Population surveys – now on the internet
Since the beginning of the year, the residents selected for the statistical surveys carried out by Statistics Lithuania have been afforded an opportunity to fill in statistical questionnaires online, at http://apklausos.stat.gov.lt/en/titulinis.
Statistics Lithuania produces statistical information on the population using data stored in State registers and by surveying (interviewing) the population. The interviewing of all the residents of Lithuania to obtain statistical information about the social situation, employment and unemployment, quality of life, etc. is a complicated and expensive process. That is why in Lithuania, just as in other countries of Europe and of the world, only part of the population participate in surveys, while conclusions are drawn about the total population. About 200 thousand residents are selected for statistical surveys every year.
The electronic collection of statistical data on the population was first carried out in 2011 during the Population and Housing Census, when 1 million 39 thousand residents enumerated themselves electronically, i.e. by filling in the Census questionnaire on the Internet. Such an active participation of the population in the e-Census encouraged Statistics Lithuania to explore potential opportunities for residents to provide statistical data online. A project "Transfer of the Receipt and Management of Statistical Population Survey Data Service to the Electronic Environment", financed from the European Regional Development Fund and the State budget of the Republic of Lithuania, was launched. A user-friendly and convenient Electronic Statistical Population Survey Information System was created, the participation of residents in statistical surveys was facilitated. In 2015, the main population surveys – Labour Force Survey, ICT Use in Households Survey, Income and Living Conditions Survey, Consumer Survey – will be carried out via the Internet. Moreover, residents providing private accommodation services, owners of rural tourism farmsteads and farmers will also be able to provide statistical data electronically.
Statistics Lithuania, striving to reduce the statistical response burden for respondents, widely uses data stored in State registers. That is why e-questionnaires are partially prefilled with data, i.e. data available in registers are transferred to e-questionnaires. An official letter to a respondent contains electronic survey system login codes. The respondent may log in to and fill in an e-questionnaire whenever convenient to her/him. S/he may terminate the filling-in process before s/he has answered all the questions but save the data entered; later, having logged in to the system again, s/he may finish the filling-in of the e-questionnaire.
Moreover, there is no need to either agree the time of the interview with an interviewer or let a stranger into the house. Those respondents who have no possibility or do not want to fill in e-questionnaires themselves are questioned by interviewers, who visit respondents at home and fill in questionnaires together with them. Upon arrival at respondent's home, an interviewer shows her/his employee ID; when contacting a respondent by phone, an interviewer introduces her/himself by telling her/his name and surname, name of her/his workplace and asks to answer the survey questions. As in case of face-to-face interviews, the data collected are used only for statistical purposes and their confidentiality is protected by law.
E-questionnaires is a modern and convenient way to provide statistical data.