When was first Census conducted in India?

The earliest references of Census in India can be traced back to the Mauryan period in Kautilaya’s ‘Arthashastra’ (321-296 BC) and later during the Mughal period in the writings of Abul Fazl (1595-96) in the ‘Ain-e-Akbari’.  Census, in its present scientific form was conducted non-synchronously between 1865 and 1872 in different parts of the country. This effort culminating in 1872 has been popularly labelled as the first Census of India. This Census was not a synchronous census.

  • The first synchronous Census in India was carried out in 1881. An unbroken chain of censuses since then gives the Indian Census a unique historical legacy unparalleled in the world.

Census 2011 is the fifteenth Census in this continuous series from 1872 and the seventh since Independence. Indian population census organisation is considered as the largest administrative network in the world.  For full utility of the data, Indian census attempts to collect information on various socio-economic characteristics of the entire population.