At a cost of $1.3 billion, India will take a census of around 1.2 billion residents, according to Sydney Morning Herald.
They will photograph and fingerprint every resident over the age of 15.
Not only is this an impressive feat of human civilisation, it absolutely puts the U.S. to shame. We’re about to spend $14.7 billion to give a simple survey to 300 million Americans.
So what are we getting for the extra $13.3 billion?
Accuracy. Higher pay for census workers. Faster completion. Of course, two of these “benefits” are fairly meaningless.
We’d do better to follow India’s example, where 2.5 million census workers receive market value pay for 11 months employment. They don’t waste money on posters and mailings. And they get the job done.
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