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					The Dutch Virtual Census based on
  registers and already existing
             surveys
                Eric Schulte Nordholt
 Senior researcher and project leader of the Census
                Statistics Netherlands
        Division Social and Spatial Statistics
       Department Support and Development
         Section Research and Development
              e.schultenordholt@cbs.nl

      Workshop on censuses using registers
            in Geneva (21 May 2012)
Contents
• History of the Dutch Census
• Introduction Virtual Census
• Data sources
• Combining sources: micro linkage
• Combining sources: micro integration
• Conditions facilitating use of administrative
sources
• Comparison with other countries
• Comparison with other years
• Microdata availability
• Preparing the 2011 Census
• Conclusions
                                                  2
History of the Dutch Census
TRADITIONAL CENSUS
Ministry of Home Affairs:
1829, 1839, 1849, 1859, 1869, 1879 and 1889
Statistics Netherlands:
1899, 1909, 1920, 1930, 1947, 1960 and 1971

Unwillingness (nonresponse) and reduction
expenses  no more Traditional Censuses

ALTERNATIVE: VIRTUAL CENSUS
1981 and 1991: Population Register and surveys
development 90’s: more registers →
2001: integrated set of registers and surveys, SSD
                                                 3
Introduction Virtual Census
Why a Census?
Statistical information for research and policy
purposes

What kind of information?
• Size of (sub)population(s)
• Demographic and socio-economic characteristics,
  at national and regional level

Gentlemen’s agreement / Census act
• Eurostat: coordinator of EU, accession and EFTA
  countries in the European Census Rounds
• Census Table Programme, every 10 years

                                                  4
Data sources

Registers:
• Population Register (PR) → illegal people excluded,
homeless counted at last known address
• Jobs file, containing all employees
• Self-employed file, containing all self-employed
• Fiscal administration
• Social Security administrations
• Pensions and life insurance benefits
• Housing registers
Surveys:
• Survey on Employment and Earnings (SEE) stopped
• Labour Force Survey data around Census Day
• Housing surveys
                                                 5
Combining sources: micro linkage
• Linkage key:
  Registers
     Citizen Service Number, unique
  Surveys
     Sex, date of birth,
     address (postal code and house number)

• Linkage key replaced by RIN-person

• Linkage strategy
  Optimizing number of matches
  Minimizing number of mismatches and missed
  matches

                                               6
Combining sources: micro integration

• Collecting data from several sources 
 more comprehensive and coherent information
 on aspects of a person’s life
• Compare sources
   - coverage
   - conflicting information (reliability of sources)
• Integration rules
   - checks
    - adjustments
    - imputations
• Optimal use of information  quality improves

• Example: job period vs. benefit period

                                                   7
Conditions facilitating use of
administrative sources

• Legal base (Statistics Act)
• Public approval (‘Big Brother is watching you’)
• Cooperation among authorities (mainly
  government organisations)
• Comprehensive and reliable register system
  (administrative versus statistical quality)
• Unified identification system (preferably unique
  ID-numbers)



                                             8
Comparison with other countries

Traditional Census (complete enumeration):
Most countries in the world (including the UK and
the US)
Traditional Census (partial enumeration) and
Registers:
Some countries (e.g. Germany, Poland and
Switzerland)
Rolling Census:
France
Fully or largely register-based (Virtual) Census:
Four Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland
and Denmark), the Netherlands, Austria and
Slovenia




                                                    9
Comparison with other years

                                                      Number of inhabitants and household size

                                 18                                                                                     6

                                 16
                                                                                                                        5
                                 14
 Number of inhabitants (x mln)




                                 12                                                                                     4




                                                                                                                            Mean household size
                                 10
                                                                                                                        3
                                 8

                                 6                                                                                      2

                                 4
                                                                                                                        1
                                 2

                                 0                                                                                      0
                                      1829 1839 1849 1859 1879 1889 1899 1909 1920 1930 1947 1960 1971 1981 1991 2001
                                                                          Census year

                                                           Number of inhabitants    Mean household size



                                                                                                                   10
Microdata availability

One percent samples for three years (1960, 1971
and 2001)
IPUMS (Integrated Public Use Microdata Series):
http://www.ipums.org/international/index.html

Weighting to population totals
Protecting according to rules for public use files
Microdata sets for all three years available for
research!
DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services):
http://www.dans.knaw.nl/en/


                                              11
Preparing the 2011 Census
• Sources (the PR as backbone of the census,
  changes in contents and quality of registers,
  remaining information from surveys)
• Estimation method (repeated weighting, new
  version of the software, fall-back option of
  weighting to PR, less imputations, zero cells
  problem)
• Statistical Disclosure Control of the
  hypercubes (Workshop on SDC of Census Data
  in April 2012)
• Tabular data in SDMX format and the Census
  Hub
                                         12
Conclusions (1)
• A Dutch Virtual Census: yes, we can!
• Micro integration remains important
• Repeated weighting was a success

Advantages:
• Relatively cheap (small cost per inhabitant)
• Quick (short production time)

Disadvantages:
• Dependent on register holders (statistics is not their
priority), timeliness of registers, concepts and population of
registers may differ from what is needed (keep good
relations with the register holders!)
• Publication of small subpopulations sometimes difficult or
even impossible because of limited information

                                                       13
Conclusions (2)

Other aspects:
• Less attention for the results of a virtual census
than for a traditional one
• Difficult to keep knowledge and software up-to-
date (Census is running every ten years)
• Enormous international interest in virtual
censuses
• A lot of interesting census work in the coming
years!




                                               14
Time for questions and discussion
                            15

				
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