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A census is a count of the population taken by a government primarily for demographic or taxation purposes. No regular census records (in direct comparison to the U.S. Censuses) are found in Sweden. Population registration was done through the household examination records (husförhörslängd), the annual Mantals tax (mantalslängd), and the real estate tax on the farms (jordeböcker).
Some call the household examination extracts that began in 1860 a "census" by doing a literal translation. For example the household examination extracts of 1880 were keyed into a database called Sveriges Befolkning 1880. Databases are available also for the 1890 and 1900 household examination extracts. Sweden has also produced Swedish Census databases for 1970, 1980, and 1990.
When you do a literal translation of the Swedish term befolkning to English, you might just think census. But the term "census" can be misleading as censuses were performed in different countries in different ways. For example, an American, Norwegian or Dane might assume that a "Swedish census" was done on the same day, of the same month, every year which was never the case in Sweden.
Rather than using the term "census" for your source citation in Swedish research, consider using the name of the Swedish record instead. This way others will know exactly what you looked at.
- This page was last modified on 6 June 2013, at 19:07.
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