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Note on the 2022 Census questionnaire

The IBGE would like to clarify that the questionnaire of the Population Census was finished in 2019 and its content was widely disseminated by the communication vehicles at the time. It has never had questions on residents' sexual orientation or gender. In November 2020, the Census questionnaire had just one more question added, on the existence of residents diagnosed as autistic in the household. Since then, no other modifications have been made to the 2022 Census questionnaire.

This matter has already been analyzed by the Court, which, in a final and unappealable decision, rendered in a PUBLIC-INTEREST CIVIL ACTION, recognized the technical arguments of the IBGE. In 2018, the IBGE was sued by the Public Defender of the Union, in PUBLIC CIVIL ACTION (lawsuit No. 5019543-02.2018.4.02.5101/RJ), which requested the inclusion of a question aiming at counting the transsexual population in the Population Census. IBGE's technical justifications (below) were accepted and the complaint of the mentioned PUBLIC-INTEREST CIVIL ACTION was dismissed.

The following excerpt highlights the justifications given by IBGE to the Federal Court, duly convinced of the complexity of the matter:

The IBGE clarifies that "the Population Census is intended to obtain information on residents in households and the characteristics of housing units, constituting the longest, most complex and costly statistical operation that a country can undertake, and its information being essential for mapping of the socio-demographic reality".

The Institute argues that "identification issues, which require the own individual as a respondent, are not compatible with a census operation, which addresses one resident per household, who answers for himself/herself and for the other residents, guaranteeing the quality of its results, which leaves no possibility of change in regard to this technical-operational aspect for the 2020 Census".

Also according to the IBGE:

"Defining the items contained in the Population Census survey is a complex process that involves meeting society's need for information and that, at the same time, must consider several factors, including the review of topics traditionally investigated, the reassessing of the need to maintain the data time series, assessing new needs for information, and the available alternatives for obtaining data, always following international recommendations that aim aimed at providing guidance and assistance to countries in planning and conducting their qualification and population censuses and at ensuring comparability”.

"Countries like the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States have been carrying out tests for years and, so far, they have not been able to introduce the intended matter into their censuses for technical and operational reasons."

"Gender investigation is considered a sensitive issue, that is, a matter that can be considered invasive and personal by the respondent, which can exert an impact  on the collection of other information".

Department of Social Communication
November 18, 2021

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