The Government of the Russian Federation has announced its decision to hold the All-Russian Census of Population on a new date, in September 2021. By this time, the epidemiological situation in the country is expected to stabilize.
The initial decision to conduct a population census in 2021 was made by the Government of the Russian Federation during the summer of 2020, with little information available about how the COVID-19 pandemic might develop or improve the next year. The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has been showing promising results, the number of new cases is gradually decreasing, and a vaccination program has been launched.
In this regard, September 2021 is considered a "window of opportunity" for safely conducting the All-Russian Population Census.
First, the new deadlines allow us to remain almost within the UN-recommended period for conducting the national population censuses for 2020. Conducting the census in September 2021 will make it possible to maintain the necessary periodicity, ensure comparability, accuracy and correctness of the statistical data obtained for further comparative analysis both at the national and international level.
Secondly, the most important organizational criterion for conducting a census is the largest presence of the population at the place of residence. Rosstat's analysis of the events of the last year and the changes in society over the past decade has shown that under the current conditions, the optimal period for the census is September. This is the time when people return from vacation, actively prepare for the academic and business year, solve various issues with the state, and use electronic services more often.
Rosstat also draws attention to the fact that there are traditionally many student scribes working at censuses. The start of the census in September will allow them to continue their studies. It should be recalled that students, in addition to monetary remuneration, work on the census to obtain university credit.
Another important factor is that the weather in September is most comfortable for census takers, and there is no mass spread of seasonal colds.
Earlier, the statistical services of the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan and some other countries announced changes in the timing of the population census due to the epidemiological situation. Due to the pandemic, the timing of population censuses worldwide and other large-scale events, including the 2020 Olympics, the European Football Championship, Eurovision, etc., has been adjusted.
The All-Russian population census is to be held in digital format for the first time. The main change will be the opportunity to independently fill out an electronic census form on the portal "State Services." When going around residential premises, scribes will use tablets with special software. It will also be possible to take the census at the census sites, including in the premises of the multifunctional centres for the provision of state and municipal services "My Documents".