What is Census Method of Data Collection, Advantages & Disadvantages

Thu, 06/20/2013 - 08:38 -- Umar Farooq

What is Census Method of Data Collection

Census method refers to the complete enumeration of a universe. A universe may be a place, a group of people or a specific locality through which we collect the data. Census method is necessary in some cases like population census, Agriculture Census, animal census etc for gaining vast knowledge. But in contrary this & method is not applicable as well as needed to some social problems because it is costly and time consuming. It is difficult to study the whole universe because financially aid requires for it to complete the study. For this purpose we use sampling method to pick up a simple from the whole universe. Census method is perplex and take more time in data collection.

Suitability of Census Method

The census method is suitable only in the following cases.

  1. Where the universe is not vast.
  2. Where there is enough time to collect data.
  3. Where higher degree of accuracy is required.
  4. Where there is enough availability of finance.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Census Method

Following are the advantages and disadvantages of census method of data collection

Advantages of Census Method

Intensive Study

Data collection through census method gives opportunity to the investigator to have an intensive study about a problem study about a problem. The investigator gathers a lot of knowledge through this method.

Higher Degree of Accuracy

In this method there would be higher degree of accuracy in data. No other method is accurate like census method when the universe is small.

Suitable for Heterogeneous Units

This method is also applicable for units having heterogeneity or difference.

Indispensable in Some Cases

In certain cases this method is very important and suitable to be used for data collection. Without this method the study of a universe remains uncompleted.

Disadvantages of Census Method of Data Collection

Following are the demerits of census method


This method is inconvenient because it take much time, money and set of industrial organizations.

Possible in Few Cases

This method is possible only in few cases of data collection.

Possible in Limited Circumstances

This method is possible only in limited universe it requires not vast area to study.

Time & Labour Consuming

It is much time and labour consuming. It requires a lot of people to involve in data collection.

More Statistical Errors

Data collected through this method would have more statistical errors.

Census method of data collection is helpful only in an area where inquiry is limited, more time and finance available and data have high degree of accuracy otherwise not.