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The National Bureau of Statistics launches the PILOT census in 11 localities across the country, with the support of the European Union and UNFPA

Biroul Național de Statistică dă start recensământului de PROBĂ în 11 localități din țară, cu sprijinul Uniunii Europene și UNFPA

Starting from August 28, 2023, the PILOT Census of the population and housing (CPH) will be conducted in 11 localities in the Republic of Moldova. For the first time, the census will be carried out using tablets, applying modern methods of data collection. The announcement was made by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) during a press conference on August 25, 2023.

The Pilot Census will be conducted in the period August 28 – October 10 2023, and represents an important stage in the preparation process for the national population and housing census planned for the year 2024, which will be conducted with the financial and technical support of the European Union and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The subjects of the census are: i) INDIVIDUALS with usual residence in the Republic of Moldova, including those residing abroad for up to 12 months (for work, studies, and other purposes); ii) RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS (inhabited or uninhabited) or those with other uses if they contain at least one place of residence, and iii) PLACES OF RESIDENCE located in any building, regardless of whether they are inhabited or not on the reference date of the pilot census (August 28, 2023).

The pilot census will include questions from the census questionnaires (made public) that pertain to demographic, social, and economic characteristics of the population, households, and their places of residence. In total, there will be 3 questionnaires: about the individual, the building and place of residence, and the communal living space.

“The pilot census represents a mandatory stage in the preparation of a census, aimed at testing the methodology, census questionnaires, data collection methods, and various aspects regarding the organization of the enumeration process. The pilot census also helps to better understand the potential challenges and obstacles in successfully conducting the census next year, thus ensuring high-quality collected information”, emphasized the Director-General of the National Bureau of Statistics, Oleg Cara, in this context.

The Director of NBS expressed gratitude to partners from central and local public authorities, representatives from the academic environment and civil society, as well as development partners for their support in preparing and promoting the census of the population and housing in our country.

Oleg Cara mentioned that the census will provide important statistical data for the development of effective public policies, development projects in the social, demographic, and economic domains at both national and local levels. The Republic of Moldova will participate in the global round of population and housing censuses (conducted once every ten years), applying the recommendations of the United Nations, the Conference of European Statisticians, and the European Union in this field.

To carry out the pilot census, especially data collection in the field, NBS has employed around 160 enumerators, supervisors, and temporary census staff. Enumerators will wear hats and shirts with census logos, carry identification badges, bags, and tablets with the census logo to register the responses provided by individuals in census questionnaires.

On his turn, the Secretary General of the Government, Artur Mija, mentioned that the census will provide important statistical data for developing effective public policies, and citizens will have a basic role in carrying out this exercise: “The active participation and cooperation of citizens are of great importance, including at the pilot stage, and the information collected will contribute to obtaining a real picture and producing the desired changes in the communities in which we live. We are grateful for the commitment and continued support of the population in this important endeavor”.

Additionally, during the event, the project “Support to the National Bureau of Statistics in Conducting the Census of Population and Housing 2024” was launched. This project is funded by the European Union and co-funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The project commenced its activities in June 2023 and has a duration of 30 months. The overall objective of the project is to enhance the institutional capacity of NBS in preparing and conducting the 2024 census.

The total value of the project is 2.075 million EUR, of which 2 million EUR represent the contribution of the European Union, and 75 thousand EUR come from UNFPA’s contribution.

“Accurate information about the population and housing is essential for policy development in areas such as health, education, social protection, and local public administration reform. Additionally, they are important for the proper allocation of budgetary funds. The European Union supports the census process by providing technical assistance and equipment that will contribute to the digitisation of data collection and processing, in line with European and international standards”, stated Jānis Mažeiks, the European Union Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova.

According to the Resident Representative of UNFPA, Nigina Abaszada, strengthening the National Bureau of Statistics’ capacity to generate population data remains a priority for the current UNFPA Country Program for 2023-2027.

“The census represents an important step in aligning the Republic of Moldova with international standards and recommendations in the field of population statistics and strengthening the country’s demographic resilience. Reliable data are crucial for authorities to plan their budget framework and adjust policies efficiently and transparently, taking into account demographic changes and trends, as well as people’s needs”, highlighted Nigina Abaszada, UNFPA Moldova’s Resident Representative.

The data provided in the census by enumerated individuals will be strictly confidential and protected in accordance with Law No. 231/2022 on the Census of Population and Housing and Law No. 93/2017 on Official Statistics. They will be used solely for statistical purposes to develop and disseminate census results, without the possibility of identifying personal data.

According to Law No. 231/2022 on the Census of Population and Housing, Article 7 (2) d), participation in the census is mandatory for individuals.

The last census of population and housing took place in the Republic of Moldova in the year 2014.