PL2 New technologies used in 2010 Census Round Census (Poland)


The organisation and course of the 2010 Census Round in Poland greatly contributed to the development of information society, which in fact was evidenced by the course of the census itself. Therefore, it has been proven that technological innovativeness in statistics is not only possible, but it also leads to an improved quality of the results, as well as allows minimising the burden of respondents, reducing implementation costs and improves enumerators management in the field.

The National Census of Population and Housing conducted in Poland in 2011 was designed and implemented with the application of digital maps and the GPS technologies which brought a revolutionary change when it comes to the possibilities of data aggregation, analysis and dissemination.

With the use of the materials obtained both from geodetic and statistical resources, it was possible to develop sampling frames for censuses comprising statistical address points and their spatial reference. Using the mobile application, the enumerator could change the location of an address point, delete an address point, or add an address point not included in the register, with the help of GPS device. During the pre-census stage, the enumerator was also responsible for controlling the entire areas of the census districts assigned to him. It was particularly important when the revision in the gmina district was performed only on the basis of the registers kept, and the census enumerator was the first and in many cases the only person directly involved in field work in the framework of the census operations

The introduction of x, y coordinates and address points in statistical data enabled changing of the previous system of spatial identification and shifting from area assignment (census districts) to point assignment.


Above experience shows, that we all should undertake activities which will allow to introduce x, y coordinates to each address points. It will make it possible to change the system of spatial identification of these data and to move from area classification (census districts) to point classification. The change of the assignment mode allow for more flexible grouping of data collected in public statistics for even the smallest areas. It also makes it possible to create a base of microdata of a spatial nature enabling the carrying out of spatial analyses of various phenomena, concerning, for instance:

  • demography (e.g. the average distance between children’s and parents’ residence, commuting to work, school, distance to hospital etc.),
  • urbanisation and planning (e.g. useful in determining the boundaries of urban agglomerations, metropolies, and the drawing up of land development plans),
  • agriculture and environment (analysing the structure of crops, environmental pollution),
  • the economy (e.g. analysing the effects of burdensome road and industry investments).

Classification of the analyses conducted by points with x, y coordinates make it also possible to become independent from boundaries changes (in the regional division of the country), usually resulting in changes in census districts and laborious recalculations. This facilitates a comparative analysis of time series, regardless of the changes taking place in this division. An additional advantage is the possibility of the data aggregation both in the structure of the NUTS administrative division and the GRID divisions prepared within the GEOSTAT project.

Linked to

Sustainable Development Goal 1: “End poverty in all its forms everywhere”.