Population and Housing Census data represent an essential source of vital statistical information ranging from the lowest small-area geographical divisions to national and international levels. 

The data presented here are based on a set of European statistical legislation that provides key statistical definitions and defines the data and metadata to be produced. The national census exercises are also undertaken following international guidelines and recommendations prepared by the United Nations in cooperation with Eurostat. This helps to ensure comparability of the data presented here.

The Population and Housing Census is, in a broadest sense, a national statistical operation intended to count the entire population and housing stock of a given country and to collect information on its main characteristics (geographic, demographic, social, economic as well as household and family characteristics).

National practices differ in terms of the methods and data sources used to produce these data. There are also changes over time between decennial census rounds as countries attempt to reduce the costs and respondent burden of the data collection and to make efficient use of new data sources.

The 2011 Population and Housing Census marks a milestone in census exercises in Europe. For the first time, European legislation defined in detail a set of harmonised high-quality data from the population and housing censuses conducted in the EU Member States. As a result, the data from the 2011 round of censuses:

  • can be seen as an important collective endeavour of the European Statistical System (ESS),
  • provide researchers, analysts, businesses and the general public with access to an unprecedented richness of harmonised and comparable information, and
  • offer exceptional flexibility to cross-tabulate different variables and to provide geographically detailed data.

The richness and the volume of data collected by the NSIs also demanded a new means of data transmission. In order to respond to this challenge, a modern and innovative technical solution for the transmission and dissemination of data has been developed – the Census Hub.