Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Le Recensement 2008

This is the first census that I've participated in here in France. One of our neighbors, who happens to be the wife of one of guys that owns the vines out behind our house, stopped by the other day with the census forms. She was really nice and explained what we were supposed to do.

This is part of the personal info form.

She knew us by sight, of course, because we've seen each other out in the vineyards, and she even knew Callie by name! Don't you just love that small town stuff? Well, some of it, anyway?

So these are examples of the forms that we're asked to complete. One is about our property (kind of house, size, number of rooms, how it's heated, when it was built, etc.) and the other is about the people that live here (us). Of course, they're in French and I'm not going to translate them here. If you read French and want to look, click on the form for a larger view.

This one's about the house itself.

I don't see anything particularly personal in any of this so I have no qualms about completing the census, which is obligatory by law, apparently. The government already knows much more about us than this by virtue of the annual residency permit renewal process.

Hey, I just realized that we're legal aliens! Now, where did I park that flying saucer...


  1. Looks a bit shorter and sweeter than our last one (in the UK).

  2. Sometimes I feel like an alien here in the US, but this time next year I think I'll be breathing easier...Seeing Obama in 'Bama has lifted my spirits.

  3. Oh WCS for those of us who have to cross the border to go to the states we have been in the alien category. I love it when I fill in the US CBP form - i am an "Olive alien" with brown eyes and dark hair :-)

  4. Hmm. Who would have thought that census forms could be so interesting?

  5. It was such a problem to explain my Québec scolarité to Texas in the 60's. France would understand mon baccalauréat et mon cycle universitaire right away. Please send your flying saucer...

  6. Australia has a census once every ten years and every household is required to complete one on the same night. It is the most extraordinarily intrusive document. Supposedly the information gleaned from these forms leads to better government. In the case of Australia that doesn't seem to work

  7. autolycus, I only reproduced two of the pages; there are a few more...

    evelyn, that must have been very uplifting!

    beaver, how do they treat you when you cross these days? Are people polite?

    susan, certainly not me!!

    claudia, our education status seems to fit into the categories provided here, although the words aren't the same, the general levels are.

    victor, thanks for coming by! Is your new government any better than the one you all just got rid of?

  8. Oh you get a mix of them. If you are just connecting through, the easy part is the CDN airport but going through security at a US airport is so-so . However if you final destination is a US location then you go through at least a set of 10 questions.
    Cross-border is a bit easier these days ( a lot of shoppers going down south since the dollar is ~ at par). We used to go down for camping, hiking and fly-fishing down in Vermont and NH but we have stopped (too much hassle and too many questions)

  9. You are two of my favourite legal aliens LOL
    Mind you, I have not participated in this yet! No one asked me anything and I didn't even know it was happening!

  10. Ah, it's a partial census, Claude - from INSEE:

    "En 2008, l'ensemble des habitants des communes de moins de 10 000 habitants et 40 % de la population des communes de 10 000 habitants ou plus auront donc été pris en compte dans le cadre du nouveau recensement."

    In the UK they talk occasionally about dropping the ten-yearly complete censuses and doing lots of different focussed surveys instead. Apparently a large number of people managed to avoid being counted and it means some local authorities have lost out on a fair amount of government grant accordingly.

  11. The new government seems to be moving slowly but to be fair Parliament hasn't sat since they were elected. The first test will be in two weeks when Parliament sits again and the first agenda item is a 'sorry' statement for the stolen generation.

  12. Thanks Autolycus! Good thing you foreigners and aliens are here, or else we wouldn't know what is going on in our country :))

  13. @claude
    I glean most of my practical information about France from expat blogs like this one. Not just expat related stuff like VISA's, cartes de sejour (I don't know if you can say that in plural), but upcoming events, what it all means, etc. I can read French fairly easily but find it to be more boiled down when read through an expat lens. I'm glad some natives do the same.


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