Monday, February 7, 2011

User’s Guide: Be Counted or Pay Up (Lux Census 2011)

Sometimes I wonder whether my 86 year old neighbor is in cahoots with my mother, updating her on all of my latest activities. Usually once a week or so, as I’m coming or going, I hear the key turn in her lock and just before I’m out of earshot I hear “Jessica! Veehre haahve you beehn?!” I then trudge back up the stairs or back into the hallway and proceed to chat (or listen) for somewhere between 15 minutes and an hour. She is an incredibly kind lady with a fascinating personal story and she’s always been quite generous to Nick and me, gifting us chocolates, containers of ice cream, and at one time even offering me her old collection of well-worn high heeled shoes (they didn’t fit).

Two weeks ago, she stopped me as I was rushing out the door to catch a bus. I explained that I was in a hurry, but she forged ahead anyway, telling me that the census people had visited my apartment. She pulled out all of the documents they left with her and showed me that there were instructions in English. I wasn’t sure what the urgency was, but now I understand why she stopped me. The census is mandatory. If we do not return our census form, we could be fined anywhere from €251 to €2,500!

The census representative must have been by again, because last week, I came home to a 15 page questionnaire in French from STATEC, the Luxembourg census bureau. No instructions accompanied my census, however, so I decided to trudge up to the STATEC offices today to ask if I could exchange my French census for an English version. I couldn’t; I’m told that everyone must return the census form they were given because the form is coded. I, however, did walk away with a copy of the census in English that I can use as a guide, which is fine with me – I’m just glad I don’t have to rely on Google Translate for every single question!

So, if you live in Luxembourg and need to fill out a census, here’s the deal:

English language version:
You can download a printable copy of the 2011 census here.

Census timeline.
The census takes place from February 1-15, 2011. A STATEC representative should have visited your household prior to Feb. 1 to let you know what your options are in terms of completing the census, and to provide you with a questionnaire, which is available in Luxembourgish, French, English, German, or Portuguese. Since the census wraps up the 15th, you should have yours completed and ready on or by that date. 

Out of town? Missing your census?
If you are currently out of town or did not receive a census, you should probably reach out to STATEC as soon as possible via the electronic form on their web site to inform them. You can also reach them by telephone on their main reception line at (+352) 247-84333. Since the census is available in several languages, in theory, whoever answers your call should be able to put you in touch with someone who speaks English (or Portugese, French, German or Luxembourgish).

Due date.
Your census must be completed by February 15, 2011. A census representative will be back to collect your census between February 15 – March 5, 2011. In my building, a notice was briefly posted last week about when the STATEC rep would return; so, if you want to know when your STATEC representative will return and haven’t seen a notice, ask a neighbor.

Completing the census online. 
You can complete the census online ONLY if you hold a LuxTrust product, which is basically a secure electronic signature. (You can order this through your bank. If you order it now, during the census, it’s free for three years. Click here for the main LuxTrust page that explains this in English.)  If you have a LuxTrust certificate and choose to complete your census online, keep in mind that it must be submitted electronically by February 10, 2011; after that date, you must file your census in writing on the form you received.

If you have a LuxTrust certificate, you can find the English language version of the census hereThis site is also a good resource if you just want to read the English translation of the census, if you, too, could not completely decipher the foreign language version you received. (Try opening it in Internet Explorer if you receive an error message by opening from another browser; this worked for me.)

Submitting your census. 
Per the representative I met today and also the information they provide online, you may either give your census to a STATEC rep who visits your home between Feb. 15 and March 5, or you may mail your completed census to either your commune or to STATEC. The latter is probably the safer bet, so here is the mailing address:
B.P. 304
L-2013 Luxembourg

Additional Info:
STATEC's 2011 Census video (somewhat informative, and in English): / Recensement général de la population: This page has fairly detailed information about the census and requirements, but it's only available in French and German. (Google Translate does a good translation though, if you have the tool installed on your computer.) / General population census 2011: A web page dedicated to the census, in English, and relatively uninformative.

LuxTrust: Info about getting a free LuxTrust certificate for the census. Probably too late for you sign up and receive your certificate in time to file your census online if you're only starting now, but you can probably still get a LuxTrust certificate for free if you sign up by Feb. 10th (or as long as the link remains active). It will probably helpful for other things in the future and you'll be saving yourself the €19.50 is normally charged. The free certificate is good for three years.


  1. Can I still fill the census form and submit? I was under wrong impression for last date.
    Is the english version still available somewhere?

  2. Hi Anonymous: You can download a copy of the census in English from my Google Docs page at this link: