This book examines in detail the state of the art on census taking to spark a more vivid debate on what some may see as a rather technical – and hence uncontroversial – field of inquiry.

Against the backdrop of controversy between instrumental and performative theoretical stances towards census taking, it analyses the historical trajectories and political implications of seemingly technical decisions made during the quantification process by focusing on the 2020 round of censuses, which have been particularly revealing as activities have been affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing containment policies. Through case studies of countries from the Global North and the Global South, the book highlights the consequences of, and innovations and challenges in census taking focusing on three particular areas of concern – the politics of the census in terms of identity politics; the institutional autonomy of the census; and significant and transformative methodological innovations.

This book will be of key interest to scholars, students and practitioners of quantification studies, and social demography and more broadly to public policy, governance, comparative politics and the broader social sciences.

The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution‑Non Commercial‑No Derivatives (CC‑BY‑NC‑ND) 4.0 license.

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part I|66 pages

The politics of ethnoracial categories

chapter 1|31 pages

An avalanche of ethnoracial population data

On the productive politics of official ethnoracial statistics in 21st-century Latin America *
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chapter 3|16 pages

Education censuses and recognition

The politics of collecting and using data on indigenous students in Latin America
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part II|120 pages

The politics of institutional autonomy

chapter 5|26 pages

Population censuses in crisis

United States, Brazil, and Ecuador in comparative perspective
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chapter 6|17 pages

The Latin American Observatory of Population Censuses

Increasing statistical literacy through an academia-civil society network
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chapter 8|32 pages

Censuses in Ukraine

Not trusted and not needed?
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part III|104 pages

The politics of socio-technical and methodological innovations

chapter 9|31 pages

Establishing a register-based census in Spain

Challenges and implications
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chapter 10|17 pages

Towards a register-based census in Germany

Objectives, requirements and challenges 1
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chapter 13|13 pages

The global politics of census taking

Conclusions and desiderata for further research
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