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Register data as the basis of the 2011 Census

Data from residents’ registration offices

The 2011 Census is largely based on data from population registers. Virtually as a snapshot taken on 9 May 2011, excerpts from the registers were transmitted first to the competent Land statistical offices and from there to the Federal Statistical Office. Here, the relevant data from all over the country were merged in a separate and safe area of official statistics.

What type of information was transmitted from the population registers?

In addition to the address, register data such as name, sex, month and year of birth, marital status and citizenship(s) were transmitted for every individual. Besides, the register excerpts contained the date of moving into the dwelling that was inhabited on 9 May 2011 and also existing links, as they are called. The latter referred to data on spouses, registered partners or children. That information was needed for generating households. And finally, information on a legal affiliation with a religious society under public law was transmitted, too. Please see the 2011 Census Act (Section 3) for a detailed list of all variables transmitted from the population registers.

Data from the Federal Employment Agency

In addition to determining the official number of inhabitants, the 2011 Census is to provide information on both the labour force participation and the occupations of Germany’s population. Part of the information to constitute an overall employment picture could be derived from the registers in place. The Federal Employment Agency in Nuremberg keeps registers of the about 29 million employees subject to social insurance contributions and of the recipients of unemployment benefits and job seekers.

What type of information was provided by the Federal Employment Agency?

In addition to the name, address and date of birth of a person, information was provided on the economic branch where he or she worked, the place of work and activity status (for instance employed or registered jobseeker). Please see the 2011 Census Act (Section 4) for a detailed list of all variables provided by the Federal Employment Agency.

Data from public employers

Although the registers of the Federal Employment Agency provided a large range of employment information, the latter was not exhaustive. The about 1.8 million public officials, judges and soldiers do not fall under the category of employees subject to social insurance contributions. Therefore information on the employment of that occupation group had to be collected from other sources, namely from public employers. Please see the 2011 Census Act (Section 5) for a detailed list of all variables transmitted by the public employers.

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