Current Affairs
Preparations underway for Census 2021 which will include some innovations

Today is the European Day of Statistics, which is being celebrated for the third time and which gives value to the importance of having official statistics. In Malta, this information is collected by the National Office of Statistics. Three years away from the biggest exercise in statistics collection, this office is already working on Census 2021, which will include a number of innovations including collecting information for the first time through the Internet.

Statistics are not just numbers, but they also help to shed light on what is happening around us: from the economy to culture, the quality of life, education, the disability sector and other issues.

The acting Director General of the NSO, Etienne Caruana, said that statistics are essential for the decisions taken in the country. Around 160 members of staff work at the statistics office, who are bound to only use the information they collect for statistics purposes.

“Once the information is received here it is not handed over to anyone else and the law is clear in this regard, and something we take extremely seriously. In fact, we are investing a lot in technology and certifications of confidentiality to ensure the quality of this type of service,” said Mr Caruana.

Mr Caruana observed that over time, the way in which statistics are collected has also developed. “Today, we collect information from registers, in fact, we are trying to be more careful in the way we collect information, so that as far as possible you reduce the burden on families and even enterprises, but at the same time we can collect the statistics which are harmonized despite this development.”

Mr Caruana aded that all EU countries, including Malta, use the same methodology and measurement. He said that 80% of the results are sent to EUROSTAT, which compares one country with the another and comes out with a European average.

The NSO has already started working on the national census which is expected to take place in three years’ time. Mr Caruana said that work is already underway to collect information using the Internet as well.

“We are also working on the census so that the output we give will be more user friendly than before. In fact, we are working on publishing the information on GIS, in other words, basically we will have the information published at a at 1km grid on Malta’s map,” he explained.  “This means that from the census data you will have information at every 1km grid in the country including more details on each locality, such as how many people there are, how many households, how many are in employment and how many live near the sea.”

He added that more internal work which is not always visible, is constantly being carried out by their office, so that the work of the NSO will be more relevant.

Here is the video issued by the NSO on European Statistics Day: