How and when does the Population Census take place?

The national census is organised by the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, between the 15th February and the 31st March; this time in purely electronic form on the website or via the mobile application. The current epidemiological situation does not allow for an assisted census, in which assistants can help out inhabitants at respective contact points or mobile assistants that can visit households on request (for example the elderly). At the end of January parliament passed an amendment to the law meaning that municipal assistants would be in the terrain only from 1st April until 31st October, 2021 according to the current epidemiological situation. Therefore, even people who do not have access to the internet do not have to worry that they will not fulfil their obligation. If they cant take part in the census unaided or with the help of their families during the allotted period, the city district and their assistants will help them.

The form will be online. But how do I sign up?

Registration for the electronic census will be via their national identification number or electronic identification card. Additional information will be first names without surnames.

Will census information be available in multiple languages?

Yes, several language versions will be available directly on the website:

Can people who do not have permanent residence in Bratislava, but live here take part?

Anyone who has permanent, temporary, tolerated residence in Bratislava should be counted. Even residents who do not have permanent residence in Bratislava now have the obligation to join the census. At the same time, in future we would be happy if all those who live and work in Bratislava change their permanent residency accordingly. This would not only significantly help their city district, but also the whole city of Bratislava itself. As income from these shared taxes is a significant income for the city.

Why do we need a census, isn't it enough to calculate it from permanent residency registers?

The basis of the change to the 2021 census is that it is integrated, where various state registers and records (and data within) are used and these will be supplemented by data from the online census – straight from the population itself. The basis of such registers is the register of natural persons from the Ministry of Interior, which draws data from the registry of births, deaths and marriages (mostly from city districts and municipalities). This is what we mean when we are talking about records according to permanent residence. The problem with this, is that within these records many municipalities have historical errors, or inaccuracies. For this reason, a form of double verification has been adopted: the register of natural persons and other registers are a basic tool, but this information must be then confirmed by the population via the census that they are in fact alive. According to qualitative analyses of the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic in smaller municipalities (mainly those that did not have vital registry offices in the past) there are many registered 'dead souls'. These are people who, for example have moved abroad and died there but official documentation of the fact did not reach Slovakia. This is not a regular case for Bratislava, but since the census is taking place throughout the country the same methodology will be used. The census as a statistical survey is not only intended to determine the current population, but also the demographic, socio-economic, cultural, and family characteristics of the population. During the census, not only the number of people with permanent residence is determined (something that can be immediately ascertained via the registry of natural persons), but also the number of people with current and habitual residence.

When we are now talking about an integrated census, how did it look in the past? Were data from records used at all?

An integrated census means that data from state registers are used and supplemented by data from the population. Within these registers, those that met qualitative requirements for data correctness and completeness, ie. register of natural persons, register of addresses, data from social insurance, data on health insurance, data from cadastral registry, etc. This is an extensive data set, which is used in the 2021 census. Inhabitants fill in data about themselves which isn't included in registers, such as the education attainment, employment, workplace, nationality, mother tongue or religious persuasion. No, in relation to completed data about residents, homes and flats were not used from registers in the past. The only example is from the 2011 census where identifiers were sent and where census commissioners had information on permanent residence available under a specific form D, but this still had to be adjusted frequently. And where they didn't have it, they asked residents for identification data to assign them identifiers, which were then marked on their census forms.

What data do you draw from? How many people really lived in Bratislava in 2011, how did you calculate it was 65,000 less?

Bratislava has long recorded a difference between data from the Statistical Office and the population register. This is known by all the mayors of the respective districts, and most councillors. Therefore, when Matúš Vallo became mayor, a data unit was founded which began to devote themselves intensively to this. It started to group data from the registers of city districts, to compare and verify it with other registers and records from municipalities, and within this a difference of 65,000 was identified. Not only have we come to this conclusion (the city in cooperation with city districts), but also the state analytical unit of the Institute of Financial Policy have published this observation. In addition to this, according to hard data there are a further 60,000 unaccounted people with habitual residency.

If you have known about the data discrepancies for two years, then why has it not been acted upon?

Matúš Vallo solved this intensively with the government of Peter Pellegrini, and since with the government of Igor Matovič. We have also dealt with this separately with the Ministry of Finance and, in particular, with the Statistical Office but the answer has always been that the basis of the data is the census and they can do nothing more about it. The only thing that correct this wrong, is proper participation in the upcoming Population Census 2021. To this end we have taken on the responsibility, started an information campaign to communicate this intensively also with city districts, to their mayors and councillors. Precisely in order to be able to show statisticians at the end of this year that we really do have half a million permanent residents.