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A census is a study that includes observations for every member of the population being studied, as opposed to a sample from that population.

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I've had people tell me on numerous occasions that you can / should do tests normally reserved for sample statistics (e.g., difference of means etc.) on census data when you are comparing figures … over time. The claim usually made is that this is because each census is a 'sample in time'. My understanding is that it is not appropriate to extend sampling theory in this way. Specifically, the …
asked Jul 4 '13 by BenHealey