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Measuring the Economically Active in Population Censuses

A Handbook

image of Measuring the Economically Active in Population Censuses
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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Planning and design of population censuses for the collection of data on economic characteristics

Population censuses can generate statistics on economic activity that meet the needs of many users (see para. 5). Social and demographic information on the population engaged in the production of goods and services is vital to the analysis of the economic performance of a country as well as of the regions of which it is composed. One of the main strengths of the population census as a source of data is the provision of localityspecific statistics. As a first step to including questions on economic characteristics in a census questionnaire, census authorities and potential users of census results need to work together to develop lists of the actual and anticipated uses of census statistics in their own country. Such lists will be helpful in planning census content and types of outputs, and in mobilizing support for the census.

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