The 2010 All-Russian Population Census (VPN) received numerous complaints, both from the country's leadership and from the Russians themselves. In order to change the situation, the Government decided to conduct another planned VPN in 2020 from October 1 to October 31. The terms are approved by order of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 04.11.2017 No. 2444-r.
To test the VPN-2020 mechanism, a “trial” version was conducted in October 2018, which covered 500 thousand of the country's population. The data during the first stage from October 1 to 10 were filled in by the citizens of the Russian Federation independently on the official website of public services gosuslugi.ru. The second stage was local, it was carried out with the help of personal visits to census takers in certain districts in the territory of Kabardino-Balkaria, the Republic of Sakha, and some other municipalities. The procedure was as close as possible to the real version of VPN-2020.
A trial VPN was needed for:
- refinement of the methodology and organization of the entire event within the framework of a large territory of Russia;
- identifying difficulties and issues that citizens will encounter when filling out census forms on the public services portal;
- optimizing budget expenditures for large-scale censuses and detecting bottlenecks;
- increasing the awareness of citizens about the appearance and equipment of authorized scribes (a blue scarf with an emblem, a blue briefcase, a specialized uniform, a copyist’s ID, passport are required).
Citizens who independently took part in the trial VPN-2018, and those regions where Rosstat employees came to, need to re-fill the data in October 2020. Since various changes could occur in people's lives that should be taken into account in the country's general statistics.
A census organized in 2020 will be in three ways:
- Traditional visit by a home census taker with a questionnaire.
- Through tablets installed in various places, for self-filling citizens with information about themselves.
- Electronic census through personal gadgets: tablets, smartphones, home computers, when any Russian visits the official website of the All-Russian Census and fills in the form, answering the questions posed, determining independently the degree of disclosure of the information provided.
The idea of conducting a census using the Internet is not new, but has been tested over the years in the United States, Canada, Estonia, Bulgaria and Japan. This method will reduce the costs associated with the payment of salaries to census takers, which is the main item of expenditure.
The staff for the organization of VPN-2020 consists of:
- census office managers;
- enumerators of the counting and stationary levels.
An authorized employee can be any Russian citizen over the age of 18 who is able to undergo training and fulfill the duties assigned to him.
Rosstat has come up with an initiative to attract unemployed citizens, registered in employment centers, for a VPN for 3 months under a specialized temporary hiring agreement. The head of Rosstat A. Surinov proposed to provide all temporarily hired employees with the entire package of social insurance, and for the personnel of the Far North regions and equivalent regions, additional "northern" allowances.
Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development, commenting on VPN-2020, said: "If the census is carried out qualitatively, then the result is high-quality ... which will allow for a high-quality socio-economic policy."
For the implementation of the All-Russian Census 2020, a staff of enumerators of 700 thousand people was hired (for comparison, in 2010 - 600 thousand). The salary of an employee will be 16,200 rubles, which is three times higher compared to 2010. However, the responsible person is expected to be held accountable. The budget of the event of all-Russian significance will be at least 50 billion rubles.
The presence of "dead souls" in the state misinforms the country's leadership, leading to errors in decision-making. Therefore, it is necessary to treat the event with full responsibility not only from authorized employees, but also directly from citizens. The census gives an idea of the growth rate or decline in the birth rate, what is the quantitative and qualitative correlation of the Russian Orthodox population in the country and how many representatives of other nationalities and faiths are.
The main drawback of the last census, organized by the Russian Federation in 2010, is the lack of funding (17 billion rubles, which in terms of per capita amounted to 100 rubles per person). Limited funds led to a lack of interest and training of the census teams, whose salary was 5500 rubles. Only 65% of Russians pleaded personally interviewed at VPN 2010, 20% were inscribed on the forms "indirectly" (according to relatives or friends), 11% said that no one came to collect information at all. This is the data of a sociological study, but on the scale of the Russian Federation there were more than 15 million “unaccounted for” citizens.
In addition to insufficient funding, the organizers of the new census see a big problem in the ideological background of the previous process. The slogan of 2010 - “Everyone is important to Russia!” Was perceived by citizens as the next “optional” state procedure necessary only for officials, but has nothing to do with the interests of the population itself. A number of public opposition organizations (ROVS, "Other Russia") openly campaigned to boycott VPN-2010, casting doubt on the reliability of the data collected and convincing them of deliberate falsification.In preparing for VPN-2020, the organizers decided to take a different path, accepting the need to clarify the significance of this event for each citizen. There were propaganda campaigns that clearly demonstrate that even the place of construction of schools and kindergartens depends on the concentration of the number of residents in a particular village or district center, not to mention the global socio-economic plans of the state.
Another controversial aspect of the census is what sociologists call self-determination of citizens. So, the previous time in the country two times more married women were identified than men who consider themselves to be bound by marriage. According to the law, the provision of data is voluntary clause 4 of article 1 of the law "On the All-Russian Population Census". No one has the right to check the status of a citizen, and this creates reasons for the provision of obviously inaccurate data to the scribe. Taking advantage of this, in 2010, only in Moscow, a few dozen elves and goblins were registered. Within the framework of the whole state, this is of course a meager figure, but it is precisely such "self-determination" that gives a certain idea of the processes taking place in society. It is important to understand that the census is not just a whim of the government or the census taker, but what future generations of Russians will know about the current composition of the population and its ideology.
Latest News - How Russia Prepares for the Census
What is known about the preparations for the All-Russian Census in 2020:
- On May 28, 2019, the first meeting of the regional commission on preparation for the Census of the territory of the Chelyabinsk region was held. The issues of the schedule were discussed, which should include three main stages: preparation, direct conduct and processing of the obtained data, the formation of the census results, their publication and distribution;
- On June 5, 2019, the deputy head of the Surgut region, Alexei Savenkov, held a meeting of the commission on the census in 2020. The main tasks were identified: clarification of the boundaries of settlements, since for successful preparation for the census it is necessary to appoint a person responsible for holding VPN-2020 in each individual settlement. This proposal was included in the protocol of the meeting of the commission. The importance of organizing a census in hard-to-reach areas of the Surgut region was also noted, namely, the need to organize routes to such places (by water or by helicopter);
- Residents of the Komi Republic will have the opportunity to fill out an online application form on the public services portal. In other words, the peculiarity of the census in 2020 will be the use of telecommunication technologies - enumerators will walk around apartments and houses not only with ordinary census forms, but also with tablets.
Medvedev held a meeting on the 2020 census: video