Back in 2007 when I filled out the Mozambican census, in addition to the requisite name/age/race information, they wanted to know:
- Did we own a car, tractor or bicycle?
- Did we own any farm implements (e.g. hoe, shovel, trowel)?
- How many rooms were in our house?
- Did we own a TV or radio?
- Did we have a computer or internet access?
- Where was I born?
- What was my mother tongue and what language did we speak currently speak at home?
- What was my profession?
- What level of schooling had I completed?
Clearly the census in Mozambique has a much broader socio-developmental application as compared to here in the US, where it seems to be much more about a cut-and-dry tallying-up of the population.
I find it fascinating to think about the myriad reasons why the Mozambican-style census would never fly here in the US...
*The old race/ethnicity categorization is a challenge for many people, but notoriously for Brazilians who tend to be shoved into the "Latino/Hispanic" ethnicity despite not self-identifying as such, and have a terribly difficult time picking only one race to describe their generally mixed heritage. After some reflection, Rico chose the "Other" subcategory of "Latino/Hispanic" and wrote in Brazilian, then chose "White" for race, as his family is predominately Portuguese.