655 words essay on the Census


The Census is the enumeration of the inhabitants of a state taken by order of the Government (as desired by the legislature). It is conducted periodically, at the end of each ten-year.

In early times, states used to conduct census operations of a sort, the motive being the ascertainment either of the taxable capacity of the people or their fitness to bear arms in defence of the country. It is reported that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem when Joseph and Mary went there for Census, ordered by the then Roman Emperor, with willing co-operation of all.

A census is thus in the nature of a decennial stock­taking of national progress and development. Now the inhabitants need not to migrate to a centre to be counted but enumerators come to their houses and then the sampling method is followed.


The purpose of a modern census is to estimate the extent of the growth of population and to ascertain generally the development of the people in every department of national life. It is meant to help governments in deciding in which directions their efforts have borne fruit or not.

Or if the educational institutions have not been able to turn out trained personnel required for certain functions, this also has got to be remedied. To the economist also, a census provides a firm basis for investigation and the formations of guiding principles. In the age of science, it is an indispensable aid to ensure planned progress, to know at a glance the ratio of advancement in different sectors of different sexes and communities of men, women and children.

Naturally, the greatest precaution has to be taken to ensure the correctness of the figures arrived at under different heads. In a large country like India with a teeming population, this is certainly not an easy task.

Enumerators have to be appointed, first to count the homesteads, and these have to be checked by suitably trained inspecting staff. Printed sheets have to be filled in with information about age, sex, education, occupation, religion, language etc.


After preliminary ground work, in these days of computerized calculation and statistics, elaborate checking is resorted to ensure maximum accuracy. Then the central office sets about the task of collating, tabulating and classifying data which take up quite a long time. These are then carefully analysed and studied by anthropologists and socio­economic experts, who assess the all-round significance of the data collected. At the end, the final report is drawn up, and this gives us a clear picture of the nation as a whole,—its social change, economic development, cultural progress, everything that may be needed by the economist or the sociologist as well as the politician, for formulating plans or policies for future guidance.

The final report is a document of surpassing interest, not only for the people concerned but for the whole world, and becomes a standard basis of reference for the next ten years. In India regular census work was initiated by the British, and has been going on decennially since 1881.

In our country among the ignorant, superstitious and backward communities, information are often purposely withheld or falsified through fear or suspicion or out of taboos by the ignorant and backward people. This vitiates the whole process on final outcome and reliability, of the reports. But these prejudices and fears are gradually dying away. We are now eagerly waiting for the census figures of the end of the twentieth century, to be undertaken shortly.

A census enables the politicians to assess the rate and trends of national progress which is necessary for modifying old policies or introducing new ones. The sociologist is enabled to make a study of the trends of social evolution and this is needed for building up or formulating theories of fundamental value. Altogether the nation as a whole knows where it stands, and in which direction it is moving. Its importance can hardly be overestimated.


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