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History of Population censuses in 1950 - 2001

Czechoslovak Population Census — 1950

The first census after 1945 was carried out on 1 March 1950. At the same time, listing of agricultural, industrial and trade establishments took place and therefore the action was called “1950 National Census”. This census was the last one, which was processed for the so-called present population and for a long time it was the last census, in which churchmanship was surveyed (the question about denomination was included again in the 1991 census). An important change, in comparison with the 1930 census, was a new definition of nationality, according to which nationality means affiliation with a nation, with the cultural and working community of which the enumerated person is inwardly connected and to which he professes.
The census was also the first one in the territory of the Czechoslovakia, which included in the entire territory a housing census; however, at that time the obtained data on population and housing were not successfully connected, yet.

Census results were gradually published as non-public and with a limited number of copies. They were printed in a low number of copies only in 1957 – 1958, namely in 4 volumes with a common name Population Census and Listing of Houses and Dwellings in the Czechoslovak Republic as at 1 March 1950. The 1950 census data were released for the public (after they had been declassified) only in 1962. Although the 1950 census was prepared under very complicated conditions and its imperfections are known, the results of it are valuable, namely because they captured all consequences of the war and post-war events as for the changes in number and structure of population, but most of all because they captured the resettlement of German and replacement of Hungarian population, re-emigration and moving of hundreds of thousands of persons, namely to the border area of Czech lands.

Czechoslovak Population Census – 1961

On 1 March 1961, already the fourth population census from the foundation of the independent Czechoslovak Republic took place. The whole processing of the census was made for the first time for resident population and according to the concept of the so-called census households. Unlike in the previous censuses, for the first time were surveyed and processed data on commute to work between districts as well as to bigger towns. Obtained data on resident population enabled to subsequently establish and keep annual balance of the population according to many criteria. In the 1961 census, four qualitatively new features of processing emerged. Firstly, more than a million census cards filled in by persons enumerated on the place of their temporary presence were transferred to their permanent residence. It enabled at the same time to add and specify records in census sheets for persons, who were not present during the census. This organizationally demanding approach of hand-made transfer of census cards in the form of so-called inter-district and inter-regional exchange was used also for all the following censuses. Further, it was possible on the basis of more reliable records on resident persons to find out real family relationships and thus also the structure of households and families. Processing of data on resident population enabled also to survey and analyse data on commute to work by region, district and towns having population of 20 and more thousand. And, finally, a detailed processing of data on houses, dwellings, their equipment (category) and size, age and type of house, at the same time in relation to types of households or numbers of persons living in specific sets of dwellings was made.

Census results were published in 4 volumes of the series Czechoslovak Statistics (New series, group A – Source Works) in 1965 under common name Population and Housing Census in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic as at 1 March 1961. From the processed results, also in 1965, a publication Development of the Society of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in Figures was issued with the subhead: Analyses of Population and Housing Census Results. In the post-war history of the Czechoslovakia, it is rightfully considered to be the best prepared, processed, documented and analytically utilised census.

Czechoslovak Population Census — 1970

Another population census took place on 1 December 1970. Within this census, a sample census was made for the first time; it extended the surveyed data by sample characteristics, especially income of households. For the first time, a high-capacity mainframe computer CDC 3300 was used for processing of the results. Also for the first time, census results were processed also for the so-called basic settlement units (i.e. localities in the countryside settlement and urbanistic districts in selected towns). Newly surveyed characteristics were: birth certificate number, citizenship, and within surveying on the commute to work and schools also the frequency, distance, period and means of transport used were surveyed. Important was also survey on wanted or unwanted coexistence of census households in one dwelling and also equipment of households with some consumer durables. Computer processing of the results enabled a wide publication of data. In the series Czechoslovak Statistics, Population Census, under the common name Population and Housing Census as at 1 December 1970, the total of 7 national and 11 nationwide xerographic publications were published. The Federal Statistical Office issued in 1975 a publication called Development of the Society of the CSSR in Figures (according to the 1970 Population and Housing Census). Similar publications were issued also by the National Statistical Offices.

Czechoslovak Population Census — 1980

The fourth post-war census took place on 1 November 1980. Thanks to the census, data for foundation of the Central Population Register at the Ministry of the Interior were obtained. However, no major innovations occurred in comparison to previous censuses. The following can be considered as new: data on female fertility deepened, basic settlement units were classified by type and size, and data on commute to work were processed as for the direction (in the past only balance processing was made).

Processing of census results was made on a new Cyber 180 mainframe computer; all experience from the previous census was used. Data in the form of numerical codes were transferred by the Videoplex 3 system directly to magnetic tapes in the computer technology company PVT. Then plausibility checks and corrections were made. Almost all the processing on the big computer was made within a very short period (about a year and half).

Census results were published not only in the printed form, but also in the full scope at microfiches. The CZSO issued (as a follow-up of the pre-war tradition of valuable analyses of census results) a free publication 1980 Population and Housing Census – Czech Socialist Republic. The Slovak Statistical Office then issued a similar publication also for the Slovak Socialist Republic. However, full source works were not issued (including adequate documentation of preparation, progress and processing of the 1980 census results).

Czechoslovak Population Census – 1991

The last Czechoslovak population census took place on 3 March 1991. Based on international recommendations adopted by the UN European Economic Commission, questions about mother tongue and permanent residence at birth of the enumerated person were again included in the census. Processing was again made for resident population. Rapidly changing social and political situation after November 1989 (the Velvet Revolution) was reflected in the final phase of census preparations, especially as for the content and methodological changes. Question about denomination of the enumerated was again included in the questionnaire. In comparison to the 1980 census, some changes occurred in the way of surveying and processing of economic activity and social group. A very significant change was also in the classification of nationalities. Moreover, data on nationality did not have to be the same as the record in the identity card or another personal identification papers.

Final results were centrally processed in a computer centre of the Federal Statistical Office again at the computer Cyber 180. From the census results 1,172 titles were gradually published (of which 848 were for the Czech Republic). Besides basic publications, a huge amount of data and analytical works were published from the census. A very important position among issued publications belongs to the Source Work.

2001 Population and Housing Census

2001 Population and Housing Census took place in harmony with methodological recommendations of the UN and Statistical Office of European Communities – Eurostat. Again, it was made in a traditional way of self-enumeration, i.e. each person filled in the relevant questionnaires for himself, his children, and eventually other persons in a household. Enumerators handed over questionnaires into households and when they were filled in, they took them over. After they have taken over the filled in questionnaires from the citizens, they made a control of fulfilment for the relevant census district; gradually, they completed material for individual houses, prepared a background material for the so-called preliminary results of the census; they handed over the elaborated background material to census supervisors. They, after following checks, handed over all the filled in pre-printed forms and forms to individual district workplaces of the Czech Statistical Office, where preliminary results for municipalities and districts were summarized.
In total, the 2001 Population and Housing Census measured 26 pieces of data on persons, 18 on dwellings and housing, and 12 on buildings, namely with help of the following three forms: Census Questionnaire – Persons, Census Questionnaire - Dwellings, and Census Questionnaire - Buildings. All buildings determined for housing or all dwellings (i.e. also unoccupied) were liable to the Census. Unlike in the previous censuses, some data that were measured in the past were eliminated this time and, on the contrary, new enquiries were included or they had another wording. Among newly introduced questions on the list of measured indicators on population there was a question about eventual second or further employment of a person enumerated. Similarly as in the previous census, nationality as well as denomination were measured strictly in a declaratory way, which means that citizens were free to express about the question according to their own conviction and thus fully in harmony with the stipulation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. From the data mapping household equipment, the census form newly included an enquiry whether a dwelling household has a computer (questions about having a freezer, automatic washing machine and a TV set were eliminated).
After all obtained data were processed (the capture of which was for the first time in the census history in the territory of the CR made by optical recognition) final results were gradually released. In harmony with the overall concept of data processing in the Czech Statistical Office, processing of data from the census was made in the Oracle database. Results were published in many outputs that are available in the widest possible classification and combinations, both in a printed and electronic version.

With regards to a favourable condition that despite several changes of the constitutional organization, the territory of the today’s Czech Republic is more or less the same as the scope of Bohemia, Moravia and a part of Silesia as they were captured from 1754 in Austrian conscriptions and later also in population censuses – we have today available almost continuous 250-year-time-series on population, the quality of which much improved with the 1869 census and especially with the following censuses.