Last Updated on December 31, 2020 by Neil Mackengie
The taking of a census by a government is as old as the custom of collecting taxes and raising armies. In early times, the ruler’s only object in taking a census was to discover how many people he could send to the wars or how much money he could get. Since the people suffered from the census, they did all in their power to make it incorrect.
In most countries, fairly simple questions are asked in a census—the age of the people living in a house, the relationship of these people, their birthplaces and nationality, their jobs, and whom they work. Some questions ask about date or marriage and number of children. Figures for agriculture may also be included, such as acres of land and kinds of livestock owned.
After all the information is gathered, the figures are totalled and separated according to sections or classes. They then become available and helpful to the government. For example, a total of age groups can be useful to the government for planning how many schools will be needed at a certain time, or in estimating future costs of pensions.
The census shows whether the population is increasing or decreas- ing. It shows the movement of population to the city or the country. It reveals whether social conditions are improving or growing worse. lt tells which industries are advancing and which are slowing up.
Where politicians are elected on the basis of population, a census helps decide the number of representatives from each section. It helps the government in making laws, and it helps business, social, and economic interests in conducting their affairs and making their plans.
What Is The Census And Why Is It Important?
The census population count determines how many representatives each state will have in Congress for the next 10 years and how much federal funding communities will receive for roads, schools, housing and social programs.