BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) Romania has begun a census that is expected to show a decline in its population because many people have left the country since it joined the EU.
Officials began questioning citizens Thursday in the nationwide survey, which is scheduled to take 12 days and cost €45 million ($62 million), the government said.
It is considered the poor East European nation's most accurate census since communism was overthrown in 1989.
The last census in 2002 put Romania's population at 21 million. But government officials have said that about 2 million Romanians searching for better jobs are believed to have migrated to European Union countries such as Spain and Italy since their nation joined the bloc in 2007.
In the new census, Romanians will be asked about issues such as housing and migration. They also will be given the option of answering questions about ethnicity, religion and disabilities.