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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2002 Census Aims for Truth

As the State Statistics Committee gears up for the October 2002 census, it is planning a multimillion-dollar campaign to convince citizens to cooperate when "counters" come knocking at the door.

At a news conference Friday, committee head Vladimir Sokolin said $8 million is to be spent on "explanatory" work with the population, because people need to be convinced to reveal information about themselves.

He said about half a million counters will be sent out door-knocking to gather information for the census. They are to ask citizens about a dozen questions on topics including the sources of their incomes and the real estate they own.

Sokolin tried to assure reporters that all personal information the counters obtain will forever remain behind the walls of the statistics committee. Even the Federal Security Service, the Interior Ministry and the Tax Police won't have access to it, he said. The counters themselves will carry identification documents so good they would be "too expensive to forge," he added.

The federal budget is to allocate 4 billion rubles ($136.2 million) for the census, and another 1.5 billion rubles is to come from local budgets, according to the State Statistics Committee.

Sokolin said he expected the census would put Russia's population at 145 million to 147 million. The population is currently estimated at 144 million and the trend for it to decline seems be continuing, but Sokolin said illegal aliens would also be counted in the census and could be expected to boost the total.