Lack of federal funds is threatening the next demographic census of IBGE

One of the country's main statistical surveys, the demographic census 2020, may be leaner in order to prevent it from becoming infeasible. The total costs of the survey were estimated at R $ 3.4 billion by the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics (BIM), but the government can not pay this value.

To continue the preparations for the census, which will collect data from all Brazilians, the BIM would need R $ 1 billion by 2019. But only would have to receive between R $ 200 million and R $ 250 million next year, according to Statistics / Broadcast.

The difficulty of securing the 2019 funds makes it even more difficult to get the remaining R $ 2.4 billion in 2020. The evaluation of the economic team is that the BIM must "rationalize" the survey, which can translate into a smaller number of interviewers and shorter questionnaires. The institute had already indicated on other occasions that it is difficult to bring research to the field with a limited budget.

The 2018 budget has already awarded a R $ 7.5 million grant to start the counting organization. The meetings of the working group were made normal and staff members were not yet informed about the need to reform the methodology, according to an institute source.

For the coming year the difficulty was greater because IBGE requires more money at a time when the government budget is getting tighter. The economic team will have about R $ 90 billion to cover all expenditures of the organs and investments. This year this amount would have to be R $ 125 billion and there is already a risk of blacking of the public machine.

When evaluating the economic team, a leaner search would be the alternative to prevent the count from being rendered infeasible. The strategy was already used in the agricultural census for 2017, which had to be adjusted, so that field research could be carried out with fewer resources.

When IBGE President Roberto Olinto announced the beginning of the demographic count, the possibility refuted that the investigation could be reduced if the required funding was not approved. "In the agricultural census there were 26 thousand people (in the data collection), the Demographic has 300 thousand (temporary employees in the collection), so there is not much to dry," Olinto said at the time. "The census has a shorter collection period because it has a very strong reference date and a lot of information has to be collected in a very short period.

Government policy

The demographic count is the most detailed research to the reality of every part of Brazil and is considered essential for the definition of public policy, for example, the data collected help identify priority sites for investments in basic sanitation and update references from other surveys that measure unemployment or the poverty level of It is also essential to define the distribution of federal funds for states and municipalities "

" Census information is crucial because the data of the Brazilian population are updated every ten years. Nowadays, what we know of the population thinking based on the estimate of the Census 2010. Census, more inaccurate, "says sociologist Simon Schwartzman, former IBGE president. He says, however, that only the institute itself will be able to judge whether it is possible to conduct a leaner investigation in the light of the lack of resources already indicated by the government.

The Census visits the home of all Brazilians to draw a picture of the situation of the population in the municipalities and their internal cuts, such as districts, neighborhoods and other realities. This level of detail is not achieved in other BIM surveys that were made through random sampling, where only a part of the population is questioned.

The 2020 edition is even more relevant because the population (a kind of interim survey between censuses) planned for 2015 was not made for lack of money. That is, the available data are more delayed than normal. "The country is left without information to make public policy," Schwartzman

The sociologist explains that the formulation of Bolsa Família is based, for example, on information about families living in poverty, based on surveys such as PNAD, which provide data on provide employment and income in the country. The definition of the population sample to be heard in Pnad to get as accurate a picture as possible of the country is determined by the available data of the total population – that is, by the Census. "Without this, the basis becomes increasingly unrealistic," says Schwartzman.

In the case of the distribution of federal funds, there are cases where municipalities have appealed to the courts to try to increase the values ​​that the Union has received for health policy, for example. The justification is that IBGE data, which are only able to project the population, no longer show the actual increase in the number of people in certain cities. The research is also important, so that companies can make their investment decisions, confirms the former president of BIM.


In 1991, under the government of Fernando Collor de Mello, the count was postponed to the following year because of the delay in hiring the interviewers. More recently, the BIM had to limit the range of the agricultural census in 2017 due to a lack of resources. The survey, which went to the field last year and began with the data released in recent months, provided for a budget of R $ 1.6 billion, with the hiring of 80 thousand professionals. The format had to be revised to fit in a third of the required amount (R $ 550 million), with only 29,000 temporary employees.

The national association of employees of IBGE (ASSIBGE) warns that the implementation of the demographic count would even be threatened that the total budget of R $ 3.4 billion would be released. According to them, the agency does not have the number of servers needed for the planning, analysis, assessment and follow-up of data collection by temporary staff.

The management of the BIM even submitted a request to the Ministry of Planning to fill in 1.8 thousand positions that have been lost in the last few years when they leave servers. "So far there has been no response from the government," says Dione de Oliveira, head of ASSIGBE. The information is taken from the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo

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