Census takers start knocking on doors

The 2019 census runs until February 23

The 2019 census process kicks off on Thursday, with officers starting the big job of gathering anonymous information about citizens across France.

Between January 17 and February 23, census officers will call at properties in 7,000 smaller communes across France, as well as parts of all larger towns and cities. Participation, in areas where the study is taking place this year, is compulsory.

If you live in one of the communes taking part in this year's study, you should have received a letter in the post. If you live in a town or village with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants, the census website can tell you if your commune is one of those covered by this year's census.

For towns with populations greater than 10,000, only selected areas will be involved. Further information will be available at the local mairie's office, but those households involved should already have received a letter.

Any officer who calls claiming to represent national statistics body Insee must show you their ID card, which will have the French tricolore in the corner, their photograph and the signature of the local mayor. Details on the card can be confirmed with the local mairie. But Insee said that any householder who doubts the identity of a caller should call police on 17.

They will hand you a paper questionnaire and arrange for it to be collected at a later date or handed into the mairie, or you can choose to answer the questions online at Le-censement-et-moi.fr instead. Secondary documents containing explanatory notes are also available in several languages, including English. Notes are also available in Arabic, Chinese, German, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, and Turkish.

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