Contemporary Southeastern Europe
Research Articles

Slovenia and the Census: From the 20. Century Yugoslav Counts to the Register-based Census of 2011

  • Damir Josipovič
The article critically examines censuses in the Republic of Slovenia. Owing to its Yugoslav past, the censuses after 1945 have been closely scrutinized, and the common Yugoslav census methodology had a strong influence on the 1991 and 2002 censuses. The 1991 enumeration was carried out within the Yugoslav state; however the data processing and result publishing was done under the newly independent Slovenian state. The 2002 census was the last census to be carried out using classic door-to-door enumeration, since the 2011 census was completely register-based. The paper explores censuses in Slovenia since 1991, noting numerous changes and controversies. In 2002, in contrast to 1991, the applied definition of the resident population left out some 35,000 people working temporarily abroad. In addition, the 2002 census witnessed the highest ever number of ethnically non-affiliated respondents. An even bigger controversy was related to the erasure of some 30,000 people from the register of permanent residents for failing to apply for Slovenian citizenship after the break-up of Yugoslavia. The article also briefly reviews the difficulty in addressing the status of the constitutional national minorities and other unrecognized former Yugoslav nations in a situation in which specific data on their number, social and economic structure are no longer collected.