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EMCDC - Study on the Continuous Population Census Modality


The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics – IBGE plays the important role of providing Brazil with information that can portray its reality for the exercise of citizenship. This includes the responsibility of carrying out population census. Today the IBGE, as the other Statistical Institutes of several countries all over the world, finds itself in the middle of a dilemma: to produce more and better information in the midst of budget restrictions and urgency of results.

Aiming at improving its work methodology concerning the planning and execution of the population censuses, the IBGE makes an effort to examine and assess methods other than full enumeration of the population, especially those based on samples which are already being adopted in the United States and France.

The project Study on the Continuous Population Census Modality – EMCDC is grounded on the current international discussion on the use of such methods due to the challenge that the National Statistical Offices face to produce updated, geographically and thematically detailed information, with the constant necessity of cost reduction. Knowing that it also must cope with such hindrances, the IBGE has started some activities to foster the study and the assessment of alternative methodologies for the population census in the Brazilian context.

With activities initiated in 2004, the project has been welcoming actions that help evaluate the technical and operational viability of the methodological change. Of note are the three international seminars carried out in partnership with the Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática (INEGI - Mexico), the participations in international symposiums and international meetings on alternative census modalities, including technical visits to the National Institute INSEE (France), besides the participation in the debate on the future of the Brazilian population census in activities at the national level, as CONFEST/CONFEG and ABEP, among others.

Taking part in those activities has helped foster the debate on the subject in the Institute and, in 2004 and 2005, multidisciplinary work groups (WT) with technicians from the several IBGE organizational units were engaged in the project development. Five work groups were created and later defined to encompass the different dimensions of the work, given the project’s complexity:

  • WG Census Mapping and Address Register;
  • WG Conceptual Design;
  • WG Information Sampling, Estimation and Accumulation;
  • WG Distribution of Agencies;
  • WG Integration between Censuses and Surveys.

Based on the knowledge produced in the different thematic groups a proposal was elaborated for the operational model. It established guidelines for the carrying out of the Pilot Test of the Continuous Census. The test was carried out in the period between 2008 and 2013 and comprises two cumulative cycles: 2008-2012 e 2009-2013.

The preliminary results of the study may be seen in the articles: Study on the Continuous Population Census Modality, presented in the XVIII National Meeting of Population Studies and in the  20th National Symposium on Probability and Statistics; and Rolling Census: scoping study for Brazil, presented in the 59th World Statistics Congress.

The studies must be concluded by the end of 2014, when the implementation limits and possibilities for the Continuous Census Modality in Brazil will be presented.fico Contínuo no Brasil.