Affiliations: Department of Social Policy, School of Political Sciences, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, 136 Syngrou Avenue, Athens 176 71, Greece. Tel.: +30 210 9201748; Fax: +30 210 9221222; E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]
Abstract: Cross-national comparability of census data as uniformity
was intensely debated from the First International Statistical Congress
(ISC), held in Brussels at Quetelet's initiative in 1853, until an agreement
was reached at the Eighth ISC, in St. Petersburg, in 1872. However, not much
progress was made until the last half of the twentieth century, when the
Statistical Commission of the United Nations issued the first set of
principles and recommendations for the national population censuses in 1958.
In this paper, the progress of statistical internationalism is investigated
from Quetelet's vision of census data uniformity and the first international
decision to conduct decennial censuses directed at the actual population to
Kish's definition of cross-national sample survey comparability. The
presentation is based on the detailed documentation of the Integrated Public
Use Mictodata Series (IPUMS)-International. As this database is comprised of
samples drawn from censuses, it relates to this first international decision
on census data comparability.