The population survey conducted at the end of 2004 was a pilot for the main census. It was the second in a series of pilot surveys conducted in preparation for the Integrated Census, which will be conducted in 2008. The pilot survey aimed to test the methodology and processes, as well as the technological and statistical tools that will be used in the Integrated Census, so that they can be evaluated and improved before they are implemented among the total census population. The pilot survey was conducted in the following localities:

The Central Region
Urban localities: El’ad, Be’er Ya’aqov, Bene Ayish, Jaljulye, Gedera, Kafar Qasem, Lod, Modi’in, Mazkeret Batya, and Ramla. Rural localities: Bet Hashmonay, Ben Shemen, Mishmar Ayalon, Yad Rambam, Azarya, Be’erot Yizhaq, Givat Brenner, Gezer, Mishmar David, Nahshonim, Nezer Sereni, Enat, Zova.

The Northern Negev Region:
Hura, and Bedouin localities in the vicinity of Hura. The localities listed above were selected because they represent a range of characteristics. As such, this survey sample can be used to adapt the process of conducting the census to different types of localities. The census survey was conducted in two stages. The first stage focused on collecting data from different administrative files, and the second stage focused on collecting data in the field.

Data Collection from Administrative Files​

The stages of the survey that focused on data collection from administrative files served as a basis for constructing an improved administrative file (IAF). The file was constructed on the basis of the Population Register, as well as on the basis of other administrative files. The process of constructing the IAF for the census began about a year before the determinant date of the survey (25 November 2006). In the first stage, the Population Register file was updated on the basis of three files:​

The Motor Vehicles File, which includes all of the motor vehicles registered at the Motor Vehicle Licensing Bureau.
The Israel Electric Corporation File , which includes all of the Israel Electric Corporation consumers.
The File of Pupils, which includes all of the pupils enrolled in grades 1-12 of the education system.

Data from those files were linked with data from the Population Register. Afterwards, all of the files were screened. In that process, files that were not records of an individual, as well as files that did not belong to the survey population and duplicate files were eliminated. In addition, regional anchoring was conducted, and the files were edited to select addresses for each record in the file. 

About a month prior to the determinant date, the IAF was updated with current data from the Population Register and from three other files:

The File of Newborns: All infants born up to the Determinant Date (25 November 2006) were added to the IAF, at their mother’s address (if it was listed) or at their father’s address.
The Deceased Persons File: All persons who died up to the Determinant Date were added to the IAF so that they wouldn’t be included in the final census file.
File of Immigrants: All people who immigrated to Israel before the Determinant Date were added to the IAF.

Data Collection in the Field

Data were collected in the field in thee stages:

A.    Pre-data-collection: a. This stage involved screening of the area cells selected for the sample, which included about 20% of the buildings in the locality. Interviewers recorded the buildings in the sample and the dwellings in each building without actually entering the dwellings. This stage lasted about two weeks (from 30 October to 14 November 2006).

B.    Data collection: Interviewers returned to the dwellings recorded in the previous stage, and interviewed the people who resided there. This stage lasted about eight weeks (from 26 November 2006 to 18 January 2007).

C.   Completing data collection in the field in Arab localities: The lessons learned from the 2004 survey highlighted the need to collect field data in Arab localities where there are no street names and numbered houses. This stage of the survey was implemented during the month of February 2007.

D.   Completing data through telephone calls: An additional attempt was made to locate the people who were not at home during the stage of completing the data collected in the field. At this last stage, enumerators made follow-up telephone calls to those people in order to complete the missing data. This stage lasted about three months (from February to April 2007).

The results of the 2006 pilot survey were based on integration of the processes described above, and the IAF served as a basis for constructing the final census file. The final census file consisted of two parts. One part included demographic data, with the addition of the weight for every record. The other part included socio-economic data, with the addition of the weight for every record and every household. Every individual and household in both files was assigned a “census weight”, which was derived by linking the data collected in the field with the estimates listed in the IAF.

The Data Collected in the Population Survey

The data collected in the survey related to the following variables: demographic information, education level, employment and wages, and information on the household (housing conditions and standard of living). Questionnaires were completed by the interviewer from the Central Bureau of Statistics in a computer-assisted interview (CAI). Questions addressed to individuals in households related to age, place of birth, marital status, date of immigration to Israel, number of children born to the wife, changes in place of residence, education level and enrollment in school in the past and present, employment, efforts to see work, and data on income outside of work. Questions addressed to households related to housing conditions and standard of living, as well as ownership of durable goods.

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