Bulgaria Launches 'Traditional' Census
The classic census kicked off 8 am Thursday in Bulgaria, after over three million people took part in the first ever online census in the country.
The traditional census will continue until 8 pm on February 28. It will include 40,000 census takers. On average, one census taker is expected to visit about 200-250 people and 80 households. New legislation provides for a BGN 120 fine to anybody who refuses to provide census information to authorities.
People who have filled in the online census questionnaire have received a unique 10-digit code, which has to be provided to the census takers, when they visit their home.
Foreigners who live in Bulgaria cannot avail themselves of the online option, but still have to take part in the census.
Bulgarians, who work and study abroad, also have no access to the onlinecensus site outside the territory of the country. This has been done on purpose because Bulgarians residing in other EU Member States will be counted there.
The decennial census aims to collect full, exact, and adequate information about the condition of the population, economy, and society which are to be used to draft strategic documents for the development of the country – a National Program for Development "Bulgaria 2020" and a new 5-year plan for the absorption of EU funds – 2013-2017.
The information from the census is also expected to be taken into account when drawing the lists with eligible voters for the 2011 local and presidential elections. Experts have warned for years that the existing lists contain the names of many persons who are dead or have emigrated, which creates conditions for electoral fraud.
The campaign will end on March 1, when the percentage of Bulgarians who took part in the census will be announced. The complete data from the census will be made public at the beginning of April.
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