Guide to completing the 2021 National Census

UPDATE: Now available in English, Russian and Ukrainian as well as Polish. 

The 2021 National Census of Population and Housing is currently taking place across Poland. The census is compulsory for all residents including foreigners whether here on a permanent or temporary basis.

UPDATE: Fri 23/4/21
The online National Census is now available in other languages. The website has been updated to allow residents to complete the census in English, Russian and Ukrainian as well as Polish. 

The option is available in a drop down list at ‘Wersja językowa’ on the top right of this page:-

  2021 National Population and Housing Census (
The primary method of completing the census will be online. The form has been published on since 1st April, and will be available to completed until 30th September 2021 (the original deadline of 30th June has been extended due to Covid).    Census officials may also call to conduct the census over the phone.

As in many other countries, the census takes place every 10 years which allows the government to record detailed information on the number of people, their territorial distribution, demographic, social and professional data, as well as information on the quantitative and qualitative condition of housing and building stock.

We’ve answered some of the main questions below in this article, or you can jump to our Guidance on Completing the Census Online which includes links to detailed 57 page guides (available in Polish, Russian, Ukrainian and English).

Who should complete the census?

  • natural persons permanently residing and temporarily staying in apartments, buildings and other inhabited non-residential premises,
  • natural persons without a place of residence
  • apartments, buildings, collective accommodation facilities and other inhabited non-residential premises.

How is the census conducted?

  • independently via the internet application on the website of the Central Statistical Office
  • in a telephone interview conducted by a census enumerator
  • in a direct interview conducted by a census enumerator, if the epidemic situation allows it.
    Direct interviews are currently suspended.

How long does it take to complete?
Authorities estimate it should take 15 minutes to complete the form, of course it should be assumed that non Polish speakers will most likely take a little longer to translate and complete the form.  Completing the census online is the quickest and simplest method.

Do foreigners/migrants also have to complete the census?
Yes. The obligation to complete the census will apply also to foreigners living in Poland.

Do I have to complete the census?
Yes. The census is compulsory, with a fine of up to 5000zł for failing to complete it.

‘The Central Statistical Office reminds that the refusal to participate in the national census is associated with the possibility of imposing a fine by the court in the amount of up to PLN 5,000.  In accordance with the Act of June 29, 1995 on public statistics:’

Is the Census only available in Polish?
Yes, at the moment, this may change
– One of the media reports on the census also added that the form would be made available in languages other than Polish. –“With these citizens in mind, documents in other languages, including Ukrainian, English or German, are under preparation.”

So far there are no other language options available.  I have written to the census office to enquire if and when other languages may be available.  I will update this article when they respond.

Do I need to a Pesel or Trusted Profile (Profil Zaufany)?
Technically No, but there may be some difficulties...
The ‘logging in’ section on page 1 of the detailed pdf guide (embedded & linked to below) refers to the ability to log in using a password account.  I haven’t tried this, and have read in other forums that people have encountered difficulties logging in without either a Pesel or Trusted Profile.

Logging In (extract from pdf guide)
Providing an email address and an individually defined access password – Method for foreign citizens with no PESEL number who, on 31 March 2021, were permanent or temporary residents of Poland.

At the login page  select  – I do not have a PESEL number – Please provide another method.

 icon-link This guide explains how to obtain a Profil Zaufany.

Where can I get help?
Additional questions related to the implementation of the census in the Małopolskie Voivodeship can be directed to the Provincial Census Bureau in the Statistical Office in Kraków – tel: 12 42 04 050, e-mail:  or directly to the National helpline tel: 22 279 99 99

Beware of scammers!

Due to the epidemic situation, only the internet and telephone “Census on Demand” (citizen calling enumerator) will be held throughout April.  Telephone (enumerator calling citizen) and face-to-face interviews will only take place from the beginning of May, (Covid permitting).

Any doubts and suspicious situations (in particular, receiving a phone call in April from a person presenting himself as a census enumerator or a visit of a person presenting himself as a census enumerator at home) should be reported to the authorities.

If in doubt, the identity of the census enumerator may be confirmed by calling 12 279 99 99. The Statistical Office will announce the commencement of telephone or direct interviews on the BIP website and in the media. You should also follow the announcements posted on the website .

Data Protection & Confidentiality?
All data provided during the census  is confidential – The data is properly and carefully secured and will not be disclosed to anyone. The exact scope of information collected in the National Census is available in Annex 1 to the Act of August 9, 2019 on the National Population and Housing Census in 2021 (Journal of Laws, item 1775, as amended).

What happens to the data?
The Office of National Statistics (GUS Główny Urząd Statystyczny ) have provided an infographic summarising previous years statistics.

 icon-link Infographic – 2021 National Census of Population and Housing

Guidance on completing the Census

The census website is actually quite useful and includes, a comprehensive guide – in English, along with a demo census form,  list of questions in the census, and an FAQ.

 icon-link Census Home Page

 icon-link List of Census Questions
The list of questions includes specific questions for short or long term migrants.
 icon-link Demo Census

 icon-link FAQ’s
The full list of FAQ’s are available at the link above.  I’ve included below, the key questions which are likely to be more relevant according to comments which I’ve seen appearing on social media:-

Do I have to enter everyone I live with at the same address?
Adults should answer the questions on their own, while minors should be written down by their parents or legal guardians. Data on absent persons is provided by adults living together with them, if they know the data required by the census application. It is allowed to answer for people living in a given apartment – with their consent – by an adult person also living in that apartment. This person provides information about the apartment and all people living in it, determines the composition of the apartment, determines family relations between people and answers the questions contained in the housing and personal questionnaire.

There is a possibility of self-registration by adults who, for example, create separate households. 

What if I don’t know the details of the people who live with me?
The application does not let you go any further.

As a rule, all people who lived at the given address should be added. In exceptional situations, when the person registering does not know all the data relating to other persons living at the same address, he may only identify himself without the need to add other persons. Importantly – people who live at the same address and have not been entered in the form – are required to make the census on their own.

If he / she writes down his / her spouse, is he / she already exempt from self-enrollment?
Yes, you can complete the form with your spouse (with their spouse’s consent). Such a person, in the light of the provisions of the Act on the NSP, fulfilled the census obligation. On the other hand, if a person signed up by another person wants to complete the census form himself – he can do it.

Who lists the children?
For minors (i.e. aged 0 to 17), in accordance with the provisions of the Act on the NSP, the census is carried out by parents or legal guardians.

Once you have read our guide, and feel confident to complete the census you can access the online census by clicking on this link:-


We have included below the full 57 page English guide embedded into this article and as a link to a downloadable pdf.  There are links below to the detailed guide in Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish.

Poland Census Guide English

Link to Detailed Guidance in English (57 page PDF)

Detailed Guides in Other Languages
Online self-census guidelines in Polish (DOCX)
Online self-census guidelines in Polish (PDF)

Online self-census guidelines in English (DOCX)
Online Self-Census Guidelines in English (PDF)

Online self-census guidelines in Russian (DOCX)
Online self-census guidelines in Russian (PDF)

Online self-census guidelines in Ukrainian (DOCX)
Online self-census guidelines in Ukrainian (PDF)

GUS  Główny Urząd Statystyczny – Central Statistical Office
Enumerator – a person employed in taking a census of the population. “census enumerators”

#LiczymySięDlaPolski    #LiczySięKażdy   #NSP2021    #GUS   #potrzebyPolaków
#WeAreCountingForPoland – #WeAreCountingEveryone –  #NSP2021 – #GUS – #PolishNeeds

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.