Ethnicity non-identification in 2011 census in Bulgaria

Kaloyan Haralampiev, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski"
Dimitar Blagoev, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski"

Paper presents results of secondary data analysis aimed at understanding the ethnic non-identification problem within the 2011 Census in Bulgaria. As official Census data show, 9.28 percent of Bulgarian population did not answer the voluntary question on ethnicity. This share, compared to the corresponding 0.31 percent share in 2001, presents a significant increase of people who did not respond to the same voluntary question ten years earlier. Several hypotheses are formulated focusing on the socio-demographic, identity-related, operational/administrative (fieldwork-related and Census’ tool-related) reasons backing the mentioned problem. Additional hypotheses are raised focusing on the research ‘re-construction’ of the missing ethnic self-identification in order to verify the possibility of ‘ethnic mapping’ of the blind spots in data in terms of simulation-like formation of hidden socio-demographic sub-groupings. A broad variety of statistical methods and techniques are used in the data analysis. Analysis of factors generating the non-response on the Census’ ethnicity question reveals that there are diverse however interrelated factors for the missing ethnic self-identification. Moreover, every single factor is relevant almost only on particular level of main socio-demographic parameters (age, education, settlement, etc) but not for larger groupings. In order to make analytical ‘re-construction’ of the missing ethnic self-identification we apply various statistical methods and techniques on 2011 Census data using a broader range of variables. The aim of the secondary data analysis is to draw scientifically relevant inference as well as evidence-based ‘simulative image’ of socio-demographic sub-groupings hidden behind the lack of ethnic self-identification. According to different methods used at least two thirds of non-responses are redistributed within the main ethnic groups already formed by the responses on the question. As result of our analysis a more complete analytical picture of Bulgarian ethnic structure is achieved, contributing to a better knowledge of socio-demographic processes in Bulgarian society.

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Presented in Poster Session 1