What is the purpose of a census


Survey carried out by official statistics on the population of a country. In principle, all persons and households (full census) including demographic and socio-economic structural features are recorded at a certain point in time. There were already censuses in antiquity, among other things. among the Egyptians and Jews; the citizen lists in Greece and the census in Rome also represent a form of census. In the Federal Republic they were carried out in 1950, 1961 and 1970. The 1987 census takes place in connection with a census of occupations, buildings, homes and workplaces. The population figures and age structure of the population, which have been updated since 1971, are likely to contain considerable errors. A central purpose of the census is therefore to determine the exact size and age structure of the population. The information recorded on gender, age and marital status, on labor force participation, professional structure and training structure also provide a basis for decision-making, among other things. for the areas of the labor market, school and vocational education and the pension insurance system. The main tasks of the building and apartment census are in the area of ​​housing and social policy as well as urban and regional planning. Among other things, Number, size and equipment of the buildings and apartments, the people living there and the ownership structure. The data of the workplace census on the number and size of the workplaces, the people working there and the sum of the wages and salaries paid are primarily used to improve decisions in the areas of economic, social and labor market policy as well as transport and environmental policy by providing up-to-date data . The workplace census is the only statistic that covers all economic sectors at a certain point in time according to a uniform framework (with the exception of companies in agriculture, forestry and inland fishing). The 1987 census was originally scheduled for 1983. The reason for the postponement was a decision by the Federal Constitutional Court (1983). The citizen's personal right was interpreted in such a way that it also contained a right to "informational self-determination", which the Federal Constitutional Court saw violated by the 1983 Census Act. Furthermore, it asked to examine the question of whether a full survey with regard to the purposes aimed at with the census was still "proportionate" in view of the statistical and social science research methods that have now been developed. The objection to the replacement of the population census by representative sample surveys is that projects whose results show a very high degree of reliability, are available in a deep factual and regional structure and are to form the basis of updates, require full surveys. It is also objected that full surveys represent the best possible basis for subsequent sample surveys (microcensus) because they provide information about the size and structure of the populations and the scatter within them and, under other conditions, can be used as a selection basis and extrapolation framework for samples. A census is generally carried out with the help of volunteers. They are specially prepared for their task through appropriate training. The relevant area is divided into so-called counting districts, for each of which a group of counters is responsible. In the 1970 census, a total of about 500,000 meters were in use. Literature: Wingen, M., population census after the Karlsruhe judgment - but how?, In: Baden-Württemberg in word and number 4/1985, p. 118 ff. Bretz, M. / Meyer, H.-L., population census, in: HdWW, Bd. 8, Stuttgart et al 1980, p. 405 ff.

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