Kazakhstan Prepares for the National Census

The census will be held in October this year

The upcoming census will let people choose what option they would prefer: traditional interview in person or online form, according to Kairat Kelimbetov, head of the Agency for Strategic Planning and Reforms.

The agency has already developed a website that will be used directly for the census.

«There are two ways to collect data about the population we have now. The first is an online survey on a website where citizens will be able to participate in the census no matter where their physical location is. They can do that on their own or with the help of a virtual assistant for themselves and their family members. The second option is more traditional, it’s just an interview. So, those who do not want to fill out an online form can meet interviewers in person. Of course, we will make sure that all sanitary standards are maintained,» Kelimbetov said.

Another novelty as the official noted is portative electronic tablets that interviewers may use during the survey. Once the census is over all these devices will be handed over to local schools, he said.

The online survey will start on October 1 and will last until October 15. The home survey will be held at the same time from October 1 to October 30.

The upcoming census was a topic for discussion at the joint meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and the government’s members. The president ordered to prepare a detailed plan that can guarantee the census will be done properly. The census’ results should be announced by the middle of 2022. 

According to Tokayev, the most important task is to think carefully about the questionnaire; it shouldn’t be excessive with a lot of questions that may overwhelm people. However, it must cover various issues to let the government get as much information as possible. That’s why advanced digital technologies are needed. 

Kazakhstan did a national census twice over its history as an independent state: in 1999 and 2009. The third census should be held in 2020 but it was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to preliminary estimates, the census may cost about 8.2 billion tenge ($19.3 million). This money will be spent on interviewers’ salaries, tablets and other expenses.

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