All information for the Population Census was collected and compiled on the situation as of the 31st of March 2000. By adopting a special Law on the Population Census the Saeima (Parliament) of the Republic of Latvia created a secure and stable legal basis for a successful implementation of this statistical exercise. The government ensured the necessary budgetary appropriation for the conduct of the Census.

 

This was the first Population Census after the restoration of independence of Latvia. The huge transformations both in the socio-economic and demographic situation (changes in labour market, households, ethnic composition of the population, types of families, education, sources of livelihood and living conditions) in the period following the previous Census in 1989 were the reasons behind the urgent necessity for census taking.

For the first time in Latvia within the framework of such a large-scale project the technology of scanning the questionnaires filled-in and recognition of information was applied to data processing. As a result, data processing was completed within shorter period of time, e.g. approximately a year earlier in comparison with the release of previous census data.

The methodological principles of the Census, its programme and organisation were based on the recommendations tested and approved in international practice. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Commission, approved of the programme of the 2000 Population Census.

More than 5 thousand individuals were involved in the 2000 Population Census that was carried out from 31 March to 29 April 2000. Local governments also provided a valuable assistance to the Central Statistical Bureau in the organisation of the Census. Local governments helped to demarcate enumeration areas and to find solutions to technical issues; they also provided the necessary information.

For the first time mixture of traditional census and register based census was applied in Latvia - part of the information was drawn from registers and information systems. This allowed obtaining more information under the conditions of tight financial resources.