In Turkey, the first population census was carried out in 1927. The following population censuses were carried out between 1935 and 1990 regularly, in years ending with 0 and 5. After 1990, population censuses were decided to be carried out in years ending with 0 by a law and in this regard, the last census was carried out on 22nd October 2000. Until the last census in 2000, 14 population censuses were conducted in Turkey. All population censuses were carried out in one day by the application of national curfew according to the de facto population definition which means that persons were enumerated at localities where they were present on the census day.


In the absence of reliable data from the registration system, population censuses were main data sources on population size and the characteristics of population. But obtaining usually resident population (de jure), which is a core variable recommended by the UNECE/Eurostat, is not possible from population censuses because of de facto population definition. On the other hand, there was limited information for plans and programs of administrative work, because information on the size and characteristics of population was obtained from population censuses conducted in every five/ten years. And also their data processing took around 3,5 years. So, there was no updated information related to the population.


In Turkey, financial support for municipalities is determined according to population size of the municipalities by the law. In addition, there is a threshold population to establish a municipality. Especially for small administrative units, moving population from one locality to another on the census day and adding imaginary population to their enumerated population were very important problems for the country.


Population census questionnaires included restricted questions because of the one-day application of census with the national curfew. Main questions related to demographic, social and economic characteristics of the population, and a few questions about housing units were included in the census questionnaire. Detailed questions especially on migration, disability, education, household status and characteristics of housing units could not be asked in censuses.


Because of these problems, Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) were established in order to obtain the updated information on population of localities and to follow the population movements. The aim of this study is to develop existing administrative records based on addresses. Population Registration Law No. 5490 dated April 25, 2006 charged Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) for establishing the system and the Ministry of Interior, General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs (GDPCA) for developing and maintaining the system. According to the Law, the National Address Database (NAD), which covers all address information in Turkey, was established firstly. And then the ABPRS was established by obtaining usual residence addresses of Turkish Citizens and foreigners living in the country and matching these information with the population registers. Furthermore, all governmental organizations and establishments use the system in all their administrative works.


After the establishment of the ABPRS in 2007, annual information on population size by administrative division (province, district, town, village and quarter), and its basic characteristics (age-sex structure, place of registration, nationality, literacy and educational attainment, legal marital status, and internal migration in province level) is announced to the public in January of the following year based on the registers.


According to the 2007-2011 Official Statistics Program of TurkStat, 2011 Population and Housing Census of Turkey will be conducted with respect to the international recommendations and in the line of EU Requirements in the 2010 round of population and housing censuses for all over the world. Turkey will apply combined method to census-taking (by using population registers and by conducting register based large-scaled sampling survey) in 2011.





  1. Management of the Census


In order to manage the census operation; preparatory works, application stages and evaluation of the 2011 Population and Housing Census of Turkey in coordination with stakeholders, the Advisory Committee which consists of the managers of the related organizations was established:


. Ministry of Interior, the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs   (GDPCA),

. State Planning Organization (SPO),

. Hacettepe University, the Institute of Population Studies,

. Ministry of National Education (MoNE),

. Ministry of Health (MoH),

. Ministry of Judgment, etc.


First meeting of the Advisory Committee was held in December 11, 2009. In the meeting, the decision of establishing working groups was approved. According to the results of the meeting, 6 working groups were established in order to search the census methods and prepare technical documents, and suggest the topics covered in the census. Working groups were established on the following subjects;

. Methodology

. Census application

. Data processing

. Finance

. Publicity

. Dissemination


  1. Pretests and Pilot Census


First of all, two types of questionnaires; short and long forms were designed for the census (short form for checking the registers by the application of complete enumeration, and long form for gathering detailed information on the characteristics of the population by the application of a sample of the population). Two Pre-tests of the questionnaires were held on January and February, 2009 in some districts of metropolitan area of Ankara, and a village of Ankara. The Pre-tests aims:


         Whether the questions are clear, meaningful and understanable for all people, and the choices of questions are sufficient,

         Design of the questionnaire, usefullness of the application of each section of the questionnaire, in terms of order of sections and questions, spaces and boxes for answering the questions, etc.

         Determining the response time to the questionnaire.


In March-April, 2010, a Pilot Study was held in Akyurt District of Ankara for testing different approaches to census-taking;


         Delivering questionnaires to pupils by teachers in the schools in coordination with the Ministry of National Education/filling in the questionnaires by the households and sending to the schools,

         Enumerator method (face to face interview),

         Householder/self completion method (delivering the questionnaires by enumerators/filling in the questionnaires by the households/collecting by enumerators).


Enumeration areas and, data entry and application programs were also tested in Akyurt application. In July, 2010, census methodology was changed according to the pretests and the pilot study. Application of a unique questionnaire with complete enumeration was decided according to the results of a meeting which was organized with the participation of the Minister and the Regional Offices of the TurkStat.


In order to test all stages of the census, Pilot Census was conducted in September-October, 2010 by all Regional Offices of TurkStat. For the Pilot Census, reference date is October 3, 2010, and reference week is 27 September-3 October, 2010. Training for the Pilot Census was given for the responsible personnels of the Regional Offices of TurkStat in September 20-21, 2010. Field application of the Pilot Census started in October 4, 2010. Regional Offices were controlled enumeration areas and the National Address Database firstly. And then they started to the application of questionnaires. Household questionnaire, questionnaire for instutional places (only in Ankara) and questionnaire for homeless people (in all province centers-in 81 province centers) were tested.


Pilot Census was conducted in 214 localities (81 provinces, 81 district centers and 52 villages), and in 275 enumeration areas. Approximately 50,000 households were enumerated. Field application of the Pilot Census was finished by the end of October. Evaluation meeting of the Pilot Census was held in Antalya in November 4-6, 2010 by the participation of all Regional Offices. Studies on analysis of the results of the Pilot Census were done in October-December, 2010. A meeting was held on December 23-24, 2010 by the participation of 7 Regional Offices (Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Trabzon, Hatay, Nevsehir and Antalya) in order to evaluate field organization of the census and discuss the census questionnaire again.


Ad-hoc meeting for discussion of the methodology of the census and evaluation of current studies was held on December 27, 2010 by the participation of Ministers and managers of related organizations;


. State Planning Organization (SPO),

. Ministry of Interior, the General Directorate of Population and Citizenship Affairs   (GDPCA),

. Ministry of Health (MoH),

. Ministry of National Education (MoNE),

. High Council of Education, etc.

According to the results of the meeting, application of combined method was decided instead of a complete enumeration.


The meeting on estimation level and sampling of the 2011 Population and Housing Census and data requests of international organizations was realized on December 30, 2010 by the participation of related departments, and chaired by the President. Studies on sampling methodology for the field application part of the census are going on. With the aim of determining variables which will be covered in the questionnaire and evaluating data requests of the organizations, a top-level meeting was held on December 31, 2010 by the participation of related organizations.  


Last Pretest of the household questionnaire was conducted by the Regional Offices of TurkStat (end of March-early April, 2011) in order to test understandability of the questions and sufficiency of the choices. Household questionnaire was finalized by the date of    May 13, 2011.





2011 Population and Housing Survey will be conducted on October-November, 2011 with combined method (by using population registers and by conducting register based large-scaled sampling survey). Reference date of the survey is October 2, 2011. Field application will be started in October 3, 2011. The period of data collection will be two months. In the 2011 Population and Housing Survey, enumerators will collect information by face to face interviewing with CAPI. National budget will be used for the application.


Sampling size is about 2.5 million households of the application (approximately 13,5% of the total households). Estimations will be made in province and district level (for each province, for each province centers, for each district centers which have over 20 thousands population, and for the total of villages belong to each district). Complete enumeration will be realized in institutional places.


Enumeration areas will be determined in August, 2011 by taking into consideration of all addresses in Turkey by using updated National Address Databes (NAD) by the Department of Methodology. After defining enumeration areas, sample units (enumeration areas) will be selected.


Studies on the questionnaires are going on by the Working Group on Methodology. Final version of the household questionnaire is ready, and it is in the printing stage. Studies on the questionnaire for institutional places are going on.


After the establishment of the ABPRS, information on population size, age and sex structure, legal marital status, place of birth, literacy and educational attainment, size of households and relationship between household members is obtained from the system in the village level. Information, which are not available in the ABPRS and other administrative registers or not obtained from regular household surveys will be obtained from the 2011 Population and Housing Census. While topics which will be included in the census questionnaire were being discussing, the core topics of the UNECE/Eurostat Recommendations and national data needs were taken into consideration. Information which will be collected from the 2011 Population and Housing Census are;


         Building and housing characteristics,

         Marital status,

         Place of usual residence one and five years prior to the census,

         Reason for migration,

         Ever resided abroad and year of arrival in the country,


         Literacy and educational attainment,

         Attendance to pre-primary/pre-school/kindergarten,

         Labor force,


         Deaths (infant, child and adult).


Population size by administrative units will be calculated from the system for the reference date (October 2, 2011). After that, population size, age-sex structure and size of households will be directly taken from the registers, and than other characteristics, obtained from the survey, will be calibrated according to the full-scale information.


Hand held devices (netbooks) will be used for data collection. Paper based questionnaire can also be used, if it is necessary.


IT Department of TurkStat is studying data entry programs (by using hand held devices and paper based application), follow up programs and personnel database with the JAVA application. Data entry of the paper based application will be realized in regional offices of TurkStat by using a web-based application. Survey data will be analyzed by using the SAS package program.




Field application of the survey will be realized in 3-stage:

  1. Controlling the addresses in the sample enumeration areas (in the first half of September) and entering new addresses to the database
  2. Checking the registered persons in ABPRS with the actual situation in the addresses in the sample enumeration areas by using household lists (Form B) which are printed from the ABPRS (in the first stage of questionnaire application, in October-November, 2011)
  3. Visiting the all addresses (including conventional dwellings and other housing units that is not designed for human habitation, such as shelters, barns, tents, etc.) in the sample enumeration areas for checking whether a household lives or not in these addresses, and interviewing the households and filling the questionnaires (in October-November, 2011)


For the field application, interviewers, supervisors and responsible persons for each region, province and district will be charged. In the field application, an average of 15 interviews per day is predicted.


During the field application will be checked in different ways by using various instruments:

  • Daily and weekly reports which will be taken from central system with different extent for supervisors and responsible persons of the regions, provinces and districts,
  • Controlling the enumerators’ works in the field by the supervisors, and controlling the supervisors’ work by the responsible persons,
  • 3-stage data analysis for each province and each region (by the supervisors, responsible persons and the Headquarters of TurkStat. SAS data analysis will be used by the Headquarters of TurkStat and regional offices of TurkStat.


For controlling the process in the field application, many reporting programs will be developed. Studies on reporting programs for data analysis are going on.


At the end of the survey, detailed analyses of the survey data according to the registers will be done for the quality check and control.





A series of publicity activities are being implemented regarding the 2011 Population and Housing Census in order to inform public about the importance of the census, create consciousness on the importance of the statistical information, and provide support by effective informing. Official campaign was started with the Press-Statement of the State Minister in 2010. Working group on publicity was established in 2009 and gave the acceleration to the works in 2010. 


A logo was designed for using in all census instruments. A competition for the census poster was organized. According to the result of the competition, one poster was chosen for the publicity campaign of the census in April, 2011. The copies of poster will be spread through the Regional Offices of TurkStat after finishing the printing of them in July, 2011.


In addition, bookends were designed. A leaflet was also designed in order to deliver to the households which the questionnaires will be applied to. Before the field application, household letters were posted to the households for informing the households. They cover the following information:

. Why a census is needed?

. How the sample addresses were chosen?

. How the field application will be carried out?

. Basic definitions used in the questionnaire

. Contact information of the Headquarter and the Regional Offices of TurkStat