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Photo: Alpár Kató – Daily News Hungary ©

Because of the pandemic, the 2021 census questionnaire will be made available online for everyone so that people can fulfil their legal obligation from the safety and convenience of their own home.

The census is getting a few new features in 2021, as official records and state data will be used for the very first time, and the questionnaire will also be made available online, for those who would rather not meet the census commissioner, reported Magyar Hírlap.

The Central Statistical Office (CSO) told Magyar Hírlap that in order for Hungarian and European Union decision-makers to decide on certain matters and take into consideration its effects they need “reliable, timely and spatially detailed data.”

The census is repeated every ten years and affects the entirety of the Hungarian population, as it is mandatory so that it can provide accurate and precise information and data. The census reflects the current social situation of the Hungarian society, in terms of, for example, education, employment, as well as population. This data then helps in making appropriate decisions based on different regions and settlements and helps in making long-term plans and development directions, but it also has a considerable role in the CSO’s data collecting system.

For the next ten years, population statistical surveys will be based on this year’s census, as a census plays an important role in any statistical survey and similar data collections, including continuous, annual and multi-annual statistical data collection, as well as administrative data sources. It is not just a momentary picture of Hungary’s situation, but a basis for future planning.

The census will take place between May 1 and June 28, 2021. All households should receive a letter from the CSO in the last days of April, requesting the census. These letters will contain unique codes for each address, with which a secure website can be accessed, where everyone will be able to fill out their questionnaire. Those who do not fill out theirs by May 16, will be contacted by counting commissioners between May 17 and June 20, as participation in the census is mandatory and a legal obligation. The CSO is working on making this as easy, comfortable as possible and less of a burden for everyone.

Another new addition will be the use of official registers, which are being more frequently used internationally. With the help of state data, the production of up-to-date census-like information will be possible, even in the decade in between two censuses

Hungary will go back to asking for the participant’s name on the questionnaire, as is the case in other EU countries. The census, however, serves a purely statistical purpose, and the data collected from it can only be presented in total.

The CSO provides all professional supervision during the process of preparation and implementation and will process and publish the data collected. At the same time, the local notaries will be responsible for territorial implementation. The recruiting of contributors will begin early next year; there are about 35,000 people needed to execute the census successfully. The CSO also held trial censuses with the participation of 14,000 households in 72 regions to ensure next year’s goes smoothly.

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