Economics » Population » Census

Census and it’s Importance

Defining Census

A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. Population census can simply be defined as the official exercise of systematically counting the number of people in a country in order to arrive at the total number of people living in the country. Census enables a country to know the size of its population, the composition of its population, and the distribution of its population.

Importance of Census

  1. Without census, a government simply cannot know the total number of people living in the country. Census not only allows the government to know the total population of the country, but also whether the country is over-populated or under-populated. This information helps the government run the country effectively.
  2. Population census is very important because it helps a country in its planning efforts. Countries often embark on central planning in their attempt to increase the rate of economic development within the country. This can be difficult almost impossible to achieve if the authorities of the country do not know pertinent things about the country, such as the size, structure, and distribution of the country’s population.
  3. Census can help in controlling the population growth of a country. During census, the authorities get to know whether the population has increased or not. If they find out that the population has increased in such a way that it is putting pressure on the resources of the country, they can decide to control population growth by intensifying sex education, giving tax reliefs to couples who reduce their family sizes by not giving birth to more children, intensifying family planning education, reducing the influx of immigrants into the country, etc. On the other hand, if the latest census figures show that the population of the country is declining to the point where it is harmful to the development of the country, the government can embark on campaigns such as giving marriage allowances to people, encouraging couples to give birth to more children, making it easier for foreigners to get into the country, etc.
  4. The average country in the world allocates its revenue and resources based on the geographical distribution of its population. Places of dense population get more resources than places of sparse population.
  5. Population census helps the government to estimate its expected revenue from direct tax.

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