The aim of a census is to identify and enumerate every person in a given territory on a particular date. Most include both residents and visitors, although analyses usually focus on those who are present for more than just a visit. Although the aim of complete enumeration is seldom achieved perfectly, a census does provide the most reliable picture of the composition of a nation, a society, or subgeographical units such as cities, suburbs, or regions. This is particularly true of less numerous groups in a society, such as small religious communities, ethnic groups, immigrants, and minority-language clusters.

To get the desired data, relevant questions must be asked, and the opportunity to write in answers is helpful in ensuring the coverage of the widest range of ...

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