Census in Portugal UPDATED 27-04-21
Michael - 27-04-2021
Census in Portugal UPDATED 27-04-21
The Census in Portugal starts on 19th April. If you haven't been visited by the Census team from I.N.E., look in your post box and see if they have left you a notice. Participation in the Census is obligatory for RESIDENTS in Portugal.
Members who receive the ‘News from afpop’ mailings will already know that we have been invited by the Portuguese office of national statistics I.N.E. (Instituto Nacional de Estatística), to help promote the census in Portugal, which began on April 19th. A letter from the Census team should have been delivered to you at home, containing the code and password to enable you to access the 2021 Census via the internet from 19 April and which is scheduled to end on 3rd May. Or, you may have an Aviso in your post box to inform you that they have visited while you were out and when they will return to give you your access code. If I.N.E are not able to see you in person they will eventually leave the letter with the code in your post box.
We have made a translation to English of the letter which comes with the Code and also of the Aviso in case any Member needs those.
The census, which takes place every ten years, is essential for the government to make plans for services across the country and includes all residents, which means people who have formal Residency and live in Portugal as their primary residence, so NOT people who own property here but have their primary residence in another country. Therefore NON-Residents do NOT need to fill in the Census in Portugal even if they own a holiday home here, but … please see section further down about Non-Residents.
Please remember that participating in the Census is a legal obligation, refusing it is subject to fines between €250 - €25,000 (individuals) or €500 - €50,000 (companies, etc.) (DL 54/2019 and DL 22/2008). The Census forms are also available in English when you start the procedure online. Remember that you have to include in the Census form EVERY person in your household, of any age
The INE says, “The completeness of the collection and processing of census data, carried out every 10 years, give the Censuses a unique role in the knowledge of the housing stock and the demographic, social and economic reality of the regions, also producing essential information for investment decision-making by the public and private sectors.”
The Census teams will be identified by their yellow vests, with the I.N.E logo on the back.
If you received the information and have not yet completed the census, you can still do so until the 3rd of May. If you have not received the details to log on to the census website from the Census team or if you have lost your code, you can contact the INE team on (00351) 210 542 021 and ask for the code to be delivered to you.
The Census is only to be completed by residents in Portugal, whether they own property or are renting their accommodation. It can be completed in either Portuguese or English, by selecting the language in the box at the top right of your screen, which defaults to Pt, but can be altered to En.
There are people who may not be in Portugal at the moment and who know that they have their census letter waiting for them. The first thing is that they have a couple of weeks at least yet to complete the form, so if they are due back in Portugal before mid-May they should be fine. However if they are not scheduled to return, they can ask someone with access to their property (if such a keyholder exists) to open, scan and e-mail – or even read out over the phone, the access code and their password. These things are specific to the address and there is no reason not to allow someone else to see it. Finally you can once again contact the help line 210 542 021 and explain the situation and ask for assistance.
If you haven’t received your password you should contact the INE help line and ask for it.
Anyone who needs assistance in completing the census can visit their Junta de Freguesia, with their census code letter and their identification, and the staff there will assist you in completing the census on-line. If you are unable to get to the Junta de Freguesia, once again you should call the INE help line 210 542 021 and ask for assistance.
The original plan from I.N.E (Instituto Nacional de Estatística), was for their Census teams to personally hand code letters to people in their property, however that hasn’t happened and many forms have been left in mailboxes. The problem with that is that the mailbox may of course belong to an empty dwelling or a property owned as a second home. In that case there are three options:
1) you can call INE on their help line number 210 542 021 and inform them that the property is not lived in by a resident;
2) you can take that form to the Junta de Freguesia and tell them the same thing, or
3) you can go online to the census website and fill in the initial details requested and then at Question 4 - “Habitualmente residem pessoas neste habitação”, (Do people usually live in this dwelling?), simply answer Não and the census ends there.
You may think ‘why bother’? but the census is obligatory and any dwellings that have not submitted their details online will be revisited in June and have to explain why they didn’t comply with the requirements. As it’s such a simple thing to handle, it makes sense to do it now and save the hassle later. Also if you see the INE staff in your area (with yellow vests/INE logo on the back) you can give the code letter back to them with the same explanation.