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History of Census
within our territory


The first census carried out within our territory was most-likely taken in the medieval times. It can be rightly considered as the oldest type of statistics. Gradually as society got evolved, the objective, purpose, scope and methods of surveys and processing the results have been changed. Censuses have remained an indispensable source of data on population and development at a given time on a given territory.

  • In 1784 in Austrian-Hungarian Empire, the first population counting based on two years review had been launched.
  • The Census 1857 was the first which was held on one specific day – 31st October 1857 – and only the political offices had received the mandate to implement it. This census is considered as the beginning of the transition from feudal methods to modern censuses.
  • The first modern census was in 1869.A new period of population censuses in our territory has begun from this moment onwards. The Census Law from 29th March 1869 specified that census will be carried out based on ten-year interval every 31st December in years ending with zero i.e. in 1880, 1890, 1900 and 1910. Since 1869, the census was carried out according to the principles established by the international statistical conferences.
  • The first Czechoslovak Population and Housing Census is associated with the date 15th February 1921. The structure for census was based on the first Czechoslovak Law for the Census no. 256/222 Coll. from 8th April 1920. This census and the following one in 1930 have used new methods, despite of that it was essentially a continuation of the Austrian-Hungarian Census.
  • Census 1940 was carried out only in territory of the Slovak Republic (existing in years 1939-1945). The extraordinary provincial census in 1938 preceded to this census. The official aim was to establish "ethnical cadastre" in Slovakia. Political background of the Census 1940 was already highlighted in the law in which were separately sorted out the Jews and Gypsies (Romanies). Jews could declare only Jewish ethnicity and Romanies could report only to the Gypsy. The first comprehensive and final data from Census 1940 was published in the years 1946 and 1947, especially data for the ethnicity by districts, religion and economic activity of inhabitants and summary of national data on the age structure of the population of Slovakia.
  • The demand for statistics caused by big post-war changes in number and structure of the population incited conduction of brief summaries before the planned Population Census in 1950. Slovakia has made only census of the population on 4th October 1946. In the Czech Republic, the counting of houses and dwellings has taken place firstly on 31st May 1946, and then the Population Census was processed on 22nd May 1947. The census in Slovakia collected mostly the data of the labour force and the information related to supplying of inhabitants. The data collected in Czech Republic was source for national insurance.
  • The Census, which took place on 1st March 1950, was the summary of houses and dwellings in the state. Along with this it has also conducted a summary of industrial, agricultural and commercial businesses.
  • Census 1961 , (held on 1st March) can be considered as the beginning of a new phase of the Czechoslovak Population Censuses which has entered the history as the first integrated census of population, households, dwellings and houses. This interconnection has brought a completely new quality of data and significantly expanded the possibilities of their usage. Although in next censuses (on 1st December 1970 and 1st November 1980) there were some new aspects and approaches (especially in data processing), the basis for a new understanding of the importance of census remained the Census 1961.
  • Since 1970 there are, associated to the census, 2% sample surveys in households (Microcensuses) which were focused on observation of differences in income of various population groups and other topics expressing the living standards of households. Census data from 1970 and 1980 have been widely published. Some of them are also used to compile Retrospective Lexicon of Municipalities of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, 1950-1970 (Federal Statistical Office, 1978). This important publication contains various and valuable information for example about development and distribution of population, the number of houses by municipalities and their parts, the development of municipalities names, etc.
  • Population and Housing Census 1991 was the last Czechoslovak census. For realization of census, data processing and publishing of the results were used modern computer technology. In this census the question about religion was included again and in comparison to previous censuses the range of surveyed nationalities has been extended (Romany nationality was determined separately for the first time). Due to the political changes a wide range of published results had been considerably narrowed. Many originally planned reports were not processed. Primary data was stored on storage media which allow the conversion of the Census 1991 results according to the amended territorial organization of the Slovak Republic.
  • Census 2001 was based on the methodological recommendations of the United Nations and the European Union. Census date was on 26th May 2001. Data current on that date was surveyed by the self-enumeration methods; it means that census forms were filled in by inhabitants on their own. Statistical Office of Slovak Republic for the first time in its history provided the entire legal, organizational and methodical preparation of the census and the manner of collecting, processing, publishing and presentation of the results.
  • Census 2011 was carried out in Slovakia on 21st May. The Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EC) No. 763/2008 has bound all European Union member states to conduct census in the same year by the same or at least comparable definition. This census was exceptional by the fact that for the first time in our history the inhabitants were allowed to choose whether to fill in the census sheets in paper or electronic form. Special attention should be given to the template form for dissemination of the 2011 census results which was created according to Eurostat's harmonized requirements contained in the regulations of the European Parliament, the Council (EC) and the Commission through the application of Census Hub.
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Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic Miletičova 3, 824 67 Bratislava
Slovenská republika