Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Future of Censuses- The Economist Article

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

Census records are very important to genealogists. The future of census as we know it is changing. A recent article from The Economist, June 2, 2011 http://www.economist.com/node/18772674 talks about the new way to do censuses--by using national databases not speaking to the individual.

The reduction in costs to governments which use existing government databases rather than census takers appeals to some; other concerns address privacy for the individual. Germany's anti-census lobby blocked census for 24 years after 1987. The European Union requires a decennial headcount. By 2014, 17 European countries will use government databases somehow in their census counting. The article talks of different countries --in Europe, US,
Asia and Africa.

In the United Kingdom the Office for National Statistics has established the "Beyond 2011 Population Statistics Programme" to establish and test future models for census type statistics. See: http://tinyurl.com/4x5zavv;
Original url:
http://www.ons.gov.uk/about/what-we-do/programmes-projects/beyond-2011

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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