The government on Wednesday launched the first digital phase of a sweeping national census – the first part of an epic push to identify the make-up of Argentina’s population.
Originally due to be carried out in 2020 but suspended due the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2022 Census will for the first time include questions on self-perceived sex and ethnicity. Normally organised once every 10 years by the INDEC national statistics bureau, this year’s event will allow the government to truly map and analyse those living in the county.
The new digital format will speed up the process considerably, according to officials, though citizens will still be expected to remain at home on the day workers head out to check and verify details.
Under the new format, citizens will be able to complete a questionnaire of about 30 questions via any device with Internet access in advance of May 18 – the date chosen for the government for the nationwide poll. Afterwards, they will be presented with a validation code that they will have to provide to the census worker on the day of the tally, which has been declared a national holiday.
Households that have not completed the digital questionnaire in advance of May 18 will be questioned in face-to-face interviews by workers on the day.
"We all have to work together to make this a very successful census," INDEC chief Marcos Lavagna said this week, announcing the start of the process.
In addition to the novelty of the digital modality, this year's census will include questions on people's gender identity, including a person’s registered sex at birth and their self-perceived sex. Questions on whether an individual recognises themselves as indigenous, a descendant of indigenous peoples or of African descent are also included.
The census also collects information on living conditions, housing, access to essential services such as electricity and drinking water, as well as information on work, level of education and beneficiaries of social assistance, among other relevant questions for the design of public policies.
Argentina’s last census, carried out in 2010, revealed that the country’s population was 40.11 million, although current government estimates place the figure at around 45 million people.