The surveys for the 2022 census have started. From mid-May to around mid-August, more than 30 million people are interviewed in the census. The 2022 census is intended to provide current population and housing figures with a population census and a building and housing census. The statutory census deadline is May 15, 2022. This means that all the information requested relates to this date and is therefore comparable.

In contrast to a traditional census, in which all citizens are interviewed directly, this so-called household survey only includes a sample survey. The census was originally scheduled to take place in 2021. Due to the corona pandemic, it was postponed by a year.

All citizens selected for the survey are obliged to provide information. This is required by law by the 2022 census law and is necessary for the required high accuracy and quality of the results.

In addition to the population and demographic data, the census also determines the number of apartments and residential buildings in Germany. For this purpose, all owners and administrators of apartments or residential buildings are written to.

The surveys for the census of buildings and apartments with around 23 million respondents started a few days ago and are primarily taking place online. Owners or property managers will receive mail with their online access data from their state statistical office.

Furthermore, just over ten percent of the population, around 10.3 million people, are questioned in a short, personal interview. “For these surveys, up to 100,000 volunteer interviewers will be deployed over the next twelve weeks,” says Katja Wilken, overall project manager for the 2022 census at the Federal Statistical Office. The personal interview lasts about five to ten minutes and can be carried out at the front door with little contact.

In order to protect the interviewees from fraud, the interviewers identify themselves without being asked with an official survey officer ID card in connection with an official photo ID. Only on Saturday did a resident of the Bavarian town of Pforzen evict a census officer from his property because he presumably thought he was a fraud.

An argument then broke out between the two men, police said. The man who rang the bell was actually a volunteer at the statistics office and wanted to make an interview appointment with the 54-year-old.

In the last census in 2011, fraudsters used the survey for criminal activities. However, the survey officers did not appear unannounced, the statistics office emphasized. An appointment will be sent in the mail.

The aim of the census is to create a reliable planning basis for political and economic decisions at federal, state and local level. On this basis, constituencies are divided up, the distribution of votes in the Bundesrat is organized or the state financial equalization and municipal financial equalization are calculated.

The census also provides information on the living space, education and working life of the population. The census results are used by political decision-makers at federal, state and local level, but also in the European Union, as an important database and basis for planning.