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Census operations 1 usually begin with the delimitation of census areas 2 and enumeration districts 3. Enumeration districts in towns may consist of one or several blocks 4, a block being defined as a group of buildings around which it is possible to walk without crossing a street, or which are bounded by some obstacle, such as a railway line, or a river. Most of the larger cities of the United States of America have been divided into statistical areas called census tracts 5, which may contain several enumeration districts.
Vital records 1 may be defined as those dealing with births, deaths, stillbirths, foetal deaths, marriages, adoptions, legitimations, recognitions, annulments, divorces and separations; in short all the events which have to do with an individual’s entrance into or departure from life, together with changes in civil status. For legal reasons such events have, in many countries, long been recorded in registers 2 of which the most common are the register of births 3, the register of marriages 4 and the register of deaths 5. Vital statistics 6 or registration statistics 6 are prepared from these registers, generally by means of transcripts 7 or transcriptions 7 from the registers or from draft entries 7 in the registers.
- 2. register n. — register v. — registration n., the act of registering. Modern registers are the descendants of the old parish registers or parochial registers in which there were registered baptisms, marriages and burials.
The registers mentioned in the preceding paragraphs are distinct from the population registers 1 of those countries which possess a system of continuous registration 2. In these registers every member of the population or every family may be represented by a card 3, and the register is maintained 4 or kept up to date 4 through information which reaches it through the local registration officers and through registration of changes of residence 5. It is generally collated 6 (cf. 130-9*) or matched 6 with the census results and brought up to date at regular intervals by special checks 7.
The process of obtaining statistical data from documents not primarily designed for this purpose is called extraction 1. Data may be extracted from documents mechanically 2 by using tabulating machinery 3 or punched card machines 3.
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