Mobile Operators’ Data Shows Populations of Brno and Prague Are Higher Than Official Figures
The Interior Ministry would like to use the data on the real movement of the population obtained from mobile operators for better planning of public services and location of offices. Credit: KK/BD.
Prague, Dec 5 (CTK) – About 200,000 more people live in Prague and 60,000 more in Brno than the official figures from the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) suggest, according to an analysis of geolocation data from mobile operators, Interior Ministry officials said in a presentation today.
The ministry says the differences are related to commuters who come to cities to work and study, but do not return home every day, as well as people who fail to report changes of residence to the population register.
“According to geolocation data, there are approximately 200,000 more people living in Prague in the long term than its official population according to the CSU,” the Interior Ministry noted.
The Interior Ministry would like to use the data on the real movement of the population obtained from mobile operators for better planning of public services and location of offices, it told a press conference today.
When it comes to regional capitals, the operators’ geolocation data show the biggest difference in Olomouc, where there are 20% more residents compared to the statistics. In Usti nad Labem, on the other hand, there are 9,000 fewer people than the official number of inhabitants.
According to the Interior Ministry, similar differences of 10-20% apply to almost all larger towns in the structurally affected regions of Usti nad Labem, Moravia-Silesia, and Karlovy Vary.
In contrast to the population census data, the data from the operators show dynamically how the number of people in a municipality grows on different days of the week and parts of each day. The data showed the strongest commuting links in the surroundings of Prague, Brno and Ostrava.
The data reveal extreme differences between the number of people at certain times in some centres of tourism and spas.
For example, in the Spindleruv Mlyn ski resort in the Krkonose mountains, there are about 2,400 people at 7am on Mondays, and 5,800 at the same time on Sundays. In the village of Krivoklat, central Bohemia, which has a famous castle, there are 520 people on Monday afternoon and 1,150 on Sunday.
In Prague, where many commute for work, there are 1,436,000 people at noon on Thursday, 1,070,000 on Sunday morning and 1,227,000 on Sunday evening.
The data are based on the location of SIM cards, which are reported regularly to the nearest transmitter. Analysing the records over a longer period of time enables the mapping of population and traffic behaviour and movement.
The Interior Ministry bought the data from the operators in a public contract for CK 1.1 million euros (an equivalent of 26.8 million crowns) from the EEA and Norway Grants.