n.A count of all members of a population that may also capture information about specific qualities of the members, such as age, gender, ethnicity, occupation, and living conditions.


A census may be of human or other populations, such as animals or plants. A census is distinguished from sampling, which obtains information about a portion of the population that is generalized to the whole. In the United States an official census, taken every ten years as required by the Constitution, is used to apportion seats in Congress and has been used to gather a wide range of information about citizens and other residents.