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Uses of Census Data
The importance of official statistics
Every country needs basic information on its residents for purposes of planning, development and improvement of the residents' quality of life. Good planning is based on reliable, up-to-date, accurate and detailed information on the state of the society in the country. This information makes it possible to plan better services, improve the quality of life and solve existing problems. Statistical information, which serves as the basis for constructing planning forecasts, is essential for the democratic process since it enables the citizens to examine the decisions made by the government and local authorities, and decide whether they serve the public they are meant to help. For these reasons official statistics are collected and published in all countries, world-wide. Thus, for example, while planning a road system, the planners use information regarding the quantity of people and number of vehicles who are likely to use the road; for if not, the advantages of constructing the road may not justify its cost. Similarly, when planning a school system, there is a need for a forecast of the number of pupils who are likely to need schools, in order to ensure that they will be built in locations with an appropriate number of pupils.
The importance of the population census
The census is a special, wide-range activity, which takes place once a decade in the entire country. Its purpose is to gather information about the general population, in order to present a full and reliable picture of the population in the country - its housing conditions and demographic, social and economic characteristics. The information collected includes data on age, gender, country of origin, year of immigration, marital status, housing conditions, marriage, number of children, education, employment, traveling habits, etc.

The population census is the most detailed information source on the population at the level of small localities, neighbourhoods in cities and small groups in the population. The data acquired forms a basis of information that is available to public and private elements, at the national and local level, for purposes of decision-making in a variety of areas of the life of residents of the country.

The population and housing census has five main objectives:
  Enumeration of the population and households in the country.
  Acquisition of demographic information used for calculating population estimates.
  Data collection and production of information for government ministries and local authorities, for     budgeting purposes.
  Collection of socio-economic information on a large sample of people in the population, which     makes it possible to acquire data and information on small, unique groups in the population.
  Production of information which serves bodies, organizations and various other elements in the     fields of education, the economy, business, research, etc.

Who can make use of the census information?

Everyone inside the country or outside it can use the census data; accordingly, they serve for a great variety of uses. A great deal of information is available on the CBS website and on the sites of international organizations. Additional information can be acquired by a direct application to the CBS.
The information provided by the residents is kept strictly confidential
The data collected appears only as statistical summaries, and it is not possible to identify the person or business whose details were recorded in the questionnaire. The Central Bureau of Statistics is prevented by law from transmitting to any other party - governmental, public, commercial or private - information that will make it possible to identify the source. The law is binding on all the Central Bureau of Statistics employees.

The following are examples of possible users and uses:

A.     Government ministries - the census data are available to decision-makers as a basis for setting policies in various fields: education, health, welfare, dealing with various levels in the population, housing and development, transportation and other services.

   Planning and provision of services in the educational system according to the needs of the      population and the age of the children.
   Planning of public transportation and transportation infrastructure, according to the projected      amount of traffic in the area.
   Planning a system of assistance to the needy.
   Development of infrastructure according to the needs of the population.
   Channeling of budgets to local authorities.

B.     Local authorities - the census data are available to decision-makers in local authorities as a basis for setting local policies in each locality, according to the needs of its population. The data assist in learning about the characteristics of neighbourhoods and populations in the localities.

   Examining the need for establishing early childhood services and public gardens in areas      where there is a high percentage of children of this age.
  Using the data in determining municipal tax areas adapted to the characteristics of the      population.

C.     Bodies of research - conducting research based on census data. Population censuses are an important resource for research on trends in the composition of a population and its distribution, as well as a source of analysis and assessment of the changes occurring in the population, and construction of a forecast regarding the directions of its development.

Examples of research:
  Means of transportation to work and socio-economic status in Israel.
  Miration from development towns (from the periphery to the center or from one locality in the     periphery to another).
  Changes in education and fertility patterns of Moslem women in Israel.

D.     Private and public companies - conducting research for purposes of acquiring commercial information to serve as a basis for market research, assessment of the demand for products and services, and assessment of the supply of personnel.

   Identifying concentrations of old structures, by companies dealing in structure restoration.
   Allocation of the maximum support by the State Lottery to various localities; which is     determined, among other things, based on indices developed from census data.

E.     Journalists - acquisition of information from the census data, on subjects which serve for conducting research and as backgrounds for articles.

   Acquisition of information on socio-economic characteristics of localities, for an article on the     state of education in them.
  Acquisition of information on the average wage in various localities and comparing it with the level     of development in them.

F.      Students and pupils - writing seminar papers and research projects for graduate degrees, based on data from the population and housing census; writing papers for school.

  Use of data on areas in which there is a high concentration of families blessed with many     children, for research projects in sociology.

G.      The general public - use of data in a wide variety of many fields, relevant to each individual

 Use of information on a residential area, in order to decide on a change of residence.
  Acquiring information on the subject of employment and wages by occupation, which may     direct youngsters in their decision to chose a field of study.
  Identification of locations suitable for opening a business, by the self-employed.

Fields of information studied in the census, and their possible uses
The information produced by the census can be divided into a number of main fields; in each field questions are asked which provide a picture of the population in this field. The information collected makes it possible to received data on socio-economic characteristics of the population and households.

Following is a list of the fields, and examples of possible uses of the data:

Demographic features

A.     Personal details:
Questions on demographic make it possible to learn about age, gender, marital status, country of origin, year of immigration, parents' country of birth, and the number of children born to the women.

Examples of the use of demographic data acquired from the questionnaire:
   Characterization of the population of new immigrants in localities by variables such as      country of birth, age and marital status, and planning of special services for this population.
  Identification of areas in which there is a high concentration of children or the elderly, for     purposes of constructing centers to serve these populations.

B.     Internal migration:
Questions on the subject of transfers between localities make it possible to learn about the movement of populations between localities and within them, during a period of five years preceding the census day. By combining this with information from other sources, it is possible to characterize the population that changes its place of residence.

Examples of the use of data on internal migration acquired from the questionnaire:
   Characterization of populations that enter/leave/remain in the large cities, in development      towns and rural localities.

Socio-Economic characteristics

A.     Education
Questions regarding education make it possible to learn about the level of education throughout the country, among various populations, and examine the link between the level of education and other variables such as employment, standard of living, housing density, etc., at various levels of areas within localities.

Two types of questions are asked regarding education: questions related to years of study and questions related to the higher certificate achieved.

Examples of the use of data on education acquired from the questionnaire:
   Examination of the level of education of the population in areas/neighbourhoods and in small      localities.
   Examination of the link between level of education and patterns of creating families and      fertility.
   Examination of the link between type of certificate received by the interviewee and the      occupation specified.

B.  Work
Questions regarding work make it possible to identify areas of high unemployment within large localities, as well as small localities in distress; and reveal possibilities of employment within the locality and outside it. On the subject of work several questions are asked whose purpose is to find out if the interviewee belongs to the civilian work force in the country, as well as if he is working or searching for work. People who are employed in work of any kind while the census is being conducted are asked questions regarding their place of work and the main occupation of their place of work and the interviewee in his place of work, in order to determine what is the occupation of the interviewee, and what is the economic activity in which he works. In addition, questions are asked whose purpose is to learn about the address of the place of work, the number of work hours per week, and whether the interviewee is an employee or self-employed. The interviewees are also asked about their means of reaching their main place of work - by foot or any kind of vehicle, and the hour of leaving work. The purpose of these questions is to learn about the movement of people from their home to their place of work.

Examples of the use of data on work acquired from the questionnaire:
   Mapping of the areas by level of use of public transportation compared with the use of      private vehicles.
   Learning about the work habits of various populations from the aspects of number of work      hours,status at work, etc.
   Finding the link between employment and variables, such as education, standard of      living,age, marital status, etc.

C.     Household incomes
The purpose of the questions on this subject is to examine whether households have incomes in addition to income from work, in order to learn about the economic state of households in various areas and among various populations.

In the framework of these questions the interviewee is asked if the household has a fixed and ongoing income not from work or allowances.

Examples for the use of data on household incomes acquired from the questionnaire:
   Learning about the average level of income in various localities.
   Finding the link between level of income and other variables, such as: education,marital      status,migration between localities, etc.
   Examination of the standard of living of families receiving various types of allowances.

D.     Housing conditions and standard of living
The purpose of questions on this subject is to acquire a picture of the housing conditions and standard of living in various localities and among various populations.

This part includes questions on the number of rooms in the dwelling, year of completion of dwelling construction, whether the dwelling is rented or owned, and questions regarding the number of utility rooms in the dwelling and the presence or absence of various appliances which point to the standard of living of the household: television, video or DVD, clothes dryer, dishwasher, microwave oven, airconditioner, solar heater, computer, internet connection, number of telephone lines, number of cellphones, and a vehicle owned or not owned by the household.

Examples of the use of data regarding housing conditions and standard of living acquired from the questionnaire:
   Variables on housing conditions assist in constructing the socio-economic index of      localities.
     This index serves the Ministry of the Interior in determining the allotment per person in the      local authorities.
   Examination of the link between housing conditions and standard of living and the level of      education.
   A comparison between housing conditions and standard of living in various localities or      various neighbourhoods in the same locality.
  A comparison between housing conditions and standard of living of the new immigrant
    population to that of the veteran population of the country.

E.     Disability
Information on disabilities makes it possible to acquire an indication of the state of the disabled population in the country, which may assist in planning special services for this population. The question try to identify the people disabled physically or cognitively through various characteristics of the interviewee's extent of independence in daily activities, and on cognitive disability.

Example of the use of data regarding disabilities acquired from the questionnaire:
  Characterization of households in which disabled people reside.
  Examination of the link between disabilities and employment and income.
  Adaptation of special services to the disabled population .

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