Census 2021: Over Half a Million People in Bulgaria were not Counted

Society | November 30, 2022, Wednesday // 13:00|  views


More than half a million Bulgarian citizens were not counted in the population census in 2021, according to data of the National Statistical Institute from the control studies to verify the accuracy of the registered data and the completeness of the scope of the monitoring units.

NSI announced their results today.

Correlating the data to the total population shows that the uncounted are between 573.9 and 631.0 thousand people, or 9.2% of the country's population.

The largest percentage uncounted are people under 19.

Most are men - 9.9%, women are 8.7%.

The uncounted in the cities (10.5%) prevail over those in the villages (5.8%).

Just because these people didn't count themselves doesn't mean their numbers weren't included in the population data. It is included on the basis of checks with the register of the Main Directorate "Civil Registration and Administrative Services" (DG GRAO) and other state registers.

There are also people who have confused where they usually live. Those incorrectly counted by usual place of residence are between 1.7 and 2.2%.

Control counts

The fieldwork on the control surveys began on 11.10.2021, immediately after the end of the census, and ended on 31.10.2021. The control enumerators are NSI employees, experts in census methodology and experienced in conducting sample surveys in households. In order to ensure a high level of accountability, visits were made every day from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., including weekends. Control studies were conducted using electronic devices with a specially developed data collection application.

Control study for the completeness of the scope

The control survey for the completeness of the scope in the population census as of 09/07/2021 covers 7,210 properties and 19,306 people. The main purpose of this study is to estimate the amount of errors made in the coverage of the population as a whole for the country by establishing the relative share of uncounted (missed) persons and to estimate the amount of errors made when referring the persons according to the principle of "habitual residence”.


The results of the control study confirm the established conclusions about a significant share of the uncounted persons. During the inspections, 1,596 people were found who neither self-counted electronically nor were visited by an enumerator. Uncounted males (9.9%) predominate over uncounted females (8.7%). The relative share of uncounted persons under the age of 19 is the highest.

According to the results of the control survey for the completeness of the scope, the differences in the relative share of the uncounted by place of residence are significant - in the villages this share is 5.8%, and in the cities it is almost twice as high - 10.5%.

When applying the results of the control survey to the total population of the country, it is established that the number of uncounted persons is between 573.9 and 631.0 thousand persons, or 9.2% of the country's population.

Errors in determining habitual residence

According to the census methodology, people are counted according to their "usual place of residence", that is, the place where they usually spend the daily rest period (overnight stay) regardless of temporary absence due to vacation, vacation, visiting friends and relatives, work, medical treatment, religious worship and others.

During the control study for the completeness of the scope, 326 cases of incorrectly counted persons on this basis were identified. Persons in the age group 20 - 39 years old (2.5% of the checked persons) predominate, followed by persons aged 0 - 19 years (2.2%). The relative share of this indicator among men (1.8%) is slightly higher than among women (1.6%). The usual place of residence was incorrectly determined for 2.1% of those living in cities and 0.9% of those living in villages.

The results of the control study show that the incorrect reference to the usual place of residence was mainly committed by the persons who self-counted electronically (3.1%) compared to those counted by an enumerator (1.4%).

When applying the results to the entire population of the country, it is found that the relative share of persons incorrectly assigned to their usual place of residence is between 1.7 and 2.2%.

Control study on registration accuracy

The main purpose of the data accuracy audit is to assess the information received in the 2021 Census with regard to the accuracy of the data entered on population and housing. 2,001 properties and 5,257 people were checked.

In the control study for the accuracy of the registration, 99 cases (1.9% of the checked people) of incorrect marking of the legal marital status and 60 cases (1.1%) of the factual marital status were found.

The relative share of divorced persons for whom an incorrect category of legal marital status was indicated during the census is the highest. In the de facto marital status, the share of incorrectly assigned persons in "de facto cohabitation" is the highest.

During the control examination, 26 cases (0.5% of those checked) of incorrectly noting the answer to the question "H14. Have you lived outside Bulgaria during the period 1980 - 2021 for more than one year?". For 18 people (0.3%) the stay abroad was not reported, and for 8 people (0.2%) it was incorrectly recorded.

During the control survey, 53 people (1.1% of those checked at the age of 15 and over) were identified, for whom their current employment status was marked incorrectly during the census.

In the control study, 10 cases (0.1% of the checked persons) were identified, who incorrectly marked as what they work at the main job.

The achieved stochastic accuracy of the results according to the main signs of the conducted control study is at a good level.

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Tags: Bulgarian, counted, census, population


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