A population census consists of collecting information about the population, compiling it, analyzing it and using it to assess the state and health of the country and its residents. There are many points of information collected, typically gender, marital status, income and background, among other things.
While a census was traditionally used for tax purposes, it has evolved into a thorough way to track changes in a country's demographics. The information from a population census is important for many government decisions. For example, the need for low-income housing can be seen from a census analysis, which may prompt the government to increase or decrease the appropriate budget for housing allowances.