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Typically a census is a count and description of the population. Where available, census records can provide an ancestor’s name, age, occupation, marital status prior to the marriage, birthplace, and family member relationships. Census returns can also provide clues that lead to other records. A census may list selected people or the whole population. The percentage of people listed depends on the purpose of the census and on how careful the enumerator was.
In the first four of Indonesia’s population censuses (1961, 1971, 1980, and 1990) a short form of questionnaire covered basic information such as age, sex, relation to the head of household, and was used to enumerate households all over the country. The other, long form of questionnaire, covered more detailed information such as age, sex, place of birth, occupation, religion, educational attainment, migration status, fertility and mortality related questions was applied to collect data from a number of selected households. Therefore, the census results were published in two kind of publications. The first one was based on complete enumeration and the second one was based on the sample survey.
Further information is provided in Population of Indonesia: Results of the 1995 Intercensal Population Survey (FHL book 959.8 X2p).
Census and residency registers (Sensus, daftar penduduk)
Census records show names of residents, relationship to head of house; sex, sometimes place of birth, race, civil status, military status, literacy status. They can be used to identify extended families. Chinese censuses are particularly valuable because of the dearth of other Chinese records. These records exist from 1813 to the present.
Records can be found at the National Archives, local civil registry offices, and Chinese community kapitans. Some existing censuses have been published or microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library. To see what is available in the FamilySearch Catalog search using the keywords Indonesia Census.