Ethnic and/or national group (paras.
The specific ethnic and/or national
groups of the population which are of interest in each country are
dependent upon individual national circumstances. Some of the criteria
by which ethnic groups are identified are ethnic nationality (i.e.,
country or area of origin, as distinct from citizenship or country
of legal nationality), race, colour, language, religion, customs
of dress or eating, tribe or various combinations of these characteristics.
In addition, some of the terms used, such as “race”,
“origin” or “tribe”, have a number of different
connotations. The definitions and criteria applied by each country
investigating ethnic characteristics of the population must, therefore,
be determined carefully and with the involvement of or consultation
with representatives of the groups which it desires to categorize.
By the nature of this topic, these categories and their definitions
will vary widely from country to country; therefore, no internationally
accepted criteria are possible.
Because of the difficulties of
interpretation which may occur, it is important that, where such
data are collected, the basic criteria used should be clearly explained
so that the meaning of the classification will be readily apparent.
It is also suggested that the primary classification consist of
only a few broad categories, leaving open the possibility of a more
detailed breakdown for important tribal or other groups where these
(paras. 2.109.- 2.111.)
For census purposes, religion may be defined as
spiritual belief of preference, regardless of whether or not
this belief is represented by an organized group, or
affiliation with an organized
group having specific
religious or spiritual tenets.
Each country that investigates religion in its
census should use the definition most appropriate to its needs and
should set forth, in the census publication, the definition that
has been used.
For the benefit of users of the data who may not
be familiar with all of the religions or sects within the country,
as well as for purposes of international comparability, the classifications
of the data should show each sect as a subcategory of the religion
of which it forms a part. A brief statement of the tenets of religions
or sects that are not likely to be known beyond the country or region
would also be helpful.
(paras. 2.112.- 2.115.)
There are three types of language data that can
be collected in censuses, namely:
defined as the language usually spoken in the individual's
home in his or her early childhood;
Usual language, defined
as the language currently spoken, or most often spoken, by
the individual in his or her present home;
Ability to speak one or
more designated languages.
In compiling data on the usual language or on the
mother tongue, it is desirable to show each language that is numerically
important in the country and not merely the dominant language. Information
on language should be collected for all persons. In the tabulated
results, the criterion for determining language for children not
yet able to speak should be clearly indicated.
D. National and/or ethnic
group (paras. 2.116.- 2.117.)
The national and/or ethnic groups
of the population about which information is needed in different
countries are dependent upon national circumstances. Some of the
bases upon which ethnic groups are identified are ethnic nationality
(in other words country or area of origin as distinct from citizenship
or country of legal nationality), race, colour, language, religion,
customs of dress or eating, tribe or various combinations of these
In addition, some of the terms
used, such as "race", "origin" and "tribe”,
have a number of different connotations. The definitions and criteria
applied by each country investigating ethnic characteristics of
the population must therefore be determined by the groups that it
desires to identify. By the very nature of the subject, these groups
will vary widely from country to country; thus, no internationally
relevant criteria can be recommended.