Some countries, including Finland and Denmark, are now conducting their population censuses using administrative data registers rather than a nationwide survey of households.
This information paper describes the main features of a register-based census, and the necessary pre-conditions for this approach. The pre-conditions are: a strong legal basis, public approval, unified identification systems, and comprehensive and reliable register systems developed for administrative needs. The administrative registers would need to include a population register and a national address register. We consider how well-placed New Zealand is for meeting these pre-conditions.