The U.K. government is looking into whether there are less costly alternatives, with a view to scrapping the next census in 2021. The government said the census was outdated and a "more effective, less bureaucratic" survey was needed. However, the MPs also warned that other methods of data collection may not be adequate and might not be any cheaper.
The last census, which took place in 2011, cost an estimated £480m ($781 million U.S. dollars).
In 2010 Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said: "There are, I believe, ways of doing this which will provide better, quicker information, more frequently and cheaper."
You can read more in an article in the BBC's web site at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19669695.
My thanks to Holly Adams for telling me about this story.
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