Participation in a national census slated to start Oct. 14 should be mandatory, and avoidance must be punished with fines, State Statistics Service head Alexander Surinov said Tuesday.
Surinov said the fines should be in the hundreds of rubles under the “necessary measure” to get an accurate count of the population, Interfax reported.
Early results of the national census will be released in April, and the final data will be available in 2012 or 2013, Surinov said.
The last nationwide census was taken in 2002 and counted 145 million people. The population is thought to have slid to some 142 million since then.
Surinov said the new census would focus on living conditions and migration trends.