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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

The Evolution of the Modern Census Seminar

28 October 2011
Building 58 Room 1007 Highfield Campus University of Southampton

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Dr Claire Bailey on 02380 592577 or email .

Event details

Social Statistics and Demography Seminar Series

Almost every country has a census and originally the census was the main systematic source of information for the government to manage its population. Now with so much official data available, the census has a very different role with many different users from local to international. But its expense can also lead people to challenge its necessity. Although a census is a simple concept, there are various methods employed for enumeration from registration to interviews, as well as through the combination of (existing) data sources. Looking more closely, each  country has a particular solution which has evolved to suit tis context and we study the cases of 4 different countries. Evolution balances a development of quality in 6 principal dimensions: coherence, timeliness, accuracy, interpretability, accessibility and relevance which are interrelated. Indeed it is clear that existing definitions of the census do not allow for all possible approaches or identify important aspects of its utility. We offer some thoughts on a new definition and future challenges while underlining the importance of the census in the statistical system.

Speaker information

Bernard Baffour and Tom King ,University of Southampton

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