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Census 2011 in Portugal

You will be seeing adverts about this on TV now around Europe. A census takes place every 10 yearscensus2011
to count Population and Housing Stock.

Keep reading for FAQ's and Guidence Notes for completing the census online.

Through the Census it is possible for the Governement and other organisations to plan for essential goods and services for the population, such as schools, hospitals, security and transport. The allocation of funds and policy development at regional level are based on the results of the census, so the response is very important.  

The information collected is used by the government, the EU and private companies to plan for the next 10 years. It is really important to ExPats to be heard in this census, so that people know we are here. If flight operators, like Ryan Air, knew how many British Expats were in central Portugal then they might realise that we need more flights to the UK from Porto and Lisbon, not less.

Click here to take you to a page explaining about the Census (it has an English option on the top right corner of the page).

Census day is 21st march 2011, so that any information you complete on the form is relevant to what your current situation is on that date only. You have until 10th April to complete the on-line census.

There is a Freephone Census Helpline available, and there are multilingual operators to answer any questions you have. When you call this number there a message that says “for English press 8”.

800 22 20 11, it is open Monday – Friday 09:00 to 20:00

Some Frequently Asked Questions?

1. Do I have to complete the Census?

YES! All inquiries are from INE (National Institute of Statistics) and a response is obligatory (Law No. 22/2008 of May 13). 

2. How to guarantee the confidentiality of my responses?

Under the Law all individual responses are confidential and may not be disclosed Your individual data will never be disclosed to other government bodies or public entities / public or private companies. The INE's census, as well as all professionals involved in this project are required by law to secrecy.

3. When will the census taker comes to my house?

Starting on March 7, 2011, the INE census takers go door to door to distribute the questionnaires and other supporting documentation and to provide all necessary information.

4. If I do not respond via the internet and are not home when the census taker comes to the collection, what happens?

The census taker has the responsibility to make the collection of information. He will repeatedly try to make contact with the house owner. If he cannot then he will leave a notice in the mailbox with information on the date / time for a next visit, if even then you cannot make the visit you can deliver the questionnaires to the Parish Council. If you have not yet got a form then go to your local Junta de Freguesia and register there.

If the forms are issued to you and not completed, then you are subject to a fine of 250€ minimum up to 3500€.

5. How do I respond?

You can complete the census on paper or on-line (guidence notes below). There are 3 questionnaires in English, that you can print out and use. If you are completing the census on-line we recommend printing these so you can follow the on-line (Potuguese only) questions.

Dwelling questionnaire / Questionário de alojamento familiar

Household questionnaire / Questionário de família

Individual Questionnaire / Questionário individual

When the census person comes they will bring an envelope with the ‘access code and PIN number’ for completing the forms on-line, and an 'accommodation questionnaire' containing the dwelling identification. These are both needed to complete the forms on-line.

If responding on paper, you can print the form in English, the census person will then come back to collect them, from 28 March 2011, onwards.

6. Am I a Resident in Portugal?

For the purpose of the census, a resident is someone who has been in Portugal for over a year or who intends to stay for a minimum period of one year. Otherwise, you are non-residents.

Guidence Notes for Completing the Census On-Line

First print off the 3 questionnaires (above)

It is much easier to follow the on-line forms, whilst reading the printed ones in English. The Online the forms are in Portuguese but the questions and options are the same, so you can check the English one then complete the online one.

Go to

The first page can be in English (click flag in right corner) but then is switches to Portuguese once you are signed in.

Enter Access ID and PIN (case specific) from the sealed envelope you were given by the Census Collector.

Enter the 17 digit code (Identificacao do alojamento) form the form that you were given by the Census Collector, in the first boxes.

Section 1. Endereco do alojamento.

Enter the address as written on the form you were given.


Click Seguinte (next) button, at any time you can click Guardar (to save the questionnaire, useful to do this every page anyway. When you click this it takes you to a summary page, just click Continuar when you want to continue)

Now you get to the questionnaires. In you have printed the English versions then this will be easy, just follow the question numbers. 

Dwelling questionnaire / Questionário de alojamento familiar

This one is straighforward as all question numbers correspond.

Household questionnaire / Questionário de família

This one is not quite as simple, but the following notes should help you.

Here are the corresponding questions.

Online version English (printed) version
1 A
2 B
3 C

the drop-down box gives you the
same options in the same order

question 2 in the 'person' section

only use the drop down boxes for a 'yes' answer
Eg Does the person live with their spouse? Yes.
Then choose the spouses name from the drop down














Individual Questionnaire / Questionário individual

Individual questionnaire – one for each person

This is straightforward, and all question numbers correspond to the English version.

There are a number of questions asking for your country, once you have selected the first one, you only need to type the first letter (e.g. R for Reino Unido) and it will offer you the answer you selected the first time, so you do not have to scroll down the list every time.

Eg. question 8 tick No Estrangeiro, then from drop down select- Reino Unido (United Kingdom)       

Finishing off   

When all the questionnaires are completed, you will automatically be taken to the summary screen, you can click on any pages to go back and check or change them, or you can just send it. (Enviar)

The Print (Imprimar) or just exit (Sair).

You Have Finished, an SMS will now be sent to the Census Collector to say you have completed the census, and you do not need to do anything else.

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