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Edited by: Published: 2008
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A census is an attempt to list all elements in a group and to measure one or more characteristics of those elements. The group is often an actual national population, but it can also be all houses, businesses, farms, books in a library, cars from an assembly line, and so on. A census can provide detailed information on all or most elements in the population, thereby enabling totals for rare population groups or small geographic areas. A census and a sample survey have many features in common, such as the use of a questionnaire to collect information, the need to process and edit the data, and the susceptibility to various sources of error. Unlike a sample survey, in which only a subset of the elements ...

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