On Friday, October 1, a population census starts in Cyprus.
The last time information about the inhabitants of the island was collected in 2011. The main goal is to register all people living in the Republic of Cyprus. A total of 1,100 enumerators will walk through houses and apartments, inviting the islanders to answer some questions.
The information collected during a census has traditionally been vital to governments as it provides data for informed decision-making. It is worth noting that ten years have passed since the last census. During this time, many events have happened, including the main ones: the financial crisis of 2012-2013, the civil war in Syria, Brexit, the coronavirus pandemic. These are the tectonic shifts that have affected the society of the country. Their consequences will become visible from the collected data.
The 2011 census showed that out of 840 407 people living in areas controlled by the government, 638 124 were born in Cyprus, 106 561 people were born in the EU countries (which then included the UK), another 90 405 people were born outside the union.
It is clear that the number of EU and third country nationals who have arrived in Cyprus over the past 10 years has increased. According to the 2011 census, 31,495 UK citizens, 24,532 Romanians, 19,284 Bulgarians and 18,788 Greeks lived in government-controlled areas. As for citizens from third countries, most of them were Georgians (11,814). The number of immigrants from Russia was 10,520, and the citizens of the Philippines was 10,009. Also, the census in 2011 showed that there were 3,272 Syrians living in Cyprus. And according to a report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Cyprus, published in March 2020, the number of Syrian citizens has grown to 12,000.
According to the 2001 census, "between 1992 and 2001, the proportion of residents with foreign citizenship increased from 4.2% to 9.4%." By the time of the 2011 census, this figure had grown to 21.4%, and the total population increased by 21.7% - from 689,565 to 838,897 people.
According to the latest estimates by the Statistical Office, in 2019 the population of Cyprus was about 880,000, but the exact figure is expected to be higher after the census is summed up.
It should be noted that the current population census will be held for the last time in its usual form, when census takers go from apartment to apartment and from house to house, offering to answer the questions of their questionnaire.
In the coming years, the Statistical Office plans to make greater use of various registers and administrative sources for the production of population statistics on an annual basis. Thus, the transition from the traditional census method to the use of administrative sources will soon take place, which will bring more benefits, not only in terms of reducing costs, but also in terms of the burden on respondents.