While in past decades censuses were held every ten years, under legislation currently being drafted, after 2024, the census is set to be held on an annual basis and the number of variables on which they are published will also be expanded.
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2024. Where it started out in a small office on Binnenhof in the centre of The Hague, it has moved – via the neighbouring town of Voorburg – back to a suburb of The Hague. In the meantime, the office in Heerlen (in the south of the country) also came into its own. Originally located literally on a mineshaft, it has now moved to a modern ergonomic building where this year it is also celebrating 50 years of CBS in Heerlen. There are still some pensioners in Heerlen who started out working in Limburg’s coal mines and were transferred to a desk in the CBS office when the mines were closed.
New data sources
What will the next 100 years bring? Well, we shall be making more use of new data sources, for example information from sensors in a range of household appliances. And we hope to access data from satellite images, and information from digital patient diagnostics. There is a mine of new information waiting to be explored.
One thing will not change. We shall not predict trends in statistics, except in one area: population dynamics. As one of CBS’ oldest statistics, all the available data make it possible to see how population numbers will develop in the future. For instance, we know that this year the Netherlands will see the arrival of its 18 millionth inhabitant.
Another certainty is that CBS will always be committed to upholding data confidentiality. Data protection is at the forefront of the minds of all staff at our offices in The Hague, Heerlen and Bonaire. Just as it has been for the last 125 years.