Definition: Register-based population census
The register-based population census system is built around a set of basic registers that contain comprehensive data on the units that are to be described in the population and housing census. These registers may include the data maintained in a population register and a register of buildings and dwellings, as well as data from a business register. Such registers cover all people resident in the country, the buildings and dwellings in the country and all the business companies (including all the institutions in the public sector) and their establishments. All statistical units can be linked to one another by means of the identification systems: persons can be linked to household-dwelling units and to the dwellings and buildings in which they live. while employed persons can be linked to their employers. Similarly, all units can be located on the maps by using local area codes or map co-ordinates.
Population census data are produced using the method of register estimation, in which several register sources are used simultaneously to define for each statistical unit the value of the relevant variable. The decision rules should be defined in such a way that the data they produce come as close as possible to the data collected by means of questionnaires. Data from earlier population censuses and register data from the same point of time are also consulted in constructing these rules. These include rules on prioritisation between different sources in the event of contradictory data.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE) (in cooperation with Eurostat), "Conference of European Statisticians Recommendations for the 2010 Censuses of Population and Housing", New York and Geneva, 2006