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Chapter 2

SOC312H1 Chapter 2 Population Data.docx

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Brent Berry

Chapter 2: Population Data: Their Sources and Nature The Population Census - Census –to assess - According to Coale, the first series of modern censuses taken at regular intervals of no more than 10 years was begun by Sweden in 1750; decennial enumerations were begin in the US in 1790 and in France and England in 1800 Contemporary Population Censuses - Amodern census provides a complete account of a country’s population at a point in time, including its size and geographic distribution as well as its demographic and SES characteristics - ‘snapshot’of the population –a statistical portrait of a country and its people at one point in time - In order to achieve standard set of practices that would make it easier to compare census data across countries, the United Nations proposed a number of guidelines for population counting including: o 1. Census should be based on individual response to predetermined questions regarding specific demographic data including age, sex, marital status and a wide array of secondary traits (eg. Education, occupation, income) o 2. It should be universal in scope in order to include all members of the population o Should be conducted through a nation’s territory on a predetermined date o It should be carried out at regular intervals; those countries taking censuses at ten year intervals should do so on the years ending in 0 - Censuses can be conducted either a de jure or a de facto basis o De jure method of enumeration, people are counted at their usual place of residence, not wherever they happen to be living or staying at the time of the census o De facto census, the respondent is counted as a resident of the address where he or she happens to have stayed on the night preceding the day of the census, regardless of whether the respondent is temporarily away from his or her usual residence - The Canadian census, for example, asks questions on following categories o Demographic characteristics –eg. Name, relationship of household members to the person filling out eh census questionnaire, date of birth, sex, marital/common-law status o Sociocultural characteristics, eg. Place country of birth, citizenship, landed immigrant status, racial and ethnic origin, aboriginal status, year of immigration, knowledge and use of two official language (English and French) o Socioeconomic characteristics, eg. Education, occupation, employment status, income, number of hours worked during the previous year; home ownership o Geographic characteristics, eg. Place of residence, place of work, mobility status The Census:AReflection of its Time - 3 general criteria used by census authorities o 1. Practical value to the nation broadly speaking, including government departments at all levels, business, industry, the research community and citizens o 2. Public acceptance of a question: the question must be socially acceptable so that people will be willing to answer honestly o 3. Comparability with previous censuses: new questions must be similar in wording and presentation to questions asked in previous censuses The Use of Sampling in the Census Census Undercoverage - Anational census is supposed to obtain a complete enumeration of the population. In truth, this is seldom the case, as there is always some level of undercounting Post-enumeration Surveys - Once completed, a national census is typically followed by a post-enumeration survey, which helps determine the extent of undercount in the census Inercensal Estimates of Population - Population surveys are useful for calculating population estimates in intercensal years –years between censuses. - Population estimations, normally classified by age, sex, and marital status, are developed routinely and revised periodically in accordance with incoming data from the latest census Specialized Population Surveys - National statistical agencies frequently conduct sample surveys of the population to obtain demographic information that isn’t typically asked for in a census Vital Statistics - in western world, vital statistics were first compiled by churches - in northAmerica, ththclergy and government officials in the colonies began to record vital statistics in the 17 century. - In Canada, the publication of annual vital statistics for the country and the provinces began in 1921 although, the history of census taking in what would become Canada dates back to the early 17 century Early Investigations of Vital Records & Origins of Population Studies - Thomas Malthus cited as father of modern demography Modern Vital Statistics Systems - Registration of vital events is a continuous activity - The main purpose of a national vital statistics system is to collect, compile and process statistical information on all vital events that take place in population on daily basis - Vital statistics system must be continuous and complete. Satisfy 4 requirements, identified by Grindstaff o 1. Vital evens must be officially recorded within a short period of time, as specified by legal authorities
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