Locating International Census Data
Compiled by Angela S. Wilson
Business Reference Services. Science, Technology, &
The following selected entries offer suggestions for
locating international census publications at the Library
of Congress and other institutions. Included are web sites,
guides, Library of Congress call numbers, and location
information for identifying census publications in
electronic, print, and microfiche formats.
Jump to: Electronic
Resources | Publications in The
Library of Congress | Historical
International Census Data
National censuses vary from country to country in the
priority given to national enumeration, in the type and
level of data they contain, in geographical coverage, in
the terminology and methodologies used, in how the data is
presented, and in how often they are conducted, if at all.
As a result, census publications are sometimes difficult to
find and to use.
National censuses are collected, published and disseminated
primarily by each country's census or national statistical
office (NSO) or its equivalent. Census data are published
in each country's vernacular, and as appropriate, many
offer English as well as other language versions.
Statistical offices of international agencies (e.g. United
Nations, statistical organizations for member states like
the ASEAN, Eurostat, and OECD), also publish statistical
data including population figures. The most consistent data
in terms of format and frequency, whether online or in
print are usually generated from them.
When researching international census data online, expect
differences in data access, i.e., what's free, fee-based,
browse only, downloadable, etc. Have patience when
maneuvering through a statistical web site because it may
take several links to obtain the data you want.
Current estimates and projection figures update official
census year data. These data are readily available in the
current statistics sections of electronic resources, in
serials that update printed publications, and are usually
the reference figures found in statistical compendia .
Electronic resources provide quick access to current and
some historical data. Among the better sites for
international census data are those maintained by the
census or NSOs of each country, by international
organizations, by research organizations, or by university
library research centers. These sites usually contain a
combination of resources, links to data sites, and actual
Consult the following web sites to locate the most current
international demographic data.
Provides information on how to locate the latest
information on planning activities for national censuses.
Billed as the source for global population information,
try here first to locate the latest international census
data available online. Maintained by the Population
Reference Bureau in the District of Columbia, this online
"annotated bibliography" provides links to global
population information by allowing you to search
comprehensive population-related web sites by topic or
keyword, by organization, or through PopNet's world regions
map. Each annotation provides a description of the
statistical data to be found at each web site, whether the
site is available in English, and hot links you directly to
the site. It's newsletter summarizes national censuses.
Population Information. International Programs Center. U.S.
Bureau of the Census
Links to the Bureau's latest world population profile, world population
data from 1950 to 2050, historical estimates for years up to 1950,
up to the second world population and vital events figures, and
their International Database . A computerized database of statistical
tables of demographic and socioeconomic data for 227 countries and
areas of the world.
National Statistical Offices of Countries
Many international data web sites offer links to national
statistical offices and international statistical agencies.
For starters, try:
of the Census
U.S. Bureau of
2010 United Nations Round of Population and Housing Censuses
This page also includes a link to a list of countries, with dates, that have conducted or are planning to conduct a population and housing census.
Infonation. United Nations.
Allows you to view and compare up-to-date statistical data
for member states of the UN.
Info Quest) United Nations
A ready reference file created by the Dag Hammarskjold
Library to respond to frequently asked questions. It
provides quick access to document symbols and sales numbers
for UN materials from 1946 forward on the latest
information on population planning, conference documents,
interim reports, etc.
Population Information Network (POPIN)
A network of population institutions organized to
identify, establish, strengthen, and coordinate standards
for facilitating the dissemination of population
information at the international, regional, and national
levels. Provides a variety of data including world
population trends, data at a glance via statistical tables,
recent population activities, and an electronic library.
Wide Web of Demography
Maintained by the Netherlands Interdisciplinary
Demographics Institute, their page presents "an overview of
information resources in the field of demographics and
population studies on the world wide web." It includes
links to online documents and data sets.
Resources on the Web: Demographics and Housing.
(University of Michigan Documents Center)
Click on "International Data." Rated one of the top 5%
sites on the Web, this site provides links to international
as well as US census data. Includes statistical
associations, central statistical offices, research
organizations, and more. Lots and lots of good stuff!
With some exceptions, international census publications
received in The Library of Congress are housed in the
general collections. The most recent censuses might also be
housed in the appropriate area studies reading room, i.e.,
African and Middle Eastern, Asian, European, or Hispanic.
Reading room staff should be consulted regarding the
availability of census publications in their respective
custodial divisions. The Library of Congress online catalog
can be used to determine international census publications
received in The Library of Congress. Although there are
numerous ways to search, the suggested Library of Congress
subject headings listed below usually yield good results.
Also consult the guides that follow to determine background
information and official titles and census year dates on
available censuses for a country.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Using the Library of Congress subject headings below will
yield listings of Library of Congress holdings of
official census publications for each country in ascending
order, i.e., from the earliest census to the most recent.
For official census year publications, browse:
[name of country]. Census
For example: Great Britain. Census or
[name of country]. Census, [year]
Great Britain. Census, 1991
Using the Library of Congress subject headings listed below
will yield Library of Congress holdings of titles of
publications that contain information on population
history, methodology, treatises, bibliographies, etc.
For information on population data in general including
history and statistics
[name of country]--Population
Great Britain--Population or
[name of country]--Population--Statistics
Guides to Printed Census Sources
Handbook of National Population Censuses: Latin America
& the Caribbean, North America and the Oceania.
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1983. 711 p.
LC Call Number: HA36.G67 1983
LC Catalog Record: 82009390
Handbook of National Population Censuses: Africa and
New York : Greenwood Press, 1986. 1032 p.
LC Call Number: HA37.A33 D65 1986
LC Catalog Record: 85031712
Handbook of National Population Censuses:
New York : Greenwood Press, 1992. 544 p.
LC Call Number: HA37.E93 G69 1992
LC Catalog Record: 91039111
Use the above guides to determine titles of specific
official census publications in each country and for
additional information on when censuses were conducted,
what information was included in the census, when censuses
were not conducted, etc.
Guides to Microfilm Census Sources
A guide to the microfilm edition of International population census 1945-1967 : bibliography and reel index.
Woodbridge, Conn. : Research Publications, 1979. Series I. 595 p.
LC Call Number: Z7164.D3R47
LC Catalog Record: 79016869
International population census publications, Series II, pre-1945. Guide to the microfilm edition edited by Diane M. Del Cervo. Woodbridge, CT : Research Publications, 1984. 454 p.
LC Call Number: Z7164.D3I59
LC Catalog Record: 85123827
International population census publications. Printed reel guide; Series III, covering post 1967.
LC Call Number: MicRR
Use the above guides to determine titles of official
census publications that are held in the Microform Reading
Room Collection, LM139, Jefferson Building. The collection is based on the International population census bibliography and its supplement by the Population Research Center at the University of Texas. The collection is arranged into five geographic areas: Asia (including the Middle East); Europe; Latin America (including Mexico); North America; and Oceania.
CIS national statistical compendiums also known as Current National Statistical Compendiums. Microform. [Rockville, MD : Congressional Information Service.
LC Call Number: Microfiche (o) 92/6018
LC Catalog Record: sf 92094680
A microfiche program begun by Greenwood Press and
continued by Congressional Information Service of national
statistical summary data on foreign countries covering
social, economic, and demographic data. A guide to this
collection is also available, Microfiche #: (o) 92/6018.
This microfiche collection is located in the Microform
Reading Room, LM139, Jefferson Building.
International Statistical Compendia Containing
CIA World Factbook
LC Call Number: G122.U56a 1999
Population figures give estimates from the U.S. Census
Bureau based on statistics from population censuses, vital
statistics registration systems, or sample surveys
pertaining to recent past and assumptions for future
Country Profiles. Economist Intelligence Unit (Great Britain).
Provides analysis of historical, political, infrastructural, and
economic trends for approximately 200 countries. Revised and updated
annually, summary population data are included. A checklist to The
Library of Congress holdings of this collection is available at
the reference desk in the Business Reference Section, Science, Technology
and Business Division, 5th Floor, Adams Building. A search of the
Library of Congress online catalog using the Library of Congress
subject heading [name of country]. Economic conditions. Periodicals [For example: France--Economic conditions--Periodicals]
will also yield country profile listings and related materials by the EIU as well as other publishers.
Country Reports, published
quarterly in print, are companion publications to the country profiles
and contain current information on countries. The Library of Congress
holdings can be determined by searching The Library of Congress
online catalog using a title search of "country report [name of
country]" [For example: Country report. France.] Monthly updates, and subscription information for country
profiles, country reports, and other publications are issued by
the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Demographic Yearbook. United Nations.
LC Call Number: HA17.D45 1997
Central source for demographic data for over 200
countries. Focuses on population changes throughout the
world and also provides some vital statistics data.
Gale Country & World Rankings Reporter.
LC Call Number: HA154.G35 1997
"Demographics" Section contains data from the U.S. Census
Bureau's International Database.
International Marketing Data & Statistics
LC Call Number: HA42.I56 1997 and
European Marketing Data & Statistics
LC Call Number: HA1107.E87 2000 Both
titles give an array of population statistics taken from
the latest official census year that population figures
were taken for each country.
International statistical abstracts can be found in the Business Reference
Section of the Science, Technology Business Division, 5th Floor,
Adams Building. They are the latest editions of statistical abstracts
for foreign countries arranged roughly alphabetical on open shelves
in the reading room. These abstracts are published primarily by
the national statistical office or its equivalent of each country.
Each abstract covers a variety of subjects including population,
social, economic, and political data. Using The Library of Congress
subject heading "[name of country].Statistics .Periodicals" when
searching The Library of Congress online catalog will yield listings
that include statistical abstracts for the country. Appendix 1 of
the Statistical Abstract of the U.S. contains the "Guide to Foreign
Statistical Abstracts"--a bibliography of recent statistical abstracts
for member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development, Slovakia, and Russia.
Statistical Yearbook. United Nations.
LC Call Number: HA12.5.U63 1996
Will also find some demographic data here as well. It is
updated by the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics.
Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations.
LC Call Number: G63.W67 1998
The population data are the latest official census figures
for each country.
Monthly Bulletin of Statistics. United Nations.
LC Call Number: HC57.U66
Monthly update to the Statistical Yearbook. Provides
monthly statistics for most current 18 months, annually for
last 7 years for more than 200 countries. Each issue
usually focuses on a particular topic and includes
population of capital cities and cities of 100,000 or more
and other selected data. Available on
subscription basis only.
The Library of Congress Holdings: Began 1947 and bound
through 1996; 1997 to present is unbound and available in
the Newspaper and Current Periodicals Reading Room, LM133,
Population and Vital Statistics Report. United
LC Call Number: HA13.U5
Not available online. Subscription
Quarterly journal gives estimates of world and regional
population as well as estimates for 218 countries.
Information is derived from each country's latest national
population census, and from nationally representative
statistics on birth and mortality.
The Library of Congress Holdings: Began 1949 and bound
through 1995; unbound issues: 1996 (#1 & 3); 1997
(#2,3,4); 1998 (#1-4); 1999 (#1, 4)--available in the
Newspaper and Current Periodicals Reading Room, LM133,
The following titles are from the Census Library Project
initiated in the Library of Congress in the fall of 1940 as
a cooperative project of the Bureau of the Census and the
Library of Congress. Its function was to compile analytical
bibliographies to facilitate the use of census and vital
statistics publications for all countries that were
available in The Library of Congress collections. These
bibliographies are useful in locating early census
publications because The Library of Congress call numbers
are included along with additional information about each
Bibliography of recent official demographic
Bibliographie des publications officielles recentes presentant des
statistiques demographiques. UN Dept. of Economic Affairs.
LC Call Number: JX1977.A2
General censuses and vital statistics in the Americas; an annotated
bibliography of the historical censuses and current vital statistics
of the 21 american republics, the American sections of the British
Commonwealth of Nations, the American colonies of Denmark, France,
and the Netherlands, and the American territories and possessions
of the United States.
LC Call Number: Z7553.C3U45 1974
National censuses and vital statistics of Europe,
LC Call Number: Z7553.C3U46 1948
(also 1967 and 1969 editions)
National censuses and vital statistics of Europe,
LC Call Number: Z7553.C3U46
1948 National censuses and vital statistics in France
between two world
wars, 1921-1942; a preliminary bibliography.
LC Call Number: Z7554.F7U5
National censuses and vital statistics in Germany after
the first World
LC Call Number: Z7554.G3U5 1946
National censuses and vital statistics in Italy since
world war, 1921-1944; a preliminary bibliography.
LC Call Number: Z7554.18U5
Population censuses and other official demographic
statistics of Africa,
not including British Africa.
LC Call Number: Z7554.A34 U5 1950
Population censuses and other official demographic
British Africa; an annotated bibliography.
LC Call Number: Z7554.A35U5 1950
Recent censuses in European countries; a preliminary
LC Call Number: Z7553.C3U5 1942
Statistical bulletins; an annotated bibliography of the
statistical bulletins of major political subdivisions of
LC Call Number: Z7552.U64
1954 Statistical yearbooks; an annotated bibliography of
statistical yearbooks of major political subdivisions of
LC Call Number: Z7552.U65 1953