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Web Survey Bibliography

Title The Dutch Virtual Census of 2001
Year 2005
Access date 17.05.2005

In 2003 data were combined to produce the Dutch 2001 Census tables. In the Netherlands this was not done by interviewing inhabitants in a complete enumeration, but by using data that Statistics Netherlands already had available. This way, the Dutch tax payer got a much lower census bill. The costs for a traditional census would be about three hundred million Euros, while the costs made now are ‘only’ about three million. The estimate includes the costs for all preparatory work such as developing a new methodology and accompanying software. The costs of the registers are not included, but the analyses of the results are. Registers are not kept up-to-date for censuses but for other purposes. Saving money on census costs is only possible in countries that have sufficient register information. The last traditional Census in the Netherlands (in 1971) met with much privacy objections against the collection of integral information about the population living in the Netherlands. This increased the non-response problem and the expectation was that non-response would be even higher if another traditional census were held in the Netherlands (Corbey, 1994). The Virtual Census in the Netherlands was off to a later start than in other countries where a traditional Census was conducted. It did not make sense to really start the 2001 Census Project until all sources were available; some registers were available relatively late. Nevertheless, the Netherlands was quicker with the compilation of the census tables than most of the other countries that participated in the 2001 Census Round. In fact, the Netherlands was one of the first to send the complete set of forty tables (see to Eurostat, which co-ordinated the contributions of all European Union (EU) member states, accession countries and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states. The Netherlands had the advantage that the incoming census forms did not need to be checked and corrected. However, one must realise that for some variables only sample information is available, which implies that it was impossible to meet the level of detail required in some Dutch tables. The Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) have more variables available in registers than the Netherlands. Most of the other countries are in a similar position as the Netherlands where some variables relevant for the census can be found in registers, while other variables are available on a sample basis only. That’s why much interest exists in the Dutch approach to combine registers and surveys and to use modern statistical techniques and accompanying software to compile the tables.

Access/Direct link ISI 2005 homepage
Year of publication2005
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations