The census in Serbia will be conducted from 1 to 31 October.
Data will be collected by trained staff who are all given designed areas to conduct the census. They will enter answers to census questions into electronic questionnaires, using a laptop.
Regarding the length of the questionnaire, the State Statistical Office (RZS) said that the total number of questions citizens will have to answer is not fixed and that for an average three-member household it will take about 30-40 minutes to fill out the questionnaire, but also that the duration depends on the respondent.
Citizens are allowed to refuse answers to some of the questions, mainly the questions about their nationality, religion, mother tongue and disability. However, the RZS draws attention to the fact that it may happen that citizens cannot give an accurate answer to certain questions because they cannot remember. “For example, if you ask elderly people about the year when they moved to their current residence, it may happen that they are not sure whether it was 1970 or perhaps 1972, 1973, so in that case, the census officer will roughly write down the year they moved there,” the RZS says.
When asked what penalties are envisaged for people who refuse to take part in the census, the RZS states that the Census Act prescribes penalties ranging from 20,000 to 50,000 dinars for people who refuse to take part in the census or refuse to provide data on children under the age of 15 (biological parents, guardians, foster parents), as well as persons who provide inaccurate data. Data on household members who are absent at the time of the census, because they are working or studying elsewhere, should be provided by household members present.
If a census officer does not find anyone at home, they will return at another time, and if no one is at home for the second time, they will leave a written note asking for a citizen to ring the info-centre’s toll-free number and with the help of the operator get in touch with the census officer and arrange another date.
The first preliminary results of the census will be published within 30 days after the end of the census, i.e. by the end of November 2022 at the latest.
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