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Census and Sampling are
methods of collecting data
about the Populace.
A Sample is a portion and a Census measures everyone
in the whole country
What is Census ?
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring
and recording information about the members of a given
Under this method, data is collected for each and
every unit viz. person, household, field, shop, factory
etc…, as the case may be of the population or universe.
For example, if the average wage of
workers working in a sugar factory is to
be calculated, then wage figures would
be obtained by dividing the total wages
which all the workers received by no of
workers working in the sugar industry.
What is Sampling ?
Sampling is simply the process of learning about
the population on the basis of a sample drawn from it.
In the Sampling technique, instead of every unit
of universe only a part of the universe is studied and the
conclusion is drawn on that basis for the entire universe.
The theory of sampling has taken place only in
recent years, the idea of sampling is pretty old.
Since times immemorial have examined a
handful of grains to ascertain the quality of entire
A housewife examines only a two or three
grains of boiling rice to know whether the pot of
rice is ready or not.
a bussinessman places orders for material
by examining only a small sample of the same.
In Census, each and every unit of the population is
but only few units of the population studied is
studied in Sampling.
Census refers to periodic collection of information
about the populace from the entire population.
However, if the next Census is far away, Sampling is
the most convenient method of obtaining data about the
Census method demands a large amount of
finance, time and labor.
Relatively less amount of finance, till labor is
required for Sampling.
Results obtained by Census are quite reliable.
Results obtained by Sampling are less reliable.
It is more suitable to use Census Method if population
is heterogeneous in nature.
and It is more suitable to use Sampling Method if
population is homogeneous in nature.
Samples have a margin of error though, which gets
lower as the sample size increases. In other words, sampling
more people means obtaining better data.
Instead, this type of error is not present in Census as
each and every part of the geographical area has to be
approached for data collection.
Difference between the Sample result and census result under
the same circumstances is known as ‘Sample Error’.
and this error can be minimized by taking large samples.
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