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Definition of concepts

Building (census)
Permanent construction, separate and independent, conceived for use as housing or for purposes relating to an economic activity. Includes buildings with a generally finished structure in which the highest floor has been covered, even though the interior walls and installations have not yet been completed, but not those that have been demolished or that are unoccupied due to being in ruins.
Family dwelling (census)
Room or set of rooms that occupy a building or a part of it that is structurally separate and that, due to the way in which it is constructed, reconstructed or transformed is used as housing by one or several people and is not used for other purposes. This includes: main home, second home or unoccupied home.

Methodological aspects

The Census of Buildings is the set of operations of collection, processing, evaluation and data analysis of existing buildings of a country with reference to a particular time or period. It is done every ten years to determine the number, geographic distribution and characteristics of the existing buildings on the reference date. In Spain, the Census of Buildings is a national operation, conducted by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

The Census of Buildings 2011 is a statistical operation that took place at the reference date of November 1, 2011 in conjunction with the Population and Housing Censuses 2011. It has been designed to collect comprehensive information of all the completed buildings that contain at least one dwelling, with enumeration of all properties located in them and determination of their basic characteristics.

The objectives of Census of Buildings are:

  • enumerate and geo-reference all buildings that contain at least one dwelling
  • determine the characteristics of buildings
  • enumerate all properties contained in each building
  • select the properties that will form part of the Population and Housing Survey
  • provide a georeferenced comprehensive directory of buildings that contain at least one dwelling and all its properties. Georeferencing allows the exact identification of buildings despite changes in the address and, consequently, their unambiguous identification.

The scope of the Census of Buildings 2011 comprises all the buildings (regardless of their primary use) that are completed and contain at least one dwelling, with enumeration of all properties located in them. That is, buildings containing no dwelling are not included. This is the main difference compared to previous censuses. The Census of Buildings 2011 is limited to buildings containing at least one dwelling, and provides no information on other buildings. In previous censuses only buildings used exclusively for agricultural or livestock were excluded. In this census are excluded, as well, buildings that contain no dwelling, regardless of use.

Buildings that after to be totally or partially demolished were reconstructed and were not topped out at the census date.

Additionally, were not included:

  • Buildings that were demolished and those that were in a ruinous condition and uninhabited.
  • Constructions at squares, footways or recreational facilities for selling drinks, tobacco, press…
  • Buildings for exclusively agricultural production purposes that at the same time were not used for family, collective housing purposes or for activities other than agricultural production.

The variables included in Census of Buildings 2011 are the following:

  • type of building
  • number of properties in the building
  • year of construction
  • number of floors
  • building condition
  • kind of dwellings
  • facilities

Census of Buildings 2001 was conducted in conjunction with Population and Housing Census 2001, at the reference date of November 1, 2001. It includes buildings for housing, both family and collective, as well as buildings for purposes other than housing, with the exception of those exclusively used for agricultural production. One difference respect previous censuses is that it only counts completed buildings.

Censuses of buildings 1980 and 1990 comprised all buildings for housing purposes and for other purposes, except those for exclusively agricultural production. These censuses also comprised completed buildings and those that were under construction and topped out, that is, those that already got finished the general structure of the building and had covered the last floor. The following buildings were excluded:

  • Buildings that were demolished or were empty because of their ruinous condition
  • Buildings for exclusively agricultural production purposes

Unavailable information is represented using the symbol ":". When the value is lower than that of the minimum unit to be able to estimate the statistical operation or if it effects statistical confidentiality, the symbol used is "..".