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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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Combined uses of census and survey data: Current estimates for small domains, including local level estimates

The census can provide geographically detailed but infrequent and not very current statistics, while statistics based on sample surveys can be more frequent and up-to-date but lack geographical and other small domain details owing to sample size constraints. Sample survey results are widely used to derive reliable estimates for totals and means for large areas and domains. However, despite great developments in survey capability and practice, the usual direct survey estimators for a small domain, based only on observations of sampled units in the domain, are likely to yield unacceptably large sampling errors owing to the limited sample sizes involved.

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