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In: A census of one billion people. Papers for International Seminar on China's 1982 Population Census, edited by Li Chengrui. Boulder, Colorado, Westview Press, 1986. 37-52.This paper examines how the 1982 China census met the standards prevalent in the world at large and formulated by the international community into recommendations under UN guidance. It also examines to what extent the China census met the recommendations, what alternatives were adopted and why, and what methods it used to carry them out. China's 1982 census met the criteria of individual enumeration, universality, simultaneity, and defined periodicity. The 1982 census was a register-based de jure census in which the field interview and its checks determined the final content of census information. It was necesary to restrict the number of census questions to fewer than would have been desirable. The questionnaire included 5 household and 13 individual topics. Questions on live births and deaths in the household since 1981 were included, although not generally recommended. Age data is unusually accurate due to people's awareness of what animal sign they were born under. Housing questions were not asked in this census, but may be included in the next census. Sampling was used only in the small-scale post-enumeration survey. In China, the administrative network is so complete and reaches down to so small a unit that no further subdivision for census purposes is needed at all. A most unconventional feature of the censuses of China has been the virtually complete absence of mapping. An extensive program of 4887 pilot censuses ensured the success of the full census. The publicity effort involved 2-way communication from the national office to the public and back. The issue of confidentiality was felt to be problematical in China and best solved by not asking questions that people would be reluctant to answer. The method of enumeration differed greatly from the usual ones in that it centered on enumeration stations with home visits used to a lesser extent. Several questions were precoded, but the enumerator had to write in the number as well as circle the correct item. 10% advance tabulations were made for all units and found to be very representative.