Census vs Sampling
Census and sampling are methods of collecting data about the populace. Before we move forward to enumerate differences between Census and sampling, it is better to understand what these two techniques of generating information mean. For better governance, every government requires specific data and information about the populace to make programs and policies that match the needs and requirements of the population. Census refers to periodic collection of information from the entire population. It is a time consuming affair as it involves counting all heads and generating information about them. On the other hand, there are times when a government cannot wait for next Census and needs to gather current information about the population. This is when a different technique of collecting information that is less elaborate and cheaper than Census is employed. This is called Sampling. This method of collecting information requires generating a sample that is representative of entire population.
There are stark differences between Census and sampling though both serve the purpose of providing data and information about a population. Howsoever accurately a sample from a population may be generated there will always be margin for error, whereas in case of Census, entire population is taken into account and as such it is most accurate. Data obtained from both Census and sampling is extremely important for a government for various purposes such as planning developmental programs and policies for weaker sections of the society.
It is obvious then that when whole population is taken into account, data collection is called Census Method, whereas when a small group that is representative of the entire population is used, it is called a Sample Method.
Census refers to periodic collection of information about the populace from the entire population.
Sampling is a method of collecting information from a sample that is representative of entire population.
There are both advantages and disadvantages of both the methods. Whereas data from census is reliable and accurate, there is a margin of error in data obtained from sampling.
Census is very time consuming and expensive, whereas sampling is quick and inexpensive. However, if the next Census is far away, sampling is the most convenient method of obtaining data about the population.
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