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Census vs. Sampling: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Census is the complete enumeration of a population or group, while Sampling involves selecting a subset of a population to estimate characteristics of the whole group.
Census vs. Sampling

Key Differences

Census involves counting every individual in a population, providing complete data. Sampling selects a representative group from the population for analysis, used for estimates.
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In a Census, every member of a population is surveyed, ensuring comprehensive data collection. Sampling involves studying a portion of the population to make inferences about the entire group.
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Census is resource-intensive, requiring time and manpower for complete coverage. Sampling, by examining a subset, is more efficient and cost-effective but less comprehensive.
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The accuracy of a Census is typically higher, as it covers the entire population. Sampling can lead to errors if the sample isn't representative, but is practical for large populations.
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Census data is ideal for detailed, specific information about a population. Sampling provides a quicker, more economical method for general trends and patterns.
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Comparison Chart

Coverage

Involves the entire population.
Involves a subset of the population.
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Resource Intensity

High, due to the need to cover every individual.
Lower, as it studies only a part of the population.
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Time Consumption

Typically more time-consuming.
Generally quicker to execute.
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Accuracy

Higher accuracy as it includes all data points.
Potentially less accurate, depends on sample representativeness.
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Practicality

Less practical for very large populations.
More practical for large populations due to efficiency.
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Census and Sampling Definitions

Census

Official count and description of a population.
The national census revealed an increase in the country's population over the past decade.
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Sampling

Method of studying a portion of a population to infer about the whole.
The researchers conducted sampling to understand consumer preferences.
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Census

Systematic enumeration of a whole population for statistical purposes.
The government conducts a census every ten years to update its demographic data.
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Sampling

Selection of a representative subset from a population for study.
Sampling was used to estimate the average income level in the city.
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Census

Comprehensive survey of all members in a defined population.
The census data was crucial in determining federal funding allocations.
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Sampling

Technique of using a segment of the population for statistical analysis.
Sampling in the study showed trends in social media usage among teenagers.
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Census

Official counting of a population including various demographic details.
The census results showed a significant shift in urban and rural populations.
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Sampling

Choosing part of a population to represent the entire group.
In market research, sampling is often employed to gather consumer opinions.
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Census

An official, usually periodic enumeration of a population, often including the collection of related demographic information.
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Oct 19, 2023

Sampling

Statistical process of analyzing a sample to generalize about a population.
Sampling helped in predicting the outcome of the election accurately.
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Census

In ancient Rome, a count of the citizens and an evaluation of their property for taxation purposes.
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Sampling

(Statistics) See sample.
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Census

To include in a census; conduct a census of
"Every plant one centimeter in diameter or larger is censused every five years" (John P. Wiley, Jr.).
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Sampling

The act, process, or technique of selecting an appropriate sample.
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Census

An official count or enumeration of members of a population (not necessarily human), usually residents or citizens in a particular region, often done at regular intervals.
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Sampling

A small portion, piece, or segment selected as a sample.
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Census

Count, tally.
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Sampling

Present participle of sample
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Census

(transitive) To conduct a census on.
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Sampling

The process or technique of obtaining a representative sample.
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Census

(intransitive) To collect a census.
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Sampling

A sample.
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Census

A numbering of the people, and valuation of their estate, for the purpose of imposing taxes, etc.; - usually made once in five years.
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Sampling

(statistics) The analysis of a group by determining the characteristics of a significant percentage of its members chosen at random.
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Census

An official registration of the number of the people, the value of their estates, and other general statistics of a country.
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Sampling

(signal processing) The measurement, at regular intervals, of the amplitude of a varying waveform in order to convert it to digital form.
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Census

A period count of the population
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Sampling

(music) Electronically splicing pieces of previously recorded sound as part of a composition, especially as part of hip-hop or electronic dance music.
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Census

Conduct a census;
They censused the deer in the forest
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Sampling

(statistics) the selection of a suitable sample for study
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Census

Complete collection and analysis of data regarding a population.
The latest census provided valuable insights into the nation's age distribution.
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Sampling

Items selected at random from a population and used to test hypotheses about the population
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Sampling

Measurement at regular intervals of the amplitude of a varying waveform (in order to convert it to digital form)
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What does sampling mean?

Sampling refers to the selection of a representative subset of a population for analysis.
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What is a census?

A census is a complete enumeration and analysis of every member of a population.
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How often is a census carried out?

Typically, a census is carried out every ten years in many countries.
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What is the purpose of sampling?

Sampling aims to estimate characteristics of a whole population using a subset.
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What are the benefits of a census?

A census provides comprehensive and detailed information about a population.
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Why is a census conducted?

A census is conducted to gather detailed and complete data on a population.
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Is participation in a census mandatory?

In many countries, participation in a census is mandatory by law.
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What are the advantages of sampling?

Sampling is more cost-effective and faster than conducting a census.
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What kind of data is collected in a census?

Data on demographics, housing, employment, and other population characteristics.
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Can sampling be as accurate as a census?

Sampling can be accurate but depends on the representativeness of the sample.
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Can census and sampling be combined in studies?

Yes, they can be combined for more comprehensive and efficient data collection and analysis.
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Does sampling always involve random selection?

Not always; there are various sampling methods, including random and stratified.
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What is the difference in cost between a census and sampling?

A census is generally more costly compared to sampling due to its scale and depth.
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How is a sample chosen?

A sample is chosen using various methods to best represent the population.
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How large should a sample be?

Sample size varies depending on the population size and the study's objectives.
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Can census data be used for policy making?

Yes, census data is often crucial for informed policy and decision-making.
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What challenges are faced in a census?

Challenges include high costs, time consumption, and logistical complexities.
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Why might sampling lead to bias?

Sampling may lead to bias if the sample isn't representative of the whole population.
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What is the importance of sampling in research?

Sampling allows researchers to make inferences about populations in a practical, efficient way.
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How are census results used?

They're used for resource allocation, planning, and understanding demographic changes.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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