Unique Source of Im­por­tant In­for­ma­tion

Cen­sus data are an im­por­tant in­put in so­cio-eco­nomic pol­icy plan­ning

Economy of Belarus - - STATISTICS - Vladimir ZINOVSKY, Chair­man of the National Sta­tis­tics Com­mit­tee of the Repub­lic of Be­larus

New Ap­proaches

The last cen­sus in Be­larus was held from 14 to 24 Oc­to­ber 2009. The National Sta­tis­tics Com­mit­tee of the Repub­lic of Be­larus has fin­ished an­a­lyz­ing the in­for­ma­tion ob­tained dur­ing the cen­sus and is now dis­tribut­ing the ag­gre­gate cen­sus data.

We in­tro­duced a num­ber of new ap­proaches to the method­ol­ogy and le­gal frame­work of the cen­sus and adopted new data pro­cess­ing so­lu­tions.

The 2009 cen­sus was the first pop­u­la­tion cen­sus held af­ter Law of the Repub­lic of Be­larus of 13 July 2006 “On pop­u­la­tion cen­sus” was adopted. The law cre­ated a le­gal frame­work for col­lect­ing and pro­cess­ing per­sonal data and re­leas­ing the re­sults. Here I would like to em­pha­size that con­fi­den­tial­ity is cru­cial for the suc­cess of a cen­sus. There­fore, the law con­tains se­ri­ous safe­guards to pro­tect per­sonal in­for­ma­tion. The law guar­an­tees that the in­for­ma­tion is confidential, can­not be re­leased to other govern­ment agen­cies and should be used solely for the for­ma­tion of ag­gre-

The most im­por­tant re­source the so­ci­ety can have is hu­man cap­i­tal. The eval­u­a­tion of qual­ity and quan­tity of this cap­i­tal at all lev­els from the small­est vil­lage to the en­tire coun­try is one of the most cru­cial el­e­ments of modern gov­er­nance. Be­sides the ques­tion “How many peo­ple do we have?” we need to an­swer other ques­tions like “Who are we” to learn about our age, gender, ed­u­ca­tion, pro­fes­sion, eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity and other im­por­tant pa­ram­e­ters and “Where do we live” which in­cludes the type of our hous­ing, ameni­ties, In­ter­net ac­cess. The an­swers to all these ques­tions are pro­vided by cen­suses. Cen­turies have passed, new al­ter­na­tive ap­proaches to sta­tis­ti­cal re­search have emerged, but a tra­di­tional na­tion-wide pop­u­la­tion cen­sus re­mains the source of most ac­cu­rate de­mo­graphic and so­cial in­for­ma­tion.

gate cen­sus data. The law meets national and in­ter­na­tional data pro­tec­tion re­quire­ments and con­trib­utes to shap­ing a bet­ter at­ti­tude to cen­suses. In line with the law, only the ag­gre­gate cen­sus data can be re­leased. Cen­sus forms and their elec­tronic rep­re­sen­ta­tions are now per­ma­nently stored at govern­ment ar­chive agen­cies. They are duly pro­tected from dam­age, dis­tor­tion and unau­tho­rized ac­cess.

The cen­sus pro­gram has also un­der­gone con­sid­er­able changes. While work­ing on ques­tions to be in­cluded in the cen­sus forms we took into con­sid­er­a­tion the coun­try’s needs in get­ting up-to-date and ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion. Com­pared with the 1999 cen­sus, the pro­gram in­cluded new ques­tions re­lated to the do­mes­tic and ex­ter­nal mi­gra­tion and la­bor mi­gra­tion to study the work­force in each ad­min­is­tra­tive district, town and agro­town. This was the first time in the his­tory of pop­u­la­tion cen­suses in Be­larus that we got ex­haus­tive in­for­ma­tion on the dis­tri­bu­tion of work­force across eco­nomic sec­tors in line with in­ter­na­tional clas­si­fi­ca­tion.

Tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion new life­style trends in Be­larus brought about by in­te­gra­tion into the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, glob­al­iza­tion, pen­e­tra­tion of the In­ter­net and in­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies, we in­cluded ques­tions about the avail­abil­ity of a com­puter and the In­ter­net ac­cess in a house­hold.

We have widely em­braced com­puter tech­nolo­gies while pre­par­ing for cen­suses. The elec­tronic data­base of ur­ban and ru­ral house­holds made our work eas­ier and se­cured a com­pre­hen­sive cov­er­age of the pop­u­la­tion.

Some peo­ple are skep­ti­cal about any event car­ried out by the govern­ment. Cen­suses are no ex­cep­tion. There­fore the aware­ness rais­ing cam­paign is of great im­por­tance. Such cam­paigns help us shape a more pos­i­tive at­ti­tude to cen­suses.

We have also come up with new ap­proaches to the cen­sus con­duct. We car­ried out the cen­sus not only where peo­ple live, but also at hous­ing main­te­nance of­fices, schools, ru­ral coun­cils where per­ma­nent cen­sus of­fices were cre­ated. These of­fices col­lected data re­gard­ing over

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