Two years late, Brazil begins its census

Brazil began its national census on Monday, two years after its initial schedule was delayed by the pandemic and budget constraints.

Conducted every ten years, the Brazilian census is essential for policy-making. It forms the basis of government decisions on everything from school funding and immunization policies to electoral constituency.

According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), up to 183,000 field workers will visit 75 million homes over the next three months. The agency expects the population to be around 215 million, making Brazil the sixth most populous country in the world, just behind Pakistan.

It will also be Brazil’s first all-digital census. The collection, transmission and processing of data will be done on electronic equipment. After being visited by an IBGE field agent, respondents will also be able to answer survey questions by phone or online.

The complete operation is expected to cost 2.3 billion BRL (450 million USD).

The census was first delayed in 2020 due to the pandemic. The following year, the Jair Bolsonaro administration did not include funds for the census in the budget, delaying it for another year.

The IBGE is expected to release the first census results by the end of this year.

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