Since the 1960s, the Latin American and Caribbean Demographic Centre (CELADE)-Population Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has been supporting the national statistical institutes of the countries of the region in the planning, execution, analysis and dissemination of population and housing censuses. Population censuses are fundamental for understanding national and subnational population dynamics and those of specific population groups. Housing censuses, meanwhile, provide information on the number of existing housing units, as well as their structural characteristics, services and facilities (United Nations, 2010). These data, together with population data, provide information on living conditions, housing deficits and other indicators. Several countries in the region have had difficulty following the international recommendation to conduct censuses every 10 years and, if possible, in years ending in the digit 0. From the 1950 round of censuses to the 2010 round, 21 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (55% of the total) have conducted all censuses, most of them in years ending in 0 or 1. Other countries have conducted six of the seven censuses, in an attempt to maintain the periodicity of a decade, and the rest have conducted five of the seven censuses (four in the case of Haiti), with no periodicity or standardized census years.

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