Global Census Archive

A global aggregation initiative to collect the world's census data in all its formats

Census information, in all forms, matters—now more than ever—with conflicts, natural disasters, climate change, and global population growth (or contraction in some cases) driving massive human migration, infrastructure development, and public policy challenges.

The East View Global Census Archive® (GCA) is an innovative program to collect official data and publications issued by the national census authorities of more than 175 countries, from the early 19th century to the present day, providing a key resource for scholars and analysts to find current and historical census data to support critical research into our changing world.

Learn more about GCA

Census questions?
Join us for a webinar!

In this webinar you will learn what impacts holding a census, what types are available, and better understand how census supports researchers across campus. We will discuss methodology and scheduling of a census, including what indicators are made available and what topics are covered in a census. We will also show how national census authorities have begun to incorporate GIS into their recent results. Bring your questions about census!

We are offering two webinar sessions. Click the links below to register.

Why Global Census Archive?

GCA provides a single platform experience to explore the world’s census publications: all countries and regions, the complete depth of published census materials, including original census publications in e-book form, as well as modern tabular data in Excel format and GIS datasets for advanced users.

This truly global collection contains all available primary source and official census publications associated with a given census. GCA currently contains millions of pages of publications and billions of data points in GIS format, with more content continually added as new censuses are produced across the globe. Users can browse historical publications as full-image, full-text e-books (in any language), download tabular data in Excel format (for born-digital publications), and download GIS data (e.g., shapefiles of administrative boundaries)—all from a unified discovery interface.

GCA simplifies access to and increases the discoverability of demographic data from the world’s census publications. Research and analysis is improved with e-books that are fully machine-searchable, with full-image, cover-to-cover browsing of original census publications (as well as important supplementary primary source materials such as original census questionnaires and ephemera), plus the ability to download a variety of GIS and tabular data files to complement existing modern census collections.

What Kinds of Materials Are Included in Global Census Archive?

Global Census Archive provides a centralized platform for all available published content that accompanies the release of a census. There are three broad categories for the types of materials that appear in Global Census Archive: publications, tabular data, and GIS data.

Publications

It’s not just books, especially in the modern era, where census publications now range from questionnaires used by the census authority to other materials, such as analytical results, maps, and public awareness brochures. Publications contain rich information about the methodology employed by a census authority and other additional insights that allow researchers to catch a glimpse of priorities and challenges of a given society at a specific point in time. Below is a list of some examples of publications that can be found within a census:

  • Official results (analytical)
  • Questionnaires
  • Survey forms
  • Maps, atlases
  • Methodological and preparatory works
  • Public campaign literature
  • Newspaper and journal articles
  • Conference materials
  • Legislative works
  • MARC records (available upon request)

Censuses produce information that is a meaningful complement to other qualitative data types from the same period, such as news media, that occurred simultaneously with the census to give deep historical context of a single country. Additionally, GCA provides incredibly large data sets for analyzing macro trends in a given census round to deliver wide coverage across multiple countries or regions.

Tabular Data

East View presents the original, unaltered tables as offered in the original book-style publications as PDFs that are both viewable directly on the platform and can be downloaded locally. Furthermore, East View also offers digital files of tabular data as made available by a nation’s official census authority. These Excel files are downloadable straight from the GCA platform to a researcher’s device where more robust statistical analysis can be performed.

GIS Data

Since the 2000s, authorities around the world have increasingly made their census outputs available as geographic information system (GIS) data. East View acquires the official outputs and formats the data into an easy-to-use geodatabase. These East View-created datasets are tailor-made for instant analysis and visualization using any GIS software. GIS datasets on the GCA platform include:

  • Administrative boundary vector data
    • Feature classes
    • Shapefiles
  • Full attribute level metadata
  • A GIS data dictionary with native language and English-translated variables

All data and files are hosted on the platform itself. No need to worry about storing data within your institution. Researchers have easy access to GIS data and can download individual components of the dataset with the click of a button.

Get to Know the GCA Platform

East View’s Global Census Archive program features a robust custom platform that hosts censuses from around the world, with new titles continuously being added.

With a majority of the content spanning from the 1800s to today, the GCA platform currently includes over 30,000 items and 7 million pages of content, with over 175 countries and dozens of languages represented. This includes censuses that span the globe from the Americas, Africa, Australia and Oceania, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

GCA Platform Features:

  • IP authentication
  • Usage statistics
  • Unlimited simultaneous users
  • Cross-searching across censuses from around the world that are hosted on the platform
  • Full-image/full-text content
  • Page-level digitization with hit-term highlighting
  • Full-screen browsing
  • Clipping and text extraction tools
  • Citation generator in MLA, APA, Chicago, and RIS format

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