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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Sampling and related uses of census information

In most countries today the decennial census of population is the primary source of geographically detailed information on the basic demographic, economic and related characteristics of the population. Many official statisticians agree that a population census need not gather all demographic and housing information on a 100 per cent basis. The issue of the use of sampling in conjunction with the population census is pertinent in the context of the development of a system of labour force surveys. The labour force survey is often the largest and most important population-based survey undertaken regularly in many countries.

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