What does mean by Census Method? Discuss the Merits and Demerits of Census Method.

Census method is the method in which data are collected covering every item of the universe or population relating to the problem under investigation.

Merits of Census Method.

Principal merits of census method are as under:

Reliable and Accurate: Results based on census method are accurate and highly reliable. This is because each and every item of the population is studied.

Less Biased: Results based on census method are less biased. It is because of the absence of investigator’s discretion regarding the selection of sample items.

Extensive Information: Information collected through the census method is quite exhaustive and, therefore, more meaningful because all the items of a universe are examined. For example, Population census in India gives exhaustive information relating to the number of people in different parts of the country, their age and sex composition, education, status, occupation, and the like.

Study of Diverse Characteristics: By using census method, one can study diverse characteristics of the universe.

Study of a Complex Investigation: When items in a universe are of complex nature and it is necessary to study each item, only census method can produce the desired results. Data on country’s population are collected by this method.

Indirect Investigation: Census method can be successfully used in indirect investigations, relating to Unemployment, Poverty, Corruption, etc.

Demerits of Census Method.

However, there are certain demerits of census method as under:

Costly: Census method is very costly and is, therefore, generally not used for ordinary investigations. Only the government or some big institutions can afford to use this method and that too for specific purposes only.

Lane Manpower: Census method requires a lot of manpower. Training of a large number of enumerators becomes essential but is a very difficult process.

Not suitable for Large Investigations: If the universe comprises large number of items, it may not be possible to cover each and every item: Census method becomes practically inoperative in such situations. Census method is suitable when:

  • Area of investigation is limited.
  • The units are of different qualitative phenomenon.
  • More accuracy is desired.

The use of census method depends on the area of research, its purpose and the available resources time, money and energy.

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