have been too politicised,” he explained.

He stated that the biggest challenge in any census is to determine the permanent population: ”When you have several different choices, it’s an additional challenge. There’s a list of households and dwellings, not just a list of people. The key thing is whether the person was staying in the place where he/she was listed at the reference moment.

“There’s a consensus among demographers that there will be less than four million of us”

Kristof says it is necessary to enumerate the entire population and if a person refuses to participate, there is a possibility of punishment. but he isn’t at all sure how that could ever be implemented.

He expects the number of Croatian residents to be smaller. “There’s a consensus among demographers that there will be less than four million residents of Croatia. The population will be the biggest challenge. We’ll find out how many people are listed, but when it comes to the exact number of residents, we’ll need to wait a while. European regulations say the official results should come two years after the census is carried out. We could get the final results at the end of 2022,” he said.

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