Collection of Data is the first step of the statistical investigation and can be gathered through two different sources, namely, primary sources and secondary sources. Besides primary and secondary sources of collecting data, there are two essential methods of collecting data; i.e., Census Method and Sampling Method.
What is Census Method?
A method in which an investigator collects data related to the problem under investigation by covering every item of the population or universe is known as Census Method of Collecting Data. For example, if an investigator wants to investigate regarding the colour composition of TATA cars in India. Now the investigator by using Census Method will have to collect data on the colour of each TATA car sold in India.
This method implies a complete enumeration of the population. Therefore, Census of population is the most essential method of statistical enquiry. And for the census of population, the investigators have to estimate the country’s population by conducting enquiry in every house. Also, not only people living in houses are enquired, but the people living on the roadside are enquired. In India Census of population is conducted every ten years. The last census was held in February 2011. The next Census was due in 2021; however, it was postponed due to the pandemic.
Suitability of Census Method
The Census method of collecting data is suitable in the following cases:
- When the size of population is small.
- When there are widely diverse items in the population.
- When intensive examination of different items is required.
- When the investigator requires a high degree of reliability and accuracy.
Merits of Census Method
Various advantages of Census Method of Collecting Data are as follows:
1. Reliable and Accurate:
The results derived on the basis of census method of collecting data are highly reliable and accurate. The reliability and accuracy come in the result because this method involves the study of each and every item of the population.
2. Less Biased:
The results derived on the basis of census method are less biased because the investigator does not have to collect sample items for the study and has to study the whole population.
3. Study of Diverse Characteristics:
Diverse characteristics o the universe can be studied with the help of census method of collecting data.
4. Extensive Information:
As all the items of a universe are examined in this method, the information collected is quite exhaustive and more meaningful. For example, a census of population conducted in India gives exhaustive and meaningful information regarding the number of people living here, their age, sex, occupation, status, education, etc.
5. Study of Complex Investigation:
When the items for study in the universe and complex in nature and the investigator needs to study each and every item, then he can use census method to get the desired results. For example, data related to a country is collected through census method.
6. Indirect Investigation:
An investigator can easily and successfully use census method of collecting data in an indirect investigation and collect data related to poverty, unemployment, corruption, etc.
Demerits of Census Method
Various disadvantages of Census Method are as follows:
As the census method of collecting data is costly, it is generally not used for ordinary investigation. Therefore, no individual can afford to use this method, but only Government or a big institution can afford this method that too for some specific purposes only.
2. Large Manpower:
Large manpower or enumerators are required to conduct census methods of collecting data, and for this, it is essential to train those enumerators, which is a very difficult process.
3. Not Suitable for Large Investigations:
If there are a large number of items in the universe, then it would become difficult to cover and study each and every item. Hence, in those cases, the census method of collecting data becomes practically inoperative.