Census vs. Sampling

Difference Between Census and Sampling

Census and sampling are common terms which are used in population and demographic studies. These are methods of data collection.

All the governments across the world are working with an aim of proving good governance and this needs them to have policies according to the requirements of the people. This is where census and sampling come into picture.

Census is collection of data at a regular period of time on the basis of given parameters like age, sex, religion, education etc. This is a very long and time consuming process and the data is required urgently or if the government or the research agency cannot wait for the census results then they collect information in shorter way. They choose a sample group and collect information from that group. The information obtained from the group is then generalized to represent a larger group. This is known as sampling.

Data collected through census is more accurate because it takes the entire population into account while the data collected through sampling is close to real information but has scope for error because the information is collected from a sample population. This does not mean that data collected through sampling is not important. Both the methods have their own importance and the data collected through tem plays significant role in formulation of policies especially for the weaker sections.

 

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