Census is over, counting continues


The partial results given by INS indicate that, in the October 20-31 interval, a total of 8,387,153 homes and 19,599,506 individuals were counted, which, according to adevarul.ro, means that we are 2M fewer than in 2002.

By    Daniela Baragan

The representatives of the National Statistics Institute (INS) on Tuesday night presented the first provisional results of the census. INS reports a total of 8,387,153 homes and 19,599,506 individuals were counted, including ‘people present, temporarily absent or away from home for a long period of time’.

The INS officials however note that the figures are not final, not including people residing in collective dwellings (prisons, elderly homes – our note), people on overseas mission (from the Ministry of Administration and Interior, Ministry of National Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs). According to INS, to the total one should also add the number of people who completed the census papers themselves in Bucharest and who mailed, faxed or e-mailed the forms. ‘After processing all data, INS will publish all provisional numbers regarding the stable population registered at the end of January 2012 and the preliminary numbers in April-May 2012,’ reads an INS press release quoted by Mediafax.

‘Adevarul’ journalists however claim the partial results of the national census show that we are 2M fewer than we were according to the 2002 census, the Romanian population decreasing to less than 20 M. The quoted source also points out that a plus of 401,000 of people after counting the above-mentioned categories is improbable, therefore the 20 M psychological threshold will not be reached.

The INS representatives however claim the opposite: ‘the number of people counted in the census is not the exact population of Romania.’ They say that, until the final numbers are out – May 2012 – ‘any comparison between the information given today and the official data on the stable population of Romania, resulting from previous censuses of 1992 and 2002 is irrelevant.’

Although the census is formally over, there are still some areas where it continues. According to evz.ro, the city of Constanta is in that situation, where the building of the municipality is full of people queuing to be counted in the census. Moreover, two Hungarian NGOs yesterday claimed for irregularities in Cluj census. They say some enumerators “forgot” to question about religion and ethnicity and many Hungarians working abroad have not been registered.

Sociologist Mircea Kivu also says in connection with the publication of the final results that it is expected that the number of people declaring their Roma ethnicity will grow from 500,000 (at the previous census) to about 750,000.

Issues encountered by enumerators

The scandal around the personal identification code (CNP) was just the most visible problem of the people’s census this year. HotNews.ro quotes several census-takers who refused to disclose their identity speaking of different kinds of difficulties they encountered: people’s distrust in the real purposes of the census, the purposefully erroneous information given, the fear that they might lose various welfare benefits if they disclose real information about their circumstances, or the effects of the boycott started by ex-PM Adrian Nastase (PSD) and extensively covered by the mass-media. Nastase called on people not to disclose their CNPs and many citizens seem to have taken his advice. Some enumerators complained about the poor training they received.

Ponta: IGAS, responsible for census catastrophe

PSD leader Victor Ponta on the other hand says in an interview published yesterday by Mediafax that the money spent on the census (nearly EUR 50 M – our note) was just ‘an extraordinary waste’ because the ‘results will serve to nothing, we will never know how many we are, where we are and what the problems are in Romania’. He also thinks that Interior Minister Traian Igas (PDL) is responsible for the defective management of the census. In retort, Igas answered that Ponta is playing Che Guevara by urging not to comply with Romanians laws and Parliament regulations.

On the other hand, denouncing census irregularities, the Secular-Humanistic Association of Romania (ASU) demands the Parliament to set up a commission to investigate into the INS activity.

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