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Demography Perspectives

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Census in France and South Africa

The census process in many of the developed and developing countries usually takes duration of ten years. This enables the country to be plan adequately and raise sufficient funds that will enable the citizens in the region to effectively pursue their economic activities in an attempt to realize the country’s economic growth and development. The investigation will be formally directed to France population census and South African population. In South Africa, the census is organized by Better Business Bureau (BBB) where the census workers enumerate the citizens of the region by moving from one household to another. The recent census process undertake in South Africa was in 2001. The census night was on 9/10 October 2001 but the process went on from 10th October to 30th October. The population for the country, after the census process, was determined to be 44.8million (Statistics South Africa, 2003 ).

South Africa’s first census was undertaken in October 1996 after the fall of apartheid. The next population count for the country was on 2001; five years later but after which the census committee decided on unveiling the ten-year census period. Currently, South African’s are in preparation for the next census which will kick off on October 2011. The committee is recruiting the census officials who will aid in providing the exact population count in the thousands of Enumeration Areas (EA). As the census process is undertaken by human beings, and preferably at night, the populations figures in which they arrive at are not considered accurate but minimal percentage error is usually subjected to the census results. For instance, Census Advisory Committee based on Northern Cape is devising strategies that will ensure the sampling error is minimized. It staged a meeting of its committee members in Kimberley on 11th March 2011 and they agreed on rendering logistic support when undertaking the census process in an attempt to minimize undercount. In the previous census process, there was no political or religious misunderstanding that was experienced in the region but only minimal cases of insecurity to the census officials were reported in some of the Northern part EA.

On the other hand, France undertakes its population counts both as registration process and enumeration one. Since the year 2004, France has been undertaking partial census on its households and the results are averaged after a period of five years in order to come up with an accurate population of the France citizens. The census process is administered by the INSEE and this ahs enhanced the accuracy and the versatility of the whole process. The first census that was administered by France was in 1666 when it was then called the New France.

France does not underestimate the changes that the country faces, both economically and socially, for a period of five or ten years that the census is taken. The sampling error that France census committee faces is much smaller as they undertake annual counts and average their findings at the end of the fifth year when the actual data us reported. The process is undertaken by permanent census officials who enumerate the areas prescribed each year. This enhances them to note any changes that the economy might have experienced within that short period of time. As the population census is periodical, the citizens of the region have perceived it to be a common phenomenon and as such political, religious and ethnic conflict has never been reported during the census process (David S Moore, 2009).

In conclusion, France technique of population count is superior to that of South Africa in terms of sampling error minimization. In this case, when population census is done periodically it is easier for the census committee to arrive at an accurate population count figure unlike where census is undertaken after a period of, say ten years. However, both the countries have taken an initiative in minimizing conflicts associated with politics, tribal, and religion. Both the countries use census information for economic planning and development.

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