100,000+ Croatian Residents Successfully Complete Croatian E-Census

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the very first phase of the Census of Population, Households and Dwellings, which will last until September the 26th, started yesterday through the E-citizens system. More than 100,000 citizens were successfully registered by 20:00 yesterday, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported.

The first phase is followed by the second phase of the census from September the 27th to October the 17th, when almost 8,000 enumerators are set to go out into the field to enumerate those who didn’t enumerate themselves online, and to control and correct mistakes made by citizens’ self-enumeration. But just how will the accuracy of the data that people provide by filling in the Croatian e-Census or during the field phase of the 2021 census be controlled?

The reference point of the census is the 31st of August 2021, and according to the concept of people’s usual place of residence, the census will include all citizens who lived in their place of residence for a year or came to live in a place of residence with the intention of staying for at least one year.

The census questionnaire consists of three parts – persons, households and dwellings – and contains 38 questions. One household member can list all members of their household through the e-Citizens system as part of the Croatian e-Census.

There’s a penalty for inaccurate and incomplete results…

After completing the self-enumeration, people will receive a control code which they will then photograph or print out and give to the enumerator when he knocks on their doors. They don’t have to admit the enumerator into their homes after filling in the Croatian e-Census, it is enough to give them the aforementioned control code. 

A fine of 2,000 to 5,000 kuna will be imposed on people who refuse to provide data during the Croatian 2021 census, either via the Croatian e-Census or in person, as well as to those who provided inaccurate and/or incomplete data during the carrying out of the census.

It’s very easy to sit and talk about fines, but just how will the CBS control whether people have provided accurate and complete data, given that the census is based on statements and that the enumerator has absolutely no right to request any personal documents or doubt the accuracy of the data?

Although more than 1000 controllers monitor the work of the field enumerators, they control the accuracy and coverage of the collected data, how they will control the accuracy of all data during the data processing procedure? On top that, what will happen to the list of empty apartments, houses and cottages and are they even entered into the records?

“The State Bureau has repeatedly stated that the data provided by persons should be complete and accurate. Enumerators will familiarise household members with this. The enumerator can’t check the accuracy of the data during the enumeration process because the census is based on a statement. However, during data processing, the Office will pair data with data from administrative databases and control the accuracy and reliability of the data. People living outside Croatia aren’t listed. Persons who have a household in Croatia can enumerate members of their household in Croatia independently via e-Citizens or during the second phase of enumeration by giving that data to the enumerator. Housing units that are empty will be listed as empty apartments,” the CBS told Vecernji list.

Croatian demographer Marin Strmota says that this census will not be comparable to any taken in the past in any case.

“I don’t know what the mechanisms will be for checking the accuracy of the data collected by the census and with which databases in the Central Bureau of Statistics are networked. It’s also unclear how it will be controlled when it comes to the listing of fictitious residents, for example, are the IP addresses from which citizens filled in the census questionnaire visible? If the control mechanisms aren’t good, manipulations are possible,” stated Strmota.

After the Census of Population, Households and Dwellings, we’ll finally be able find out if Croatia has less than four million inhabitants. The first results of the census will be published sixty days after the end of the census carried out in the field, writes Vecernji list.

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