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Census Data Archiving and Preservation

Individual census records are considered a special kind of record within national statistical offices (NSOs) because of their reach and sensitive nature. These records include virtually every person living in a country at a given time and are comprised of confidential personal information with great potential for misuse. For these reasons, their transfer and archiving procedures and their storage security protocols should be considered the “gold standard” of recordkeeping at NSOs. Ideally, other less sensitive materials would be held to the same standards as the procedures and regulations used with individual census records. However, in practice this varies from country to country. The ultimate goal of implementing good archiving practices in a NSO is to keep individual census records— whether as digital or paper testimonies—safe and available for future use.


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