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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
survey/census data (=produced in a survey or census)
▪ Survey data show that people’s participation in sports rises with their level of income.
▪ A national census has been taken every decade since 1801, except for the year 1941 when Britain was at war.
▪ The last national census which took place in 1981 provides information about the occupation of those residing in each locality.
▪ However, the national census will go ahead on April 29.
▪ These days much is known about the socio-economic composition of the population thanks largely to the national census.
▪ Britain submits to a national census.
▪ Lots of them-29m by the low-ball official census, with 1.2m more coming in each year.
▪ The Department of Health has signalled its intention to review the formula in the light of 1991 census data, again using small area analysis.
▪ Apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives and state legislatures is based on census data.
▪ Since then the assumptions underpinning, and the meanings attributed to, census data have changed a good deal.
▪ I have reviewed census data and hundreds of reports and studies by economists and planners.
▪ More people bring more power, which is why Republicans are salivating over the 2000 census data.
▪ BFor businesses struggling to get some attention, the census data will help.
▪ Therefore it is in the states' interest to inflate census figures.
▪ We know enough by now to treat the census figures with the skepticism and the indignation they deserve.
▪ Later census figures were published as they became available.
▪ More than 97 percent of all San Francisco households have telephones, according to 1990 census figures.
▪ This has obvious implications for services at a local level and provision needs to be related to regional trends and census figures.
▪ Final census figures for 1991, published yesterday, showed 49,890,273 people in the two countries.
▪ Using the 1734 census figures, this gives an average density of about 64-65 persons per square kilometre for the Piedmontese territories.
▪ The variations in prosperity in the North Side become more acute when observed on the smaller scale of the census tract.
▪ Its neighbouring census tract to the north exhibited diametrically opposite trends, suggesting that whilst one area improved another declined.
▪ When census tracts are scrutinised in this neighbourhood a sharp division in experience becomes apparent.
▪ When the data for census tracts are observed a marked discrepancy can be seen within East Allegheny.
▪ There is less monitoring of such programmes at the micro-scale, that of the neighbourhood or census tract.
▪ More than 97 percent of all San Francisco households have telephones, according to 1990 census figures.
▪ In 1994, according to our census, they made up 15 percent of the bee population.
▪ I mean the dollars that flow into our communities based on the census, that kind of thing.
▪ Apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives and state legislatures is based on census data.
▪ Read in studio Conservationists are about to conduct a census of one of our rarest mammals - the dormouse.
▪ Some of us may have taken part in an academic survey; most of us will have taken part in the census.
▪ Los Angeles took the census as its theme for its float in the Rose Bowl Parade.
▪ When was the first U.S. census taken?
▪ Apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives and state legislatures is based on census data.
▪ For married women under 60 there was a five-fold increase from 12 percent in 1931 to 57 percent at the 1981 census.
▪ Full details of the 1979 census have been published.
▪ The government removed this question from its survey in the 1940 census.
▪ The total census of the towns comes to just under 300,000 people of whom some 60,000 were capable of bearing arms.
▪ Therefore it is in the states' interest to inflate census figures.
▪ You see, no real work can begin until a proper census is taken.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Census \Cen"sus\, n. [L. census, fr. censere. See Censor.]

  1. (Bot. Antiq.) A numbering of the people, and valuation of their estate, for the purpose of imposing taxes, etc.; -- usually made once in five years.

  2. An official registration of the number of the people, the value of their estates, and other general statistics of a country.

    Note: A general census of the United States was first taken in 1790, and one has been taken at the end of every ten years since.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1610s, from Latin census "the enrollment of the names and property assessments of all Roman citizens," originally past participle of censere "to assess" (see censor (n.)). The modern census begins in the U.S., 1790., and Revolutionary France. Property for taxation was the primary purpose in Rome, hence Latin census also was used for "one's wealth, one's worth, wealthiness."


n. An official count of members of a population (not necessarily human), usually residents or citizens in a particular region, often done at regular intervals. vb. To collect a census.


n. a period count of the population [syn: nose count, nosecount]


v. conduct a census; "They censused the deer in the forest"


A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common censuses include agriculture, business, and traffic censuses. The United Nations defines the essential features of population and housing censuses as "individual enumeration, universality within a defined territory, simultaneity and defined periodicity", and recommends that population censuses be taken at least every 10 years. United Nations recommendations also cover census topics to be collected, official definitions, classifications and other useful information to co-ordinate international practice.

The word is of Latin origin: during the Roman Republic, the census was a list that kept track of all adult males fit for military service. The modern census is essential to international comparisons of any kind of statistics, and censuses collect data on many attributes of a population, not just how many people there are but now census takes its place within a system of surveys where it typically began as the only national demographic data collection. Although population estimates remain an important function of a census, including exactly the geographic distribution of the population, statistics can be produced about combinations of attributes e.g. education by age and sex in different regions. Current administrative data systems allow for other approaches to enumeration with the same level of detail but raise concerns about privacy and the possibility of biasing estimates.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) explains that, “A traditional population and housing census requires mapping an entire country, figuring out what technologies should be employed, mobilizing and training legions of enumerators, conducting a major public campaign, canvassing all households, collecting individual information, compiling hundreds of thousands – or millions – of completed questionnaires, monitoring procedures and results, and analyzing and disseminating the data.”

A census can be contrasted with sampling in which information is obtained only from a subset of a population, typically main population estimates are updated by such intercensal estimates. Modern census data are commonly used for research, business marketing, and planning, and as a baseline for designing sample surveys by providing a sampling frame such as an address register. Census counts are necessary to adjust samples to be representative of a population by weighting them as is common in opinion polling. Similarly, stratification requires knowledge of the relative sizes of different population strata which can be derived from census enumerations. In some countries, the census provides the official counts used to apportion the number of elected representatives to regions (sometimes controversially – e.g., Utah v. Evans). In many cases, a carefully chosen random sample can provide more accurate information than attempts to get a population census.

Usage examples of "census".

Very little careful examination would have sufficed to find, in the second section of the very first article of the Constitution, the names of every one of the thirteen then existent States distinctly mentioned, with the number of representatives to which each would be entitled, in case of acceding to the Constitution, until a census of their population could be taken.

Setting aside these theories, however, the census of French centenarians is not devoid of interest in some of its details.

Costa Rica days who knew a woman who knew a man who had a freemartin neuter companion who had formerly belonged to someone high up in the Census Department.

For all Hiro knows, this hypercard might contain all the books in the Library of Congress, or every episode of Hawaii Five-O that was ever filmed, or the complete recordings of Jimi Hendrix, or the 1950 Census.

Later, Jaschke would feed the data to Kindy, and Kindy might be able to see connections between the census data and his own observations.

The unofficial census estimated that there were another 50,000 Loonies living off in the hills.

The census taken by order of Meules in 1686 gives a total of 885 persons, of whom 592 were at Port Royal, and 127 at Beaubassin.

Chokoloskee boys called me mulatta, and they got that put down in the 1880 census.

My Mary, she tells our kids I am Indin, but when we are drunk and get to scrapping, she likes to recall how her daddy swore I was mulatta, and got that writ for all to see right on the 1880 census.

The last state census accords to Pocock Island a population of 311, mostly engaged in the porgy fisheries.

Madison was so strict a separationist, in fact, that he even opposed counting clergy as part of the first census.

Bureau of the Census report, the poorest community in the United States is Shannon County, South Dakota, followed by Starr, Texas, and Tunica, Mississippi.

According to the Wisk 1995 Cleaning Census, 38 percent of Americans who do laundry at least once a month are very or somewhat worried that home entertaining may ruin their possessions.

Thus all the men who qualified at the census as knights were accommodated within the First Class.

The thin margin of their prosperity and the absurdity of calling them exploiters was revealed in Soviet census data examined by Richard Pipes, showing that only 2 percent of peasant households had any hired help, and these averaged one employee each.