In the census to be taken next year, the number of Estonian residents may turn out bigger than suggested by data from the previous population count because according to estimates the methodology used in the 2000 census left several percent of the population not counted, Postimees said.
In next year's census, Statistics Estonia intends to use a different methodology. Allan Puur, a population scientist speaking to the newspaper, said that in the 2000 census the proportion of people not covered by the main census was estimated by conducting a post-enumeration survey. The survey, to check the accuracy of a census, is conducted in a small number of randomly chosen enumeration areas and the results of the main survey and the post-enumeration survey are put side by side. In Estonia a post-survey was conducted in 50 census areas and according to it 1.2% of the population or an estimated 16 000 people were not covered by the census, Postimees said.
Puur was sceptical about that figure, however. He said experts have estimated that actually from 2 to 5 percent of the population, or from 27 000 to 68 000 residents, may have been left out of the survey in 2000.
Diana Beltadze, project manager for the 2011 census, said that in order to get a result as accurate as possible the new census would be taken using a wholly different methodology. She said that prior to the census a body of data listing all residents of Estonia would be put together using a variety of sources such as the population register, the Health Insurance Fund and other registers. The data gathered in the census would be compared with that body of data later.
In the case of a person whose name is in the body of data but who has not been counted in the census, it will be checked whether his or her activity has left a trace in some Estonian register. If yes, that person will be counted as a resident. People who are known to be living in Estonia but do not receive official remuneration for their work or a pension, do not go to school, do not get in touch with the law and are in no other way in interaction with the state will be left uncounted.
Statistics Estonia to Use New Methodology in 2011 Census