From census to population survey

The French demographic exception
By Fabrice Bardet

In 2002, the French Parliament adopted a reform of the national census which partly replaced the traditional enumeration by sampling technique. This decision, prepared by the state statisticians, was not subject to any political debate. This is a great difference with, for example, the American situation. In the United States, a similar project for introducing sampling techniques in the census has generated national controversy for more than twenty years. This difference offers an interesting sociological perspective on democratic institutions.

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