Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.7, No.4, 1991. pp. 457474

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Census by Questionnaire – Census by Registers and Administrative Records: The Experience of Finland

The use of administrative records in Finnish population censuses began in 1970 and has been increasing ever since. The Population and Housing Census of 1990 was totally register-based, without using a single questionnaire. In 1980 and 1985, the size of the population was determined on the basis of Central Population Register data. However, information on the work-place and occupation of the population aged 15–74 years, whose names and addresses had been obtained from the Central Population Register, was gathered using questionnaires. Some data on economic activity relating to census day in 1980 and 1985 were also collected from various administrative records. The existence of questionnaire-based and register-based data sets on individuals allowed comparison of data at the level of the individual, giving a good idea of how things will change when the use of administrative records is adopted.

A system of register-based employment statistics was introduced into annual production in 1987. It was tested and developed further in 1988 and 1989 to ensure a satisfactory data quality in 1990.

Census of population; administrative registers; register-based census system; comparisons of collection methods.

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