The fighting strength of the children of Israel at the Exodus was ascertained by a count of all males of twenty years old and upwards, made by enumerators appointed for each clan.
In 1821 an attempt to get a return of ages was made, but it was not repeated in 1831, when the attention of the enumerators was concentrated upon greater detail in the occupation record.
The census of 1831 was better, but the results were considered exaggerated, owing to the system of paying enumerators according to the numbers they returned.
The duty of filling up so comprehensive a return, involving an answer to 561 questions, is not left to the householder, but entrusted to enumerators specially engaged, working under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture.
The schedules are distributed by enumerators acting under district supervisors; but it is found impossible to collect the whole number in a single day, nor does the mobility of the population in the rural tracts make such expedition necessary.