Measuring the Economically Active in Population Censuses

A Handbook

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The Handbook provides guidance on the measurement of economic characteristics in population censuses, based on relevant experiences of countries, with a particular focus on the questions used and the requirements for processing of responses. The Handbook is intended to provide census planners with a variety of approaches to assess the questions and methods of collecting economic characteristics used in their national census, as they evaluate the performance in the past decade and plan for the 2010 round of censuses (2005-2014). Users of census results may also find the present text useful when evaluating the quality of census results.

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Descriptive characteristics of the establishment

It is essential that once the main or reference job is identified, all characteristics should refer to that same main job throughout the questions that follow. The questionnaire design must be such that it will not confuse respondents or interviewers on that point. When any secondary activities are supposed to be recorded they must be clearly identified separately and placed so as not to confuse the flow of questions relating to the main job. The task is not usually difficult with current activity (see examples below) but can be quite difficult with usual activity.

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