Next year, the national census will be the 18th one carried out in the country. The first was done in 1842. Suggestions will be accepted until the end of this month for themes and questions which can be considered to be included in the census.
The next population and house census will take place on 10 October next year. The preparations by the National Office of Statistics began a while ago.
The General Director of the NSO, Etienne Caruana, who is the official responsible for the census, explained that the information will all be collected through the Internet. He said that for the first time since the census was taken in 1842, this will be the first paperless census.
“You have an advantage with this operation. First of all we are giving households. more guarantees vis-a-vis confidentiality. As soon as they give us the information over the Internet or by us going to their homes, we will be collecting it directly on a laptop which goes straight to our servers,” said Mr Caruana.
Mr Caruana said that the census is the only survey for which data is collected from everyone in the country, which amounts to a population of around half a million people.
For the first time, the information which will be collected from this census will not be collected according to the locality but for every square metre of the country.
“Following this census, we will be publishing maps of Malta and how families and households are distributed, the household sizes and more details than just the locality. In fact, even within the EU, we will have a clearer picture with the regulation of a 1km square grid – showing how Europe is distributed and how families are distributed.”
The NSO will be accepting suggestions until the end of May for questions which may be included, which can be sent by email on [email protected]
Mr Caruana remarked that there are a number of questions related to the family and houses which will be the same for all countries in the EU where the census is carried out every ten years.
“We cannot add anything to those questions. Obviously, we can only add those questions which we need to add for national purposes, in other words, the consultation will be on the additional variables only”, he added.
Mr Caruana explained that according to the Census Act, the final decision about the choice of questions will be taken between himself as the official in charge, and the Prime Minister.