by Karen Coppock
Ever wonder how many mobile phones are in use in India? how many broadband connections per household?
This and many other questions will soon be answered through the collection of 2011 Census data, which began in a few Indian cities yesterday. For the first time, people will be asked if they have a broadband connection and/or a mobile phone.
The data will be collected by hand, by workers going door-to-door with paper surveys...then the data will be entered into a database. It is a shame that mobile phones, PDAs or some sort of smart phone isn't being used to collect the data - would be much quicker and also would reduce data transcription errors.
The US also started collecting census data and we are also using paper census surveys, Mexico and Indonesia start their census data collection next month - with house-to-house visits and paper surveys - and the UK starts next year - also with paper surveys - so it appears that Census bureaus across the globe (developed and developing world) are behind with regards to technology innovations...I should note that Estonia appears to be breaking out and will have an eCensus for the first time.
The good news is, a great deal of new data is being collected around the world and will be available for businesses, governments and non-profit organizations over the next few months. Check out the UN cite on the 2010 World Population and Housing Census Program for info on which country is conducting a census and when.