The 2011 and 2021 Censuses
Since 2011, Malta’s Census has formed part of the EU census round, which means that the Member States carry out their censuses in a specified period and use the harmonised concepts referred to above. Under the terms of EU legislation, Member States will determine a reference date in 2021 for their Censuses.
The 2021 edition will mark the introduction of a major innovation within the census: a dedicated implementing regulation has enabled the geographical dimension within the data collection to cover small areas, specifically 1 square kilometre (1 km2). This development has been possible as a result of the strides made in geocoding techniques. In terms of analysis, this change will enable statistics on selected census topics to be disseminated at varying geographical detail, as required by policy makers and researchers. From the strategic perspective, 1 km2 grid data will take census systems to the next level of utility, making them a powerful tool to meet ever-increasing user demands for more sophisticated analysis.
Differences between the 2011 and 2021 Census
The method of collection from 2011 and 2021 has drastically changed.
Back in 2011, a postal paper questionnaire was sent to all dwellings in Malta and Gozo, and data was collected in-person during enumerator visits. Whilst in 2021, filling in the Census questionnaire will be possible through the online self-response form, over the phone, in-person via enumerator visits and paper form (when necessary). The use of online self-response forms provides a more flexible option for respondents, since the questionnaire may be filled in at their own convenience. Questionnaire collection by enumerators will now be conducted face-to-face through means of a tablet or via telephone, instead of a traditional paper questionnaire. Paper questionnaires will only be used when all other options for data collection are not possible. These forms will be given by the enumerators to the respondents during canvassing, instead of through the postal service.