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October 25, 2021, 09:05

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All-Union Population Census. The counter of the census department No. 3 of the Sverdlovsk region enumerates the members of the family of B. Tserevitinov, associate professor of the Moscow Institute of National Economy named after G.V. Plekhanov. Main Archive of Moscow

Before the start of the census, a lot of flaws and problems were discovered that needed to be eliminated in just a couple of months.

Preparations for the 1979 census began much earlier – in 1975. But despite this, not everything was done a year before the event. In the documents of the Moscow City Council, the fund of which is kept in Glavarchiv, there are materials testifying to the latest preparations for the All-Union Population Census.

A year before the upcoming mass event, special commissions were created at housing organizations, as well as at the executive committees of city and district councils of people’s deputies. They also appeared in businesses, organizations and institutions. Experts put things in order in the numbering of houses and apartments, streamlined the names of streets, drew up new schematic maps of Moscow districts, checked the correctness and completeness of the population count.

Among other things, for the census, they compiled quarterly lists of households, recorded data on the size of the population to be census, approved plans for the census for each district, and identified enumerators. In 1978, about 400 census departments, more than three thousand instructors and 19 thousand enumeration areas were formed in Moscow. It was planned that a total of 29 thousand people will take part in the work.

But there were areas where the preparation was not of high quality and with delays in time. For example, on some houses, entrances and apartments there were no numbers, and there were not enough census takers themselves. Also, not all townspeople were registered at the place of residence or, conversely, were discharged from their previous apartment. It happened that the workers who were engaged in registration did not perform their functions well. So, people could live in an apartment without registration. They also sometimes forgot to prescribe newborns. All this had a bad effect on the population count.

Preparations for the population census were inadequate in railway and air transport, in hospitals and clinics, boarding schools, orphanages and hotels. Also, in some districts of Moscow, the population was not informed about the purpose and significance of the census.

To influence the situation, on October 24, 1978, the Moscow City Council issued a decision No. 3334. Now all the executive committees of the district councils, Glavmoszhilupravlenie, the Main Department of Internal Affairs and the City Administrative Inspectorate pledged to complete all preparatory work in a month. They needed to streamline the numbering, deal with registrations or extracts of citizens. Also, the Moscow City Council obliged all participating organizations to complete the selection and approval of employees involved in the census as soon as possible.

To speed up the solution of all issues, at the time of the All-Union population census, regional inspectors of state statistics and census departments, by decision of the Moscow City Council, received cars, and census takers were sent to short-term training courses. Mass explanatory events have become more active with the population.

The Moscow City Council was going to check the implementation of the instructions in December 1978. The census itself took place from 17 to 24 January 1979.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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