Our census is subject to a European Council (Framework) Census Regulation (EC No. 763/2008) covering the harmonisation of outputs from member states’ censuses of population and housing.
The Framework Regulation provides for the specification of outputs, the means of submission of these to Eurostat, and the requirement to provide metadata and quality reports.
The regulation is intended to be a permanent piece of legislation concerned with establishing common rules for the decennial provision of comprehensive population and housing data to be collected from traditional census-taking or from alternative sources such as surveys and registers, or from combinations of such sources.
The regulation set 2011 as the reference year for the latest round of censuses. Henceforward, reference years will be determined by subsequent Commission Regulations. The regulation also requires Member States to make available the results of their census by the end of March 2014.
The topics specified by the Framework Regulation cover:
- Place of usual residence
- Size of locality of usual residence (urban/rural)
- Marital status
- Economic activity status
- Employment status
- Educational attainment
- Country of birth
- Country of citizenship
- Ever resided abroad and year of entry into country
- Place of usual residence 1 year before census
- Relationship within household
- Status within household
- Status within family
- Type of housing arrangement
- Tenure status of household
- Type of household
- Size of household
- Type of family
- Size of family
- Type of living quarters
- Type of ownership
- Location of living quarters
- Occupancy status
- Floor space/Number of rooms
- Density standard of accommodation
- Housing amenities (water supply, toilet facilities, bathing facilities, type of heating)
- Type of dwelling
- Period of construction
The Commission Regulations set out in separate (Implementing) regulations:
the classifications of the categories and technical specification for the topics to be covered in statistical programme (EC No. 1201/2009)
the detail of the programme of statistical data and metadata to be provided to Eurostat by member states from the 2011 round of European censuses (based on the core topics specified by the Council Framework Regulation) (EC No. 519/2010)
the structure and measures of quality assessment to be reported on and the technical format for the transmission of data (EU No. 1151/2010).
Eurostat has announced proposals for a European Census Hub by which member states can ‘pull’ the 2011 Census data specified in the Implementing Regulations. The difficulty of achieving common specifications and applying comparable statistical disclosure control methodologies across the 27 member states has been recognized as a major challenge.