“This is a snapshot of the population”: Tatarstan preparing for 2020 Russian Census

8.500 census takers are to be involved in the work. More details about the features of the new campaign

“This is a snapshot of the population”: Tatarstan preparing for 2020 Russian Census Photo: ctv7.ru

The Russian census 2020 on the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan will cost the federal budget 300 million rubles, the head of the territorial body of the Federal State Statistics Service in the Republic of Tatarstan, Natalia Gataullina, said on 5 November at a briefing in the Tatarstan Cabinet of Ministers. What exactly will this money be spent on, how the current census will differ from the previous ones, and how the personal data of citizens obtained in it will be protected from intruders — read in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Who are we?

“As a rule, the census is prepared within two years,” Valery Kandilov, the chairperson of the Tatarstan committee on social and economic monitoring, made it clear that the event scheduled for next October is complex and responsible. “The main task set by the president of Russia by 2025 is to stabilize the population size. These are the issues related to mortality, fertility rates... How the plans that have been outlined have been implemented — we will see in 2020. The census answers the questions of who we are, what we are, where we live, what kind of education and sources of income we have, and a number of questions answers to which are necessary in the creation of social programmes.”

One of the tasks of the census is to “track the migration of the population”, in particular, from rural areas to cities, he said.

One of the tasks of the census is to “track the migration of the population”, in particular, from rural areas to cities, Kandiov says. Photo: tatar-inform.ru

This street, this house

“This is the twelfth all-Russian census since 1997,” said the head of the territorial body of the Federal State Statistics Service in the Republic of Tatarstan, Natalia Gataullina. “The census is the only unique source of data on population, household composition, marital status, level of education and many other things... The time when all this information will be collected is 12:00 a.m. on 1 October 2020.”

Today, according to Gataullina, “the information base for taking the census is being formed” — the lists of houses are being updated, the lists and boundaries of administrative units of municipalities are being specified, and so on.

In particular, it has already been found that almost a tenth of the houses (9,8%) in the republic needs to have identification plates replaced or installed. In total, if in the remaining year before the census the existing signs do not disappear, 60,200 plates need to be installed. The “efficiency of the census” and the completeness of the count of the population depend on this, stressed the head of the regional state statistics agency.

The creation of the information base — updating the address lists was carried out in two stages, she explained. First, they were compared with the official data in the Federal Information Address System — FIAS, then the registrars updated it. In August, 996 registrars, 15% of whom were students, went through all Tatarstan settlements and made corrections to the lists of addresses of houses and topographic materials.

In the 300 days remaining before the census, the entire territory will be divided into enumeration districts, an organizational plan will be drawn up, temporary census personnel will be trained, and so on.

Today, according to Gataullina, “the information base for the census is being formed” — the lists of houses are being updated, the lists and boundaries of administrative units of municipalities are being specified, and so on. Photo: tatar-inform.ru

8.500 census takers with tablets

“The Republic of Tatarstan is one of the largest regions, where 3,7 per cent of the total population of the Russian Federation live,” Natalia Gataullina reminded. “It consists of 43 municipal districts and two urban okrugs. Tatarstan has 3,119 settlements, 24 cities, 17 urban-type settlements and 2,078 rural settlements. The population of Tatarstan by the beginning of 2019 amounted to 3,898,600 people, 76,9% of which — urban population, 23,1% — rural.”

9,800 people will take the census and update these figures, about 8,500 of which are directly census takers. In addition to the identity, blue briefcase and blue scarf with symbols of the census 2020, the census takers will have a tablet — paper questionnaires are becoming a thing of the past and are still only in the reserve in case of a failure in the computer programme.

Besides, Tatarstan citizens will have the opportunity to independently pass the census online from 1 to 25 October 2020 on the single portal of state and municipal services, as well as in the multifunctional centres for provision of state and municipal services (the offices “My Documents”) or at stationary census sites.

Tatarstan citizens will have the opportunity to independently pass the census online from 1 to 25 October 2020 on the single portal of state and municipal services, as well as in the multifunctional centres for provision of state and municipal services or at stationary census sites. Photo: Gulandam Fatkhullina

More details, please!

The questions that the census takers will ask during the census remain consistent with the questions of the previous censuses to ensure that the data obtained in 2020 are comparable with the information of previous periods, but some of them are “edited” to take into account the realities of today. According to Gataullina, questions about entrepreneurship, self-employment and the production of goods for their own needs were added to the census lists “to obtain a comprehensive and detailed picture of employment”.

The block of questions on employment and unemployment has also been updated. For example, the question of the main job has become more detailed, and the question of the command of Russian and other languages is supplemented by the question of their use in everyday life. The questions about education have been brought into line with the federal legislation, for example, there has appeared the column “preschool education”, and the column “secondary education” has been divided into sub-items “skilled worker, employee” and “mid-level specialist”.

Another interesting detail — the questionnaires will be translated into other languages — for those who prefer to answer in their native language. But on what precisely is still unknown, told Gataullina. The decision on this is taken at the level of the Russian Federation, and so far it has not been adopted.

The questions about entrepreneurship, self-employment and the production of goods for their own needs have been added to the census lists “to obtain a comprehensive and detailed picture of employment”. Photo: preobrazhenovka.ru

High level of trust

“The census is a snapshot of the population of the country,” she stressed, answering the question of Realnoe Vremya why it is necessary to take census today if the state has the most detailed databases of personal data about all citizens of Russia and citizens of other states living in the Russian territory. “Census forms contain a unique set of data. Many databases are tied to the residence permit, but here we learn about the actual place of residence of the population in a particular territory, the needs and activities of citizens.”

Since the data collected by the census takers do not contain names, surnames and phone numbers, as well as a specific place of work, they are completely impersonal, so there is no reason to fear that they will leak and be used by attackers, explained Natalia Gataullina and Valery Kandilov. The latter stressed that the use of modern technologies has enabled to limit the access of census takers to apartments as much as possible, and the level of trust in census takers among the population was high 9 years ago — then only 1,100 people refused to report information about themselves in the whole republic.

By Inna Serova
Tatarstan