Documentation for Swiss federal population census of 1970
Decree for conducting the [Swiss] federal population census of 1970
Census day is set for December 1, 1970 for all areas of the federation.
A building and dwelling census will be conducted concurrently with the population census.
The Federal Statistical Office [FSO] is charged with organizing the census.
The following enumeration forms [questionnaires] as approved by the [Swiss] Federal Council are to be used:
- Household list
- Person questionnaire
- Dwelling questionnaire
- Building questionnaire
The population census is to enumerate the residential population of the political communities [municipalities] (in the Canton Thurgau local communities) and the number of dwellings and buildings and to summarize them according to the collected characteristics.
Persons belong to the residential population if they reside permanently in communities or have the intention to reside permanently. The FSO is to decide in special cases.
The census of buildings and dwellings covers occupied and vacant houses and apartments including vacation homes and so-called secondary homes.
The questionnaires are to be filled completely and truthfully. All persons connected with conducting the census are obliged to keep all responses confidential from everyone. The responses are only to be used for statistical purposes.
The responses to first name, family name, date of birth and address can be used by the municipalities to compare with their population registers.
Where the area of a municipality is divided according to the so called hectare grid, selected collected data will be given to the institute for local, regional and country wide planning at the federal technical university for its data bank.
The federation is responsible for the provision of the enumeration forms and documents, the processing of the questionnaires and the publishing of the results. The Cantons absorb the costs of the actual collection, under their own certain conditions of distributing those costs.
Cantons and municipalities which wish to collect concurrently additional data at their own costs have to obtain the approval of the Federal Department of Interior by submitting all such additional questionnaires.
[Section with instructions on sending census materials is not presented here]
II. Specific regulations for cantons and municipalities
Every Canton is to assign an office as responsible for the census and this office serves as a link to the municipalities and to the FSO.
The office of the municipality is responsible for the correct and complete enumeration in its area according to the "instructions for municipalities".
The FSO conducts instruction seminars for the respective census offices of the Cantons and municipalities. The Federation pays 12 Francs and travel costs to the cantons and municipalities for one person.
The municipalities receive its enumeration material during October the latest.
The municipalities are responsible to ensure that all questionnaires are filled in correctly and completely.
The municipalities provide interim principal results from the enumeration on the appropriate pre-printed forms to their respective cantons and the FSO in Bern on December 18, 1970 the latest.
Where a canton government has not declared otherwise, the complete results of the enumeration are to be provided to the FSO on December 28, 1970 the latest.
III. Penalties and final regulations
Those who act contrary to the instructions of the Federal Council, the FSO or the offices assigned to the census in the cantons and municipalities, will have to pay a penalty of 500 Francs, if a serious contravention has not been committed. Minor offences can be punished with a warning. The Federal Department of the Interior will pursue such contravention [according to the law].
This decree comes into force July 15 1970.
Instructions to the municipal offices
1. Tasks of the municipal offices
- Assigning an office as responsible for the census
- Assigning a person to represent the municipalities at the instruction seminar conducted by the FSO
- Delineating enumeration areas covering the area of the municipality, and where required into hectare grids.
- Preparing control lists
- Assigning enumerators to enumeration areas
- Instructing enumerators; providing enumeration material
- Checking the material returned by the enumerators
- Conducting follow-up enumeration where nobody could be reached or where questionnaires were not completed
- Entering grid number in the building questionnaire
- Filling in the summary form for the municipality, providing completed questionnaires and forwarding completed enumeration material.
2. Sending and reordering enumeration material
Every municipality receives before the end of October:
- Decree of the Federal Council
- Instructions for the enumerators
- Control lists
- Envelops for private households
- Lists for collective households
- Person questionnaires
- Dwelling questionnaires
- Building questionnaires
- Summary form for municipality
- Form to transmit the results for the municipality
The number of questionnaires has been set amply. Should they not suffice additional material can be ordered from the FSO.
3. Instruction seminar conducted by the FSO
Municipalities can send more than one delegate.
4. Delineation of enumeration areas
The size of an enumeration area should be such that as a rule 50-60 household are covered. Enumeration areas are to be numbered and for each a control list is to be prepared. A control list serves as the authorization document for the enumerator.
Enumeration areas are to be delineated such that gaps and overlaps are avoided and that the enumerators can clearly understand them. The ID numbers of buildings within the enumeration area are to be listed in the control list.
Existing conditions [geographic distribution] in the municipality (quarters, hamlets, farms, school districts, election districts, church districts, business quarters, residential quarters) are to be considered during the delineation process. The delineation process is independent from the hectare grid.
5. Assigning enumerators, providing enumeration material
Enumerators should be familiar with their areas and should be selected to ensure a conscientious and correct enumeration. The enumerators have to follow the instructions of the FSO and of the municipality.
170 municipalities have to provide their enumerators with the following before November 24:
- Decree of the Federal Council
- Instructions to the enumerators
- 2 control lists
- Envelops for privates households
- List of collective dwellings
- Questionnaires for persons, dwellings and buildings
- One pencil per household
The languages spoken [in the enumeration area] should be considered.
6. Enumeration coverage
The census is to enumerate all persons, dwellings and buildings in which residential dwellings are located in Switzerland. Buildings are to be enumerated even if they are vacant or occupied only part of the time (precise information is to be entered in the head of the building questionnaire).Vacant or only part of the time occupied dwelling, as well as, vacation homes, secondary homes are to listed in the building questionnaire. A dwelling questionnaire is not required.
7. Hectare grid
Those municipalities which use enumeration areas and hectare grid need to finish the preparation work before the end of September. After the enumeration, the grid number has to be entered by the municipality into the building questionnaires. Enumerators are not responsible with this task.
8. Checking of enumeration material
9. Interim results
Municipalities have to forward the interim results of the census on the preprinted forms to the FSO and the cantons.
10. Follow-up enumeration
The municipal census offices have to ensure that missing answers (in all questionnaires) are obtained and entered subsequently.
Municipal census offices, after having corrected and completed all forms, will certify the correctness and completeness of the enumeration process.
12. Handing over of enumeration material
Where not ruled otherwise by the cantonal census offices, the completed material has to be delivered to the FSO on December 28, 1970 the latest.
14. Information service
The FSO and the cantonal offices provide all required information to the municipalities and the enumerators. The list of cantonal offices is attached.
[List of cantonal offices not presented here]
[Calendar for the municipalities not presented here]
[Instructions for enumerators not presented here]
[Table of contents not presented here]
1. Since 1850 Switzerland has conducted a census every 10 years. A census obtains precise information about the resident population of the municipalities, cantons and the whole country. The census results are the basis for assigning the number of seats in the National Council, in the cantonal parliaments and in other offices, and for the distributions of funds to elementary schools, of surplus funds from the alcohol monopoly, of the net profit of the National bank, of the cantonal shares of the "Stempelsteuer" [tax on share transactions], etc. In some cantons, the counts of persons obtained from the census determine the number of new parishes, the pay of teachers, the pay of municipal employees, cantonal subsidies to cantonal hospitals, equalization payments between Cantons and the municipalities.
The census is the only method to count the population of Switzerland according to standard criteria because other sources such as population registers, tax registers etc are maintained at different standards or cover only part of the population. In particular, the census does not only determine the number of persons, but collects data through the questionnaires on the structure of the population according to type of households, sex, marital status, age, home area Heimat, religion, language, education, profession, commute to work etc. Through the census not only do the federal, cantonal and municipal offices but also special groups of the population obtain a numeric base for solving economic, social and cultural problems.
In general, the results of the census allow an analysis of our multifaceted social and economical life and of the development of our population over time. Without a statistical basis no modern state or economy can address the demands placed on them.
Why a building and dwelling census?
2. For the first time, a building and dwelling census is connected with a population census. The former obtains data on the stock of buildings, of the occupied and vacant dwellings including vacation and second homes, for statistics which are important to politicians as well as to the relevant commercial enterprises. Without knowledge of these facts, any prognosis has a weak basis. The building census is a vital link to the annual construction housing/constructions statistics. The building census acts as the basis for the hectare grid which helps in the analysis of census data by hectare grid. The data are provided to the institute for regional planning in Zurich. As the occupants of dwellings might have difficulties answering questions [separate from the census], the building census becomes useful.
3. The dwelling census categorizes the occupied dwellings according to the enumerated characteristics. Thus, it provides a snapshot of the living conditions of the Swiss population. The census statistics give a factual basis for addressing economical and social-political problems particularly when there is shortage of dwelling space.
New procedures for the 1970 population census
4. For the previous census, all responses had to be transcribed into punched cards. For the 1970 census, for the first time, an optical reader will be used which can determine whether responses have been entered and which can read Arabic stylized letters. That means the questionnaires can be captured for electronic processing without the use of punched cards. This new method will save time and money.
Also, filling out of questionnaires has become easier because most questions have pre-categorized answers which can be simply marked with an horizontal line. Only those questions which allow a multitude of answers (e.g. profession, livelihood) or in cases where none of the preprinted answers apply (e.g. languages spoken, religion) require write-ins.
In order that the machine can read the questionnaires easily, certain conditions need to be observed:
- The questionnaires must not be folded or become dirty.
- They need to be filled in with a soft pencil (preferably on a writing pad). For that reason pencils will be distributed with the questionnaires.
- Care must be taken to avoid writing the answers neither too close to the blue boxed fields nor into the U-profile.
- Answers marked wrongly need to be erased carefully not crossed out.
5. Enumerators as the middle persons between the population and the administrative bodies and fulfill a very important task. They are responsible for the enumeration of all persons, buildings and dwellings in their enumeration areas. In doing so, they [enumerators] have to adhere to the instructions for enumerators that provide explanations for the questions and to the special instructions by their respective municipal offices. Enumerators are bound to keep all census responses confidential from anybody else.
6. The tasks of an enumerator is:
- Preparation work
- Distribution of questionnaires
- Entering households into the control list
- Collecting questionnaires and checking for correctness of answers while in the household
- Maintaining the control list
- Verifying the control fields on all questionnaires, the envelops for private households, and the list for collective households
- Giving information to the population
- Completing and correcting the control list
- Forwarding [completed] enumeration material
[Preparation work for the enumerator not presented here]
Distribution of questionnaires
10. The questionnaires have to be distributed to the population according to the instructions of the municipality between November 25 and 28. Large institutions (e.g. hospitals, hotels) can receive the material earlier.
11. The enumeration will be conducted household by household.
12. The questionnaires and one pencil are to be given to the head of household, the house wife or another adult person in the household.
13. If the house owner or [building] care taker lives in the building, they also receive the building questionnaire. For vacant buildings, vacation or second homes, the enumerator fills out the building questionnaire himself. In case a building has only vacant dwellings, questions 3b to 3e do not need to be answered.
How do you proceed as enumerator?
14. As enumerator you visit every house and dwelling in your enumeration area. Every household receives its own household form with a unique number. You have to ensure whether persons live in the basement or attic and who form their own households. Do not forget to check factories, schools, commercial buildings, warehouses, museums and other buildings where one cannot determine from the outside whether persons are living in them; they might have dwellings for care takers, administrators etc.
Also, where a dwelling seems to be used only for commercial purposes (doctor offices, shops); you need to ask specifically whether anyone lives there. Occupants of emergency shelters, barracks, trailers, carnival wagons, ships etc are also to be included in the enumeration.
Points 41 to 60 below explain what constitutes a household, who has to be counted and who has to complete the dwelling or building questionnaire
15. In each household you inquire how many persons and in which language (German, French, Italian, Spanish, and in Graubuenden also "surselvisch" and "ladinisch") need to receive a person questionnaire. If you meet persons who speak only Serbo-Croatian, Greek or Turkish you can give them the translation aids.
Census day is midnight of November 30. Persons who were born or died before midnight need to enumerated, i.e. a questionnaire has to be completed.
16. You give each household the necessary number of person questionnaires, one dwelling questionnaire and one household envelope, and when necessary a building questionnaire. If necessary, one or more spare questionnaires should be left as well.
17. When handing over the questionnaires, please advise the head of household explicitly that he/she has to list all persons in the household, who are currently living there and are present according to the instructions on the private household envelope. Advise the population to read the instructions before filling out the questionnaires. Inform them that the questionnaires will be read directly into the computer and should be handled carefully. They [questionnaires] should be filled with pencil on a firm surface and are not to be folded.
18. When distributing the questionnaires, you enter the name of the head of household in the control list. At the same time the household number in the control list has to be entered onto the household envelope. If an additional control list is required, the next household numbers start with 101. If nobody is present to receive the questionnaires, the household is numbered nevertheless. If the household members are absent for a longer period or households refuse to participate in the census for whatever reason then these household have to be identified on page 4 section A.
19. Upon request, lodgers can receive a separate envelope for private households and a person questionnaire. After the collection, the household envelope is to be destroyed the name of the lodger to be entered onto the household envelope of the landlord, his /her person questionnaire to be numbered with the number of the landlord household and to be inserted into the household envelope. Thus lodgers who belong to the household of the head of household are not to be entered onto the [household] control list even when they received questionnaires separately.
20. For collective households (institutes, hotels, etc.), you give the list for collective households, the person questionnaires and, if necessary, a building questionnaire, but not a dwelling questionnaire. In most cases such households require several lists. Should there be private households as well in a collective household, they need to be treated separately with separate documents for private households.
21. When handing over the questionnaires please announce when you will come back to collect the questionnaires. If necessary agree on a mutually convenient time. This is particularly important for foreigners who are about to depart.
22. Inform the population that you conduct the census with the authority of the municipality and explain, if necessary, the reason for the census. Please answer questions politely and help older, foreign or those persons with writing difficulties in filling out the questionnaires. In many cases you can save efforts, if you enter the answers yourself after having posed the questions.
23. You start collecting questionnaires on December 1 while carrying sufficient spare documents.
All households and all inhabited buildings need to be enumerated, even if they are vacant or are occupied only part of the time. So you need to ensure that all households and buildings have been visited. Those overlooked the first time should now be enumerated, including completing all questionnaires. Should questionnaires be lost or damaged or the numbers of distributed documents not sufficient, questionnaires have to be completed at this time.
24. When collecting the documents, you need to check that you received back a questionnaire from each person listed on the household envelope and that they are entered in the right section (a, b, c or d). If each enumerator misses one person, then 35,000 persons will be missed, more than the equivalent of the canton Uri.
You need to check that the dwelling questionnaire and where applicable the building questionnaire have been completed, that all questions have been answered according to the explanations, and that the questionnaires have been filled in completely and are readable. For person questionnaires, all fields should have only one mark with the exception of questions 13 and 19.
25. Ensure that all private household envelopes are marked with the corresponding pre-printed number in the control list.
26. If you cannot collect the questionnaires in spite of repeated attempts, you mark the name and address of the head of household and the household number in section B on page 4 of the control list.
27. Should someone refuse to fill out the questionnaires or return them, you notify the municipal office.
[Section describing maintaining control list is not presented here]
[Section detailing verification of the control identifiers (name of municipality, enumeration area, household number, questionnaire number) is not presented here]
Returning the enumeration material
39. All documents sorted according to the entries in the control list is to be delivered to municipal office at or before December 7, 1970.
40. For the purpose of enumeration, a difference is being made between private households which receive an envelope for private households and collective households which receive a person list for collective households.
What is a private household?
41. A private household consists of family members living together and all other persons living with them (e.g. maids, apprentices, lodgers, paying guests, permanent guests, and nurses).
42. Lodgers or sub-tenants do not form a separate household but belong to the host household; only in cases where they cannot be assigned to a household because they occupy rooms which belong to a business, doctor office, etc. are they to be treated as separate households.
43. Single persons and persons not related to each other form a household if they live in their own closed dwelling or single room which they have rented from the landlord and which is separate from his dwelling.
44. Examples of households
- A family in a rented dwelling
- A farmer with family members and hired persons in the farm or in annex buildings
- A house owner and the lodgers who live in the same dwelling
- Several persons who have rented and occupy jointly a dwelling
- A single person who has rented a room directly from the house owner
- A married couple who has rented part of a dwelling directly from the house owner and share a kitchen
- Persons have rented basement or attic rooms which are separate from the dwelling of the owner
45. Examples of persons who do not form a separate household:
- Lodger/subtenant in the dwelling of the landlord
- Tenant of an attic room which belongs to the dwelling of the landlord;
- All those included in collective households.
What is a collective household?
46. Collective households are groups of persons who reside in hotels, boarding houses, care facilities, boarding schools, hospitals, company dormitories, etc.
47. Hotels, inns, boarding houses
Owners and managers of hotel, inns, boarding houses, hostels, etc form with their family and domestic staff their own private households. The same applies to staff members who have their own household. Those persons will be enumerated with the private household questionnaires and are not to be entered on the collective household list.
Other staff members together with the guests form a collective household. However, only if there are 3 or more persons to be listed is a collective household list to be used; otherwise they are added to the private household of the owner or manager.
48. Institutions and care facilities
For the purpose of the census, these include the following:
Hospitals, sanatoria, clinics, care facilities, asylums, home for the blinds or deaf, boarding schools, children homes, orphanages, poorhouses, old age homes, cloisters, prisons. Staff members living with their families in the institutions are enumerated as private households.
As a general rule, the questionnaires for the occupants are completed by the manager.
49. Other collective households
That includes staff members that have common accommodation but do not own the house and cannot be assigned to a household, for example:
- Four journeyman bakers accommodated in an apartment by the owner
- Construction workers in barracks
- Tourists in mass accommodations
If there is no owner or manager, the enumerator himself fills in the person list.
50. Military barracks and schools
Staff members living in the facilities having their own households are to be enumerated as private households. Soldiers and other military staff are to be enumerated at their home municipality.
For which persons in private households are questionnaires to be completed?
51. A person questionnaire has to be completed for every person residing in or visiting the household, and for family members living somewhere else [temporarily]. They also need to be listed on the household envelope indicating the following categories:
b) Persons who live here normally but are temporarily absent. For example:
- Head of household on business travel
- Wife visiting her parents
- Son doing his military duty or being in skiing training camp
- Daughter being in a hospital
- Lodger away on a construction job outside Switzerland
c) Persons who are family members and who are home only on weekends or once every quarter or season or at the end of a university semester. For example:
- Spouses working somewhere else and home only on weekends
- Children working or studying somewhere else and coming home on weekends or only occasionally
- mother in law present for a visit
52. Members of embassies, consular offices, and international representation at international organisation are not to be enumerated. However, the following need to be enumerated:
b) Foreigners who reside in these buildings but do not have diplomatic privileges or immunity
53. For collective households all persons residing there on census day have to be listed on pages 2, 3 and 4 according to their person category. However, for those listed on page 4, a person questionnaire is not required anymore as was in previous censuses.
54. The type of collective household also determines whether in addition to listing a person, if that person needs to also have a person questionnaire completed, or whether it is sufficient to enter name, year of birth and residential address on page 4 of the list.
55. From the schema on page 16, which represents an excerpt from the list for collective households, the enumerator can determine for which persons questionnaires have to be filled out and for which persons it is sufficient to enter them only on the list.
[Schema is not presented here]
When is a dwelling questionnaire to be completed?
56. A dwelling questionnaire has to be completed for every private household.
57. A dwelling questionnaire is not required for collective households, vacant dwellings, or vacation/weekend dwellings, but they need to be indicated on the building questionnaire.
For which building is a building questionnaire to be completed?
58. Every residential building even if it is occupied only part time.
59. Other buildings if they contain at least one occupied or vacant dwelling.
60. Other accommodations if they are occupied on census day.
Supplementary explanation to the questionnaires
Most of the explanations for the questions are contained in the questionnaires. These will not be repeated here. Only those explanations which are relevant as answers to additional questions posed by the population are listed below.
Question 4: Marital status
Legally separated is to be marked as married
Question 5: Position in household
Where several families form one household, the correct relationship to the head of household needs to be given.
Question 6: Mother tongue
For children who cannot speak yet, the mother tongue of the mother should be entered.
Question 7: Religion
Old-catholic write in their answer. This is true of other members of other religious groups (e.g. Methodists, New Apostolic, Baptists, Mormons, Jehovah Witness). Persons who do not belong to a church will write in "without religion" or a hyphen.
Question 8: Place of home residence (home town) Heimat
Question 9: Place of birth
If the place of birth was in a foreign country, the name of the current country should be written in.
Questions 10 and 11: Former places of residence
Question 12: School presently attended
Those working and attending school, should mark the appropriate field.
Question 14: Education
These questions should be also answered by non-working persons and housewives. The profession acquired after the obligatory school should be entered. The question on a later acquired profession (university) applies to persons who, in addition to a first profession, acquired a second profession. Also, persons who first learned a trade and then went to university should enter both levels of education.
Question 17: Number of children
Those counted should be legitimate children.
Children from a former marriage of the woman or man as well as adopted children and illegitimate children should not be counted.
Question 19: Present occupation, livelihood
Farmer wives and other adult persons, who work on the farm in addition to their housework, should enter "housewife" as well as "full time or part time employed". In question 20 they should enter only the time which they spend normally at farm work.
Persons age 16 and over who are dependent on their relatives, as long as they are not un-employed, housewives or students, mark the field "other sources of livelihood".
Other sources of livelihood are also alimony, scholarships, support payments, etc.
Question 21: Principal or part time occupation
a) Which occupation do you have presently?
It should be noted that the current practiced occupation is requested not the profession learned. This question should be answered as precisely as possible. General entries are to be avoided. Housewives and house daughters who work predominantly as such should enter housewives or housework.
b) Present occupation, level
Persons who work all or most of the time in a family enterprise are working family members. Home workers are persons who work in their dwelling or another self-selected place for wages for one or more employer. Other possibilities are co-owner, director, master, journey man, and apprentice. Public servants give their position title.
c) Name of employer, company
Public servants enter the name of their office.
d) Branch of economy, industry
The branch of economy should be specific, such as cotton spinning, hosiery knitting, grocery store, etc. Female employees in agriculture should state whether they work predominantly in the household or in agricultural duties.
Question 22: Self-employed
Relevant are the number of employees on December 1, 1970. Persons working less than 6 hours per week are not to be included.
Question 23: Place of work, school
Similar to questions 8
Those changing their place of work frequently but returning home daily (e.g. construction worker), should enter their place of work on December 1.
Question 24: Duration of commuting
The time measured is from leaving home to arriving at the place of work. For persons working and attending school half days, the commute to work is to be entered. For persons returning home only on weekends, the commute from their place of accommodation to their place of work is to be entered.
Question 25: Frequency of commuting
Persons commuting more than twice per day, mark "twice"
Question 27: Citizenship of foreigners
Foreigners with several citizenships should enter the country of the last obtained citizenship. Foreigners who have no papers and are also unable to obtain such, or who cannot get protection from the diplomatic office of their home country, enter persons without papers, without citizenship or refugee.
Question 28: Type of foreigner identity card
Referred to here is the foreigner identity card not a passport. The letters A, B, C, D are printed on the front in large letters.
Persons without such identity card are as a rule:
- Guests in hotels, business travelers
- Nonworking foreigners during their first three months after arriving
- Foreigners whose disposition has not been finalized yet
Question 2: Ownership
A dwelling rented voluntary from an employer is a rented dwelling, not a dwelling provided by the employer.
Question 3: Kitchen
Is a kitchen used also as living or bed room, it is still to be counted as kitchen.
Rooms in dwellings are all rooms which can be occupied, regardless of whether they are used as living, bed or office rooms. Thus included are also rooms used partially or fully for commercial purposes such as offices for tailors, physicians etc as long as they are contained within the dwelling. Not counted as rooms are kitchens, baths, toilets, hallways, verandas, balconies, basement storage rooms, storage rooms, workshops.
[Definition of control fields not presented here]
[Example of control list not presented here]
[Example of household envelope not presented here]
[Example of building questionnaire not presented here]
[Example of persons questionnaire not presented here]
[Example of persons list for collective households not presented here]
[Calendar schedule for enumerators not presented here]
[Control list is not presented here]
[Envelope for private households is not presented here]
[Persons list for collective households is not presented here]
[Person questionnaire is not presented here]
[Dwelling questionnaire is not presented here]
[Building questionnaire is not presented here]
[Summary form for communities is not presented here]